10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Home Alone/ IMDb

Good morning!

Welcome to our last 10 things for 2018.

1. The US Fed raised interest rates by a quarter percent, as was anticipated by speculators, but there were a few unexpected announcements. The move saw the the US stock market fall even further over Wednesday with the possibility this could be the worst December market performance since the Great Depression.

2. The Aussie dollar has been obliterated. All you need to see is this graph.

Investing.comAUD/USD 5-Minute Chart

The rate hike announcement from the Fed had a crippling effect across all major crosses, despite being described as “doveish” and heavily forecasted for. David Scutt has more.

3. The Australian jobs report is one of the most crucial reports to come out, as economists keep a careful eye on wage growth and unemployment figures for key market indicators going into 2019. Your 10-second guide is here.

4. Drones, sous vide or a nice surprise. That’s what Aussie CEOs have put on their wish list. We spoke with eight execs to find out what they’ve asked Santa for this year.

5. ICYMI: APRA is removing interest-only benchmarks on loans from January 1. The previous restrictions were put in place to improve lending standards, but after a slow grind in credit and home loan growth it is hoped that APRA’s announcement will give the property market breathing room.

6. Facebook latest privacy scandal has revealed that your private messages aren’t so private. Facebook has revealed that Spotify, Netflix, and the Royal Bank of Canada could read, write, and delete the private Facebook messages of their customers. Facebook has lost $US22 billion in market value since Wednesday.

7. The Devils and Details Christmas special. This week, Paul Colgan and David Scutt are joined by ANZ senior economist Joanne Masters, JP Morgan executive director for macro sales Laura Fitzsimmons, and James Whelan of VFS Group to take a look back at the highs and lows of 2018, as well as what’s in store for 2019.

8. The data out of China is pointing to a slowdown, but it seems we aren’t getting the whole picture. A regional manufacturing activity gauge in China has been declared “illegal” and will no longer be produced. The report had been previously giving weaker indicators than other reports. The China’s Central Economic Work Conference (CEWC) continues today and will be able to provide insights into future market growth and reforms.

9. Anthony Bourdain and Obama once dined together in this Vietnamese restaurant. The non-descript local eatery is now a bustling attraction with the famous visitors enshrined in the decor. Simon Thomsen recently visited to find out what all the fuss was about.

10. Kayo’s Summer of Cricket and every other sport imaginable. You can get the full list of sports available here, plus discover the marvel of split view where you can watch four live streamed sports on your TV at once. We hope you have a wide-screen.

BONUS ITEM: Google released a ‘Home Alone’ holiday ad featuring 38-year-old Macaulay Culkin, and it’s everything a ’90s kid could ask for. Merry Christmas, you’re welcome.


We’ll be back in 2019 with your fast, smart start to the day. See you in the New Year!

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