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6 things you need to know today

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Published on: Friday, December 08, 2017

  • Bitcoin touched $US16,000 overnight for the first time, extending its advance this month to almost 70%. The world’s biggest online currency surged on expectations that new bitcoin derivatives products, expected to begin trading this month, will boost mainstream demand. Bitcoin jumped as much as 23% to $US16,374, taking the digital currency's surge this year to more than 1,500% and its market capitalization to $US274 billion.
  • One-third of Australia’s biggest companies failed to pay any tax in the 2015-2016 financial year, according to a new report by the Austraian Taxation Office. It means there has been no significant shift in the proportion of companies paying no corporate income tax in Australia since 2013.
  • Same-sex marriage has been signed into law by the Governor-General this morning, with the first weddings to happen from January 9. The Australian Parliament voted on Thursday to allow same-sex marriage across the nation, following a heated and divisive debate. The public gallery of the House of Representatives erupted with applause when the bill passed to change the definition of marriage from solely between a man and a woman to “a union of two people” excluding all others. The legislation passed with a majority that wasn’t challenged, although five lawmakers registered their opposition to the bill.
  • Dozens have been wounded in clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers in the West Bank after President Trump announced US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and started the process to move the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv. Trump's announcement reversed decades of US policy on the sensitive issue.
  • Wildfires in the Southern California have forced 200,000 people to flee with over 300 homes destroyed. The four largest fires had scorched a combined 116,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties by Thursday morning in the US. Hunderds of schools are also closed as unfavourable weather conditions have the region on edge.
  • Overnight, the Dow Jones index, rose 0.3% to 24,211, the S&P 500 rose 0.3% 2,637, and the NASDAQ was up 0.5% at 6,813. In Europe, the FTSE was down 0.4% to 7,321, the German DAX was up 0.4% to 13,045. The Euro Stoxx 50 finished higher at 0.2% at 3,570. The ASX SPI 200 closed higher, 0.4% at 6,004 and the ASX 200 also closed higher, 0.5% lower at 5,978

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