10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

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The Italian Job/ IMDbDiversionary tactics.

Good morning.

1. Iron ore is in free-fall. The benchmark price recorded on Monday was the largest decline in more than 18 months. For lower and higher grades, the fall was the largest on record. More here.

2. The Australian dollar went from “hero to zero” on Monday, giving back all of its earlier gains in the second half of the session. A sharp plunge in iron ore prices — Australia’s largest goods export by dollar value — may have been a catalyst behind the reversal. At 8am AEDT, the Aussie was down 0.07% to 0.7229.

Investing.comAUD/USD Hourly Chart

3. The property price falls in Sydney and Melbourne are speeding up, hinting that vendors are now adjusting their price expectations in order to secure a sale. David Scutt has more.

4. NAB chair Ken Henry says the bank’s culture could take a decade to change. He was answering questions in the financial services royal commission from Rowena Orr, the senior counsel assisting the commission. He also said it’s difficult for a board to be held accountable for ensuring anything. “No, the board has the principal role to play. It’s just the use of the word ‘ensure’. Model, lead, encourage, those words are more obvious than ‘ensure’,” he says.

5. Microsoft has dethroned Apple as the most valuable US company. It passed Apple on Monday with a market value of about $812 billion. The last time this happened, the Zune was still taking on the iPod.

6. Elon Musk says Tesla was “single-digit weeks” away from death during Model 3 production. He also said he was working seven days a week on every aspect of the production during that time, from painting to general assembly.

7. NASA’s Mars lander has successfully touched down on the Red Planet. While there, it will study Mars’ temperature and check for marsquakes. Missed the action? Watch NASA’s recaps below:

8. Hackers and spies have tried very hard to steal the secrets of Australia’s one-armed robot bricklayer. The company has been forced into secrecy mode after a car with two GoPro cameras taped to the roof drove through the company’s yard and factory. Now staff have been briefed not to wear any identifying clothing and to take diversionary action when moving between the two facilities to ensure they’re not followed.

9. Researchers have built a working plane with no moving parts. Instead it rides on “ionic winds”. MIT associate professor of aeronautics and astronautics Steven Barrett was inspired by the Star Trek shuttle craft that he first saw when he was a kid. Here it is in action:

10. Less than a month of sleeps to go and no doubt there’s one right pain in the family who’s too difficult to buy for. If you couldn’t grab a bargain for them during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, try these tech gifts which we have actually tried, and liked. They’re all very, very cool and importantly, they all very, very actually work.

BONUS ITEM: This is sure to put a smile on your dial.

https://twitter.com/cctv_idiots/status/1066406604785020928?s=09

Have a great day.

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