1. US stocks tumbled in Monday trade after US President Donald Trump doubled down on his criticism of Amazon, sending shares in the technology and consumer discretionary sectors lower. The selling also comes ahead of the Trump administration’s plan to unveil this week a list of Chinese imports targeted for US tariffs. The list of $US50 billion to $US60 billion worth of annual imports is expected to target “largely high-technology” products.
2. The Aussie dollar dipped overnight, amid a more risk-off mood in global markets. It fell against all of the major crosses except for the New Zealand dollar. Today, trade and tariff-related headlines will likely dictate the Aussie’s direction despite the release of a slew of economic data releases and the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) April monetary policy decision at 2.30pm AEST.
3. Blue Sky numbers are up in the air. Blue Sky Alternative Investments managing director Rob Shand used the long weekend to try shore up investor support ahead of a “comprehensive” announcement to the market on Tuesday. It follows a report by California-based Glaucus Research which argued it had been “significantly overstating” its fee earning assets. That saw its shares fall 13.4% to $10.40, forcing it into a trading halt. Blue Sky has rejected the claims and says “there are a large number of factual inaccuracies throughout” the report.
4. A majority of British people regret voting for Brexit. So, what changed since the 2016 EU Referendum? It’s largely about the avalanche of detail on exactly how the exit from the EU is going to work – much of which suggests Britain will be worse off outside the EU. The government’s own economic analysis, for instance, shows Britain will be a poorer place under every possible Brexit scenario.
Those who believe Brexit was “wrong” have been in the majority since late 2017, according to this tracking chart from Pantheon Macroeconomics:
5. Sorry, what? University of Sydney debaters were asked to persuade the audience on the topic of whether a fictional character, “Vikki”, should stay with her dud lover, “Barnaby” during last week’s Grand Slam tournament for novice debaters. OK. University of Sydney Union president Courtney Thompson has was not available to comment for The Australian.
6. China’s first space station was decimated in a fireball over the South Pacific, northwest of Tahiti and fairly close to Samoa. While the “vast majority” of the school-bus-size spacecraft burned up in the atmosphere, some material from the craft most likely survived, according to Brad Tucker, an astrophysicist with the Australian National University. And not only that but astronomer Jonathan McDowell says the material seems to have ended up not all that far from the “spacecraft graveyard” where scientists try to de-orbit large spacecraft so they crash back to Earth safely.
7. Kim Jong Un made a surprise visit to a South Korean K-pop concert in Pyongyang. Kim and his wife saw South Korean K-pop group Red Velvet, Girls’ Generation member Seohyun, and many others play at a “Spring is Coming” concert that he gave rave reviews of. “Please tell [South Korean President Moon Jae-in] that how great an event like this is,” Kim reportedly said. In North Korea, citizens can be sentenced to death for simply possessing South Korean media. But as tensions begin to thaw, Kim’s tone seems to have shifted. Watch video of Kim’s surprise appearance at the K-pop show below:
8. “Bitcoin is the pin that’s going to pop the bubble,” according to Jon Matonis, the cofounder of the Bitcoin Foundation. Bitcoin surged to almost $20,000 a coin in the final months of 2017 but has since collapsed to about $7,000, leading skeptics to argue that that cryptocurrency was in a bubble that is now bursting. But Matonis says the real bubble is in bond and stock markets, and the bitcoin collapse is the pin for it.
9. Fighter jets and “drone guns” are part of the high-powered arsenal to keep the Commonwealth Games athletes and spectators safe. Tomorrow’s opening ceremony at Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast signals the official start of the biggest security event in Queensland’s history. The ABC reports that more than 672,000 visitors from across Australia and overseas are expected to attend.
10. The US Masters kicks off this week, and with Tiger Woods returning to golf and several big names playing well of late, it feels like a bigger deal than usual. The tournament takes place from April 5-8, and the winner of this year’s tournament will take home $AU2.58 million. While Woods will no doubt be the fan-favourite to win, oddsmakers in Las Vegas have put him amongst eight others as the favourites to take home the green jacket. Here are the others. And here’s how and when to watch it.
Have a great week.
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