1. The US-China trade war flared up again over the weekend, with some strong rhetoric on tariffs by US Vice-President Mike Pence on Saturday. That was followed by a tensions and chaos at the APEC Summit in Port Moresby, as leaders failed to agree to a consensus regional agreement for the first time in 25 years.
2. The Australian dollar is under pressure to start the new trading week, pulling back from multi-month highs struck on Friday. Renewed trade tensions between the United States and China are behind the latest selloff, helping to partially offset more cautious language from leading US Federal Reserve officials. At 8am AEDT, the Aussie was down 0.40% to 0.7305.
3. ASX futures closed slightly higher on Friday night after the S&P500 held steady to end the week. US tech stocks were mixed, but energy stocks got a boost as oil continues to rally off its recent lows. All eyes will be on Myer shares when the ASX opens at 10am, after the company released updated trading results on Friday night. More markets news here.
4. It’s a light data calendar this week, with market cues more likely to come from central bank policy, politics and trade developments. Local events will be headlined by RBA minutes from the bank’s November meeting on Tuesday (11:30am AEDT). There’s also a speech by RBA governor Philip Lowe on Tuesday night called “Trust and Prosperity”, and Westpac’s leading index for the Australian economy is out on Wednesday.
5. Former Domain CEO Anthony Catalano is seeking a delay in a vote by Fairfax shareholders, scheduled for today, on the media company’s proposed merger with Nine Entertainment. Catalano says share price moves since the merger plan was announced mean it is a “terrible deal” and says he can unlock more value from Domain. It’s unclear if he has sufficient interest or support from other shareholders. Paul Colgan has more.
6. British Prime Minister Theresa May faced the biggest test of her premiership after ministers including the Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and the Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey resigned to protest her Brexit plans. But as her own party rebels against her, she has a message for them: A change of leadership could threaten Brexit itself.
7. The creator of Twitter, Blogger, and Medium has a plan to fix the internet. “If you create a system that rewards attention, the easiest way to get attention is to be a bad actor. That underlies our media ecosystem, that underlies our political system, and it’s degrading society in so many ways,” Ev Williams says, adding he now has a solution. He has created a new business model for Medium that rewards high-quality content and suppresses trolls. If it works, the internet will become a better place to live.
8. NASA says it will retire its new mega-rocket if SpaceX or Blue Origin can safely launch its own powerful rockets. NASA is building a super-heavy-lift rocket called the Space Launch System to send astronauts back to the moon, but the program has seen multiple delays and cost overruns, and the rocket is not reusable. Both Elon Musk’s and Jeff Bezos’ aerospace companies are developing comparable yet reusable (and presumably more affordable) giant rocket ships. If they do retire the government system it is possible that the agency will buy launch capacity on those rockets.
9. Tesla just had the worst year in its history, but now it’s starting to look like the best tech company in the world. As others like Facebook, Google and Twitter come under fire, Tesla can pitch that at least trying to do good.
10. Alibaba and Amazon are two giants of the e-commerce industry. But, the two companies have aspirations that go far beyond online shopping as their determination to touch every aspect of customers’ lives heats up. Here’s a look at how.
BONUS ITEM: 17-year-old German driver Sophia Floersch lost control of her Formula 3 Van Amersfoort Racing car — at full speed
Here’s a look at that slowed down:
Floersch was taken to hospital in a stable condition, but fractured her spine.
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