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Published on: Wednesday, December 06, 2017

• Russia has been officially banned from competing in February’s PyeongChang Winter Olympics, however approved “clean’’ athletes will be allowed to participate under a neutral Olympic flag, the International Olympic Committee has ruled. The IOOC ruled that the nation was guilty of executing an extensive state-backed doping program.

• The Reserve Bank of Australia has left the official cash rate on hold at 1.5 per cent at its last meeting before Christmas, ending the year the same way it started - with interest rates at a record low. In explaining why it had left the cash rate on hold for the 16th month in a row, the RBA board noted wage growth was going nowhere fast and inflation remained below the target of 2%, as the Turnbull government prepares for mixed gross domestic product results when the national accounts are released today.

• US President Donald Trump has said he intends to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a break with decades of US policy. Senior US officials say Trump is likely to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday while delaying relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv for another six months. The proposed move threatens to spark protest by Palestinians and unrest across the Arab world.

• Overnight, the London-listed shares of BHP and Rio Tinto fell by at least 1.1 per cent. On top of that, ASX futures have fallen by 0.5 per cent, which indicates the local share market may open lower, and there was a drop in several commodity prices — namely copper, which had its biggest drop in two years due to rising inventories, and the recent strengthening of the US dollar.

• Overnight, the Dow Jones index, fell 0.5% to 24,181, the S&P 500 ended 0.4 per cent lower at 2,630, and the Nasdaq fell 0.2% to 6,762. In Europe, the FTSE fell 0.2% to 7,328, and the German DAX also fell 0.1% to 13,049. The Euro Stoxx 50 finished 0.2% at 3,571. The ASX SPI 200 finished 0.4% at 5,954 and the ASX 200 closed 0.2% lower at 5,972.


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