1. The Australian dollar was hit hard on Thursday, falling heavily despite the release of a strong Australian jobs report for January. It was weighed down by a combination of growing RBA rate cut talk and geopolitical concerns over China — a major iron ore port is reportedly stalling Australian shipments. At 8.30am AEDT, the Aussie was down 0.98% to 0.7093.
2. Uh oh. Investors are more worried about the possibility of a global recession than anything else right now, according to a recent survey released by BAML. And as that panic rises, this “canary in the coal mine” suggests those investors may be right.
3. Another one bites the dust. Former foreign minister Julie Bishop has announced she will won’t contest her seat of Curtain at the upcoming election and will quit politics. During her career Bishop was “a giant of the Liberal Party and she has been a ground breaker for women in public life,” Scott Morrison said yesterday.
4. ICYMI: Australian employment surged again in January despite a large increase in the size of the labour force, leaving the unemployment rate steady at 5%. According to David Scutt, improving job market conditions encouraged more Australians to look for work, explaining why the national unemployment rate didn’t fall. More here.
5. “Have we been consumed by Brexit?” Theresa May could suffer a second wave of walkouts from the Conservative Party if she pushes the country towards a no-deal Brexit, two senior backbenchers in the party have warned. That comes as the UK government is being urged to set up a $13.8 billion “emergency fund” to support Brits who could lose their jobs if the country leaves the European Union without a divorce deal next month.
6. Samsung wants the new Galaxy Fold to be its next game changer — just like the Galaxy Note was 7 years ago. The company has announced its long-rumoured folding smartphone, which is billed as a two-in-one: a smartphone and a tablet that will cost nearly $3,000 — here’s how it works and compares to Apple’s recent iPhone XR. Although, despite the launch being just two months away, Samsung hasn’t allowed the press or analysts to see the Galaxy Fold up close, suggesting ongoing tweaks to the design and, maybe, a conviction that almost no one will buy it.
7. While we’re talking about smartphones, Apple’s stubborn refusal to make a cheap iPhone for consumers in China, India, and other emerging markets has resulted in its biggest sales decline in three years.
8. Ever wondered how the super-rich spend their time in order to become successful? Well, we spoke to a woman who studied 600 millionaires and she discovered five habits they all have in common. Here’s what they are.
9. Bill Gates is a smart man. When he speaks, people listen. Now he’s talking about a diet “breakthrough” based on the microbes crawling in your gut and says it could help the world’s waistlines. I’m listening.
10. “Easy victor.” Remember these two words because it’s not something you ever want to hear on board a plane — it means prepare to evacuate. It’s just one phrase within a secret language used only by people in the airline industry.
BONUS ITEM: SpaceX is rocketing the first private mission to the moon — an Israeli lunar lander. Keep this tab open to watch the launch live at 12:41 pm AEDT:
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