10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

WILLIAM WEST/AFP/GettyImages

Good morning.

1. A “decisive, crucial step”. That’s how the EU chief Brexit negotiator has described UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal. His praised comes after May’s Cabinet backed the deal after ministers discussed it at length during a five-hour meeting. The draft agreement will now pass to the EU council later in November where the EU’s other 27 countries will be asked to approve it.

2. It’s jobs day! Australia’s October jobs report will be released this morning at 11.30 AEDT. While employment continues to grow at a decent clip, helping to push the unemployment rate down to a more than six-year low, leading labour market indicators have diverged in recent months, creating some doubt as to whether that positive momentum will continue in the period ahead. Here’s a 10-second guide to get you up to speed ahead of the release.

3. The Australian dollar pushed higher in late trade on Wednesday, finding support from a rebound in US stocks and renewed optimism over a potential Brexit deal. The rally also comes ahead of the key jobs data. At 8am AEDT, the Aussie was up 0.30% to 0.7239.

Investing.comAUD/USD Hourly Chart

4. Bitcoin has sunk to its lowest level in over a year, tumbling over 10% in Wednesday trade on Wall Street to a low of $5,550 a coin. The selling comes as traders ready for a hard fork in the rival bitcoin cash.

5. Apple has slid into a bear market, now down 20% from its all-time high. In August, the tech giant became the first US company with a $1 trillion valuation. Shares have been hit hard after the company reported underwhelming iPhone sales and suppliers warned of a slowdown in the smartphone market. It comes as investors dump tech stocks to an extent not seen since the financial crisis — here’s what they’re scooping up instead.

6. Australian retailers are expecting to see higher Christmas sales this year, with 41% predicting growth of 5% or more, according to Deloitte. Not only that, the majority (83%) believe Amazon won’t have any impact on their Christmas trading performance. This week Amazon launched a local fashion store with more than 150 Australian brands in one place, putting further pressure on bricks and mortar outlets.

7. Business Insider’s weekly in-depth economics and markets podcast, Devils and Details, is coming LIVE to The Ivy in Sydney on November 27th. We’ve got a stellar line-up of some of Australia’s most forthright and insightful commentators and analysts, with panels to discuss investment, property, and the outlook for 2019. Read about some of them here, or find ticket information here.

8. Astronomers have found a “cold super-Earth” exoplanet orbiting Barnard’s star. Barnard’s star, less than six light years from us, is the closest single-star system to our sun. The new world, called Barnard’s star b, or GJ 699 b, is at least 3.2 times as massive as Earth, and may be the first to be photographed by a new generation of powerful telescopes. (If you love that, a little-known feature in Google Maps lets you explore planets and moons in our local solar system — here’s how to find it.)

9. “Monopoly for Millennials” is the latest version of the classic board game to be released by Hasbro. Not only is the game’s tagline “Forget real estate. You can’t afford it anyway,” but it also allows players to collect experiences instead of buying property. Ha!

10. David Hockney’s “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” is poised to shatter auction records this week. The painting, which will be going on sale as part of Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, is expected to be sold at a starting point of $US80 million. That would make it the most expensive painting ever sold at auction by a living artist.

CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2018‘Portrait of an artist (Pool with Two Figures).’

BONUS ITEM: The coffee company Pellegrini’s used for nearly 60 years made a mini-doco that has now turned into a touching tribute for Sisto Malaspina — here’s a look:

Have a great day.

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