WORLD FINANCE UPDATE:

A stronger greenback has whacked the Australian dollar almost one US cent lower overnight.

深圳桑拿网

At 0630 AEDT on Tuesday, the local currency was trading at 76.44 US cents, down from 77.23 cents on Monday.

And the Australian share market looks set to open higher after Wall Street rose more than one per cent amid company mergers and optimism central banks will support growth.

At 0645 AEDT on Tuesday, the June share price index futures contract was up 54 points at 5,909.

ELSEWHERE:

WASHINGTON – US personal incomes grew at a solid pace in February, while consumer spending only rose marginally, the Commerce Department reported Monday.

WASHINGTON – Former US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has returned to public debate over economic policy with the launch of his own blog, a year after leaving the Fed.

SHANGHAI – China’s central bank has lowered minimum down-payment levels on second homes nationwide, scrapping a key policy originally aimed at controlling housing prices as it seeks to boost the economy.

MOSCOW – Russian gas giant Gazprom has offered to extend a supply deal with Ukraine for another three months ahead of a looming deadline that had raised fears for deliveries to Europe.

STOCKHOLM – Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars have announced plans to build its first factory in the United States, 60 years after it started selling cars in the country.

NEW YORK – Horizon Pharma is buying Hyperion Therapeutics for about $US1.1 billion ($A1.42 billion), gaining two treatments for genetic disorders.

NEW YORK – Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is buying Auspex Pharmaceuticals for about $US3.2 billion ($A4.13 billion) in a move to strengthen its position on central nervous system condition treatments.

NEW YORK – UnitedHealth says it is acquiring Illinois-based group Catamaran for $US12.8 billion ($A16.5 billion), in a move which would boost the US giant’s pharmacy services.

WASHINGTON – More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in February, evidence that the spring buying season could open strong after sluggish sales for much of the winter.