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10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Sarah Kimmorley


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Good morning.

1. Global stocks remained under pressure overnight after Tuesday’s sharp selloff. European and UK markets both fell more than 1%, amid lingering fears over US-China trade and a flattening US yield curve. US markets were closed to mark the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush. More from markets here.

2. China has confirmed major details about the Trump-Xi trade deal. While the statement was light on specifics, the Chinese official attempted to assuage scepticism about the deal that helped contribute to a major selloff in US stocks. The Chinese also made a concrete step toward addressing US concerns by releasing a new set of punishments for intellectual property theft. But confusion over the deal and ineffective communication by the Trump team has left many worried.

3. The Australian dollar fell sharply on Wednesday, losing ground on the back of a big undershoot on Australian economic growth in the September quarter and dovish remarks from the Bank of Canada which resulted in broad-selling in commodity-linked currencies. At 8.10am AEDT, the Aussie was down 0.94% to 0.7268.

4. ICYMI: Bad Australian GDP data suddenly has economists talking about the potential for an RBA rate cut. Shane Oliver from AMP yesterday became the first economist from a major institution to say he believes the next move from the RBA will be a rate cut, following weak GDP data. Other economists are also talking about the potential for the next move being lower. UBS says it now “can’t rule out a cut” while NAB says it is “reassessing [its] view on monetary policy”.

5. It's retail sales day! Australia’s October report will be released today at 11.30am AEDT. After a weak September quarter for not only retail sales but broader household consumption, this report has taken on increased significance, carrying the potential to reverse or intensify growing pessimism towards the largest part of the Australian economy. Get up to speed with David Scutt's 10-second guide to the report here.

6. Facebook is in hot water, again, after the UK Parliament published a trove of top-secret Facebook executive emails on Wednesday. The hundreds of pages of documents provide an unprecedented window into Facebook leadership’s approach to competition and growth. Here are the 7 biggest revelations you need to know about.

7. Australian tech startups are suddenly on the nose in Canberra, according to StartupAUS’s annual Crossroads Report which says the political narrative around startups has changed. Apparently, there’s an increasingly hostile political attitude towards tech companies. The report says political antipathy to tech makes it harder for Australia to catch up to its global competitors.

8. Put down your avocado toast. A Michelin-starred chef says restaurants should stop serving avocados because they're "the blood diamonds of Mexico". Read why here. Or just buy Australian-grown.

9. There are just 19 days and counting until Christmas Day. Which means if you haven't started to think about gifts for your loved ones, you may want to start now. Luckily for you, we've rounded up a list of the perfect gifts for budding entrepreneurs and A-type personalities.

10. Scientists are testing a new male birth control gel that men rub on their shoulders once a day. But that fact that it seems more "simple and convenient" than any other female options is making some people very mad. Roughly 420 other couples in seven countries are also set to try the gel in the coming months.

BONUS ITEM: A Russian laser weapon designed to obliterate targets "within fractions of a second" just entered combat service. Great... here's a look at it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=57&v=PIUsAOfVtPg

Have a great day.

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