1. The Australian dollar finished mixed on Wednesday, losing ground against the greenback, Japanese yen and Chinese yuan but gaining against the euro and British pound as well as other commodity currencies. At 8am AEDT, it was down 0.46% to 0.7107.
2. It’s jobs day: The median forecast looks for the Australian economy to add 15,000 jobs in September, after a strong gain in August. David Scutt’s 10-second guide has everything you need to know.
3. “Difficult transition”: The 25-year mortgage bull market for Australian banks has come to an end. Morgan Stanley says the big banks face a challenging period ahead, and the sector must now navigate margin pressures, regulatory uncertainty and the threat of disruption. Sam Jacobs has more.
4. Here we go again. The National Party could be ready to oust Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack as leader. It comes as Queensland-based backers of former leader Barnaby Joyce believe they could have the numbers to force McCormack to call for a spill of the leadership of the party. And it could happen as soon as today.
5. Ouch. ASX fintech stocks led by Afterpay got beaten up on news of a Senate inquiry yesterday afternoon. Afterpay’s stock price fell by as much as 23% after news of the inquiry broke. It later closed at $11.35, down 18.93%. The inquiry will look at payday lenders and consumer finance companies, and raises the possibility of increased regulatory scrutiny. More here.
6. Meanwhile, The Reject Shop, hit by what it says is an extremely weak retail market, announced a profit downgrade on sliding sales yesterday. The CEO blames a “continuing absence of real wage growth” and rising costs, including mortgage rates. The company’s shares fell 40% on the downgrade.
7. It’s a “trap door”. Two Brexit negotiators have indicated that British PM Theresa May has misjudged her adversaries in Brussels, who want to deliver an exit from Europe with no agreement, the worst possible scenario for Britain. One of them, Ivan Rogers, May’s former deputy EU negotiator, said Article 50 was a trap designed to force Britain out with no deal. See what the other said here.
8. An international crisis. The disappearance – and alleged murder – of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has become a full-blown international crisis, with terrible optics for Saudi Arabia. Part of the reason behind this global attention are the gruesome details in reports of the alleged killing. Experts say its importance stems partly because of Khashoggi’s connections in Washington, and because it tests US President Donald Trump’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and the Republican establishment. Here’s everything we know about the troubling disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, so far.
9. Your driverless future is less than seven years away. Global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has released a report looking at why Australia is lagging so far behind the developed world in its preparation for the coming rise of Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs). But it’s not too late. With some broadminded legislation, Australia could quickly become a world leader, Herbert Smith Freehills says, and have CAVs outnumbering regular cars on Australian roads by 2025.
10. Moving on. We’ve finally found a phone that gives us the confidence to leave the iPhone forever: The Huawei Mate20 Pro. From the battery, to the camera, and the ability to easily transfer my Apple data across to Android, it made me wonder why I haven’t made the switch from Apple sooner.
BONUS ITEM: The royals continue to melt our hearts. ICYMI, this 5-year-old boy broke royal protocol to rub Prince Harry’s beard because his favourite person is Santa Claus — and Hazza didn’t seem to mind one bit!
— Studio 10 (@Studio10au) October 16, 2018
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