10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Chris Hopkins/Getty ImagesFlinders St station in Melbourne

Good morning.

1. Global stocks had a relatively calm session, as US markets traded flat with earnings season now in full swing. S&P500 futures are higher following a big earnings beat from Google after markets closed, and ASX futures traders have marked the local index higher this morning.

2.The Aussie dollar is going nowhere for the moment as it remains a sell-on-rallies prospect. The AUD gave back early gains against the greenback on Monday to close deep in the red. Higher US bond yields, along with signs of further divergence between US and Chinese monetary policy settings, helped to support the greenback on Monday to the detriment of the Aussie dollar. At 7am AEST, it was down 0.55% to 0.7380.

Investing.comAUD/USD Hourly Chart

3. Trump’s “fire and fury” approach with Iran could crush the Islamic republic. Yesterday the US President told Iran to stop threatening the US or it would suffer historically epic consequences. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani responded by saying: “America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.” His statement, though balanced against the threat of massive war, actually represents a shift in Iranian foreign policy.

4. Meanwhile, Trump’s tweets on stocks and his approval rating hint where the trade war with China may be heading. David Scutt has more here.

5. The Solomon Islands has become the latest flash point in China’s influence campaign in the Asia Pacific. Recent development and investment in the Solomons has come from Chinese immigrants. The Chinese government has also supported projects on the island. The extent of that influence worries some there, many of whom fear Chinese wealth will stoke corruption. Last year, Australia blocked an internet-cable project that a Chinese company was picked to build. It comes as the US and its allies increase efforts to counter China’s spreading influence across the region.

6. Wild weather. Hundreds of Melburnians were evacuated from their homes in Richmond, the city’s inner south-east, after wild winds caused a 35-metre tall crane to bend and blow backwards, threatening to collapse on homes.

7. The Australian divers who helped rescue the soccer team from the cave in Thailand will be formally honoured at special ceremony in Canberra today. According to the ABC, the divers will be presented their awards of recognition by Governor-General Peter Cosgrove.

8. Justine Damond’s father is suing the city of Minneapolis and several police officers for $67 million over her death. The Australian woman was shot by an officer after she called 911 thinking she’d heard a woman being assaulted. The lawsuit alleges Damond’s civil rights were violated and that the police officer who shot her was unfit for duty and then with a fellow officer, conspired to cover up what occurred. More here.

9. A secret report, obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald, shows work will start on northern Sydney motorways by 2021. The “cabinet-sensitive” plans reveal details for a “Western Harbour Tunnel” running between Rozelle and North Sydney, and a “Beaches Link” motorway between Cammeray and Seaforth and Balgowlah. According to the documents the roads are set to open in 2025-26.

10. It’s shaping up to be a great year for grads looking for work. Analysis by Indeed has revealed that the current conditions show that 2018 could be one of the strongest for graduates. Based on last year’s data, the best undergraduate degrees for finding full-time work are medicine, pharmacy and dentistry, while the worst are creative arts, science and mathematics.

BONUS ITEM: Russia just revealed a potentially world-ending nuclear “doomsday” torpedo.

Have a great day.

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