May 22, 2018 Last Updated 7:58 AM, May 18, 2018

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Dollar slips to six-year low

AusBN – The value of the Australian dollar fell to a six-year low this morning as market confidence fell on reduced manufacturing activity in the US and China.

At 6.30am AEST on Wednesday the dollar was trading at 70/24 US cents, down from 71.08 cents the day before.

Economists have linked the slump to disappointing manufacturing data in the US and China – the world’s top two economies – which showed that both sectors slowed down in August.


Chinese stocks continue to plummet

AusBN – Chinese stocks fell a further 7.6% today after tumbling 8.5% yesterday in an event that the state media are calling “Black Monday”.

Share prices on the Shanghai Composite, China's main stock exchange, had not fallen so hard since 2007 and it affected markets across the world.

Global stocks have lost US$5 trillion of their value since China devalued the yuan, and fears concerning China's slowing economy continue to grow.

The fact that the Beijing government hasn't stepped in to prop up the market has only fuelled Chinese investors' fears further, encouraging widespread panic selling.

Mining companies that depend on Chinese demand suffered large drops in value, with Glencore (LSE: GLEN) losing 8% and BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) losing more than 7%.

Bloomberg's commodity index of 22 raw materials, including both oil and metals, fell to its lowest level since 1999.

The price of oil fell to a six-and-a-half-year low; aluminium a six-year low and zinc a five-year low, while iron ore fell to less than US$47 per tonne.


Commonwealth Bank posts record profit

AusBN – The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has posted a record full-year net profit of $9.1 billion, representing a 5% increase from the previous financial year.

This follows the announcement of a $5 billion capital raising in order to meet stricter regulatory requirements imposed by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

APRA demanded that all banks boost their balance sheets so that they will be better protected against potential financial crises in the future.

Besides CBA’s $5 billion raising, National Australia Bank (NAB) has raised $5.5 billion, ANZ bank $3 billion and Westpac $1.25 billion.

CBA Group CEO Ian Narev said in a statement: “Maintaining a flexible and strong balance sheet, including a strong capital position, continues to be a strategic focus for the group.”


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