1. Global stock markets were steady over the weekend, with gains underpinned by energy stocks after oil prices rose in the wake of the OPEC meeting in Vienna. The ASX200 looks set to extend last week’s strong rally, with futures traders marking the local index higher this morning. The calendar for both Australia and abroad is looking quiet this week, aside from an interest rate announcement in New Zealand on Thursday, and inflation prints for the US and Europe later in the week. The full calendar is here.
2. The Australian dollar rallied hard on Friday, supported by a surge in crude oil prices and modest weakness in the greenback. Crude prices rallied as an increase in OPEC production levels in July was less than some had earlier feared. The US dollar was also undermined by a soft US manufacturing PMI report for June. At 8am in Sydney on Monday, the AUD/USD was up 0.01% to 0.7440.
3. Go the Blues! NSW has taken out the 2018 State of Origin series with a second win against the Queensland side in Sydney last night. It’s the first victory for the Blues in four years. In front of a sell-out crowd of 82,223, the Blues fought their way back from 10-0 down midway through the first half to claim a 18-14 victory. However, it wasn’t without controversy — the Blues were awarded a penalty try, the first in Origin since 1981 and were forced to play one man down with less than 12 minutes until full-time after James Roberts was sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul. More here.
4. Pauline Hanson has vowed to side with Labor and the Greens to block Malcolm Turnbull’s business tax cuts. The One Nation leader last night confirmed she would reject lowering the corporate tax rate to 25% for all companies by 2026-27. The government is now four votes short of passing the final stage of its company tax plan before the Super Saturday by-elections on July 28.
5. Nine has secured rights to the 2019 Australian Open tennis after last-ditch negotiations with the Seven Network resulted in a $48.5 million agreement with Tennis Australia that will finalise the broadcasting of summer’s major sports for the next five years. SMH has more.
6. Australian auction clearance rates edged higher last week, helped by a bounce in Melbourne, the nation’s busiest auction market. According to CoreLogic, a preliminary combined capital city clearance rate of 58.7% was recorded, up from 56.9% one week earlier. In the same corresponding week a year earlier, a final clearance rate of 66.5% was recorded.
7. Uber’s fight to keep its London licence will begin on Monday. The case has big ramifications because London basically represents Uber’s entire business in the UK. London’s transport regulator decided to revoke Uber’s licence because of the company’s record on safety – meaning there’s a chance Uber could be kicked out of London.
8. Saudi Arabia has ended a decades-old rule that barred women from driving. Women across the country celebrated, with many getting behind the wheel and driving around Saudi streets. Women had been barred from driving since 1957, as part of the country’s strict interpretation of Islam. The Kingdom has been working since last autumn to prepare for a fresh influx of female motorists.
9. FIFA World Cup update:
- England destroyed Panama 6-1 overnight;
- Germany’s stunning goal against Sweden was a blow to Mexico as there is now a scenario that could knock them out of the Cup; and
- Lionel Messi is living through a waking nightmare, and it’s impossible to look away.
10. Nick Kyrgios is in trouble, again. The Australian tennis champ has been fined $17,500 after simulating a sexual act involving a water bottle during his Queen’s semi-final loss to Marin Cilic. Two words, Kyrgios: Grow up.
JUST IN: The Commonwealth is spinning off its wealth management business. It says the demerger of its wealth management and mortgage broking business will unlock value for shareholders. More here.
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