1. It’s official — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are now husband and wife. The couple were married Saturday at St George’s Chapel in Windsor in an elaborate and elegant ceremony. Oprah, Serena Williams and Elton John were some of the celebrities who turned out to watch them marry. Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian even documented the whole thing on Twitter. Some of the things that had people talking about post-wedding were:
- Markle’s Givenchy dress
- Why she didn’t have a maid of honour
- What was in the goodie bags wedding guests received; and
- What Markle’s new title will be (it’s the Duchess of Sussex)
Meanwhile, this photo comparison of the royal wedding and Trump’s inauguration, tweeted by JK Rowling, captioned “Love > Hate”, did the rounds on the internet.
Love > Hate pic.twitter.com/iDzjmJ9qSt
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 19, 2018
2. It’s all happening on Wednesday. It’s a quieter schedule of key data and events for local markets this week, but the releases that are out all fall on Wednesday. They include construction data for the March quarter, that will provide an update on the value of construction work done in 2018 following a sharp decline in the December quarter, and the Westpac-Melbourne Institute leading index. And RBA governor Philip Lowe will give a speech in Sydney on the outlook for China at the Australia-China Relations Institute.
3. Ten people were killed at a school shooting in Texas over the weekend. The suspect is a teenager who, armed with two guns, opened fire at Santa Fe High School, killing eight students and two teachers, and injuring another 10 people. There have been hundreds of school shootings in the US this year, and Friday’s shooting was the 101st mass shooting overall in 2018 alone.
4. The US-China trade war is “on hold” — for now, according to US President Donald Trump’s treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. On the weekend Mnuchin said that bilateral talks were promising enough that the world’s two biggest economies don’t have to keep escalating tariffs. The US promised to put $US150 billion in punitive tariffs on hold, while China agreed to “significantly increase” its imports of US goods, including energy and agricultural products.
5. That saw the AUD rally, up 0.25% to 0.7530 this morning. According to Ray Attrill, head of FX Strategy at the National Australia Bank: “This follows news that the US has effectively declared a truce in its ongoing trade spat with China.” He added: “A joint Sino-US statement issued from the White House on Saturday stated that China will help support growth and employment in the United States by increasing purchases of US goods and services.”
6. The finance royal commission opens another round of hearings this week, this time with a focus on business lending. The banks can expect their reputations to be on the line again as the inquiry looks at instances of lax lending practices or tough demands from institutions to small companies.
7. A new tax on digital giants including Google and Facebook has won support in the Senate. That could see two Turnbull government flagship economic policies — the $140 billion income tax cut plan and the stalled $35.6 billion corporate tax cuts — voted on in the next couple of weeks. The SMH has more here.
8. The CEO of the world’s largest car company has shared his thoughts about electric cars. Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, says customers who buy electric vehicles (EVs) are far less concerned about range anxiety than they used to be, and that EVs that travel roughly 320km on a single charge is more than enough. He argues that customers also care less about autonomous-driving tech; what they really want are EVs that are more affordable. Want to also read more what he has to say about Tesla? That’s here.
9. Devils and Details. Auction clearance rates were weak again on the weekend, with Sydney looking set to post a final clearance rate of something in the region of 50%. The mood has shifted in the Australian property market, and the big question now is how it’s all going to play out. It’s the subject of a special edition of our Devils and Details podcast this week, where we’re joined by Pete Wargent of Allen Wargent, one of Australia’s most respected property market commentators. You can find it on iTunes, or tune in below.
10. Moto GP or motorcross? Grand Prix racer from the Czech Republic Jakub Kornfeil pulled an incredible manoeuvre during the final lap of the Moto3 French Grand Prix at Le Mans. It has to be seen to be believed:
Not only did he stick the landing on gravel but he managed to finish in sixth place, just a couple of seconds behind race winner Albert Arenas.
Have a great day.
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