10 things you need to know this morning in Australia


1. The Dow Jones soared to its third-biggest point gain, closing up 664 points, or 2.83% as investors’ fears of a trade war between the US and China appeared to subside. The gains came after stocks saw their worst one-week drop in more than two years, falling 5.9%. JPMorgan said the steep decline took the S&P 500 index below a key technical support level that could open the floodgates to further selling.


2. The Australian dollar rallied hard against the US dollar and Japanese yen on Monday, also finding support from news that Chinese and US trade war tensions are easing, but lagged the move seen in other major currencies during the session. As at 7.55am AEDT, the Aussie was up 0.66% to 0.7747.

AUD/USD Hourly Chart

3. Kim Jong Un is in Beijing. Chinese social media had been swamped with rumours that the North Korea leader was in the country after a train, in which he is believed to have ridden, reportedly caused delays across northeast China. It is first known time Kim has met another head of state or left North Korea since becoming Supreme Leader. It’s speculated that US President Donald Trump’s decision to accept a meeting with Kim may have prompted China to invite him for talks.

4. From bad to worse. Facebook stock plunged after the US Federal Trade Commission confirmed it’s investigating the company’s privacy practices in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Its stock was down as much as 5% on Monday after the news broke. It’s not the only thing the company has to worry about – Facebook has yet another privacy scandal on its hands. This time, the company scraped text and call data from some of its users who signed into Facebook using the company’s Android apps. People are not happy.

5. Forget it. Myer has ruled out placing itself into voluntary administration (VA) as it renegotiates $2.7 billion worth of leases agreements. It would join the likes of OrotonGroup and SumoSalad if it went into VA, which would void lease agreements and buy time to renegotiate rents with landlords. But according to the AFR, Myer says VA was a “blunt instrument”, was not the answer to its woes and would create more problems than it would solve.

6. The countdown is on. Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland is heading to South Africa as part of the ball tampering investigation involving the national team, with findings expected to be known within 48 hours. The public has been outraged since news broke over the weekend that the team tampered with the ball in order to impact the outcome of the third Test, in breach of the game’s laws and the ICC Code of Conduct. There are calls for captain Steve Smith and co-captain Dave Warner to be sacked, along with head coach Darren Lehmann. Cricket Australia is also prepared for the national side to lose matches as it attempts to clean up the team’s culture following the revelations.

7. $1 billion. That’s how much the ball-tampering saga could cost Cricket Australia in the years ahead, just for television rights to the game. Along with that, Australia’s trade, tourism and investment minister Steven Ciobo admitted the subject had come up during high-level discussions with UK trade secretary Liam Fox, and Qantas is “in discussions” with Cricket Australia about its sponsorship role. CEO Alan Joyce admitted the airline is “very disappointed with what’s happened”.

8. How low can you go? The biggest cryptocurrencies are near their lowest levels of the year. Here are the current prices:

Bitcoin price today

9. How good is too good? Because it looks like Tesla’s batteries work too fast for South Australia to calculate what they’re worth. Since Elon Musk’s batteries came online at the Hornsdale Power Reserve late last year, they have come to the state’s rescue on several occasions. But Tesla claims it has missed out on compensation for “30 to 40%” of the power reserve battery’s services because the response time is so fast that it’s not even registering with the Australian Energy Market Operator.

10. Here come giant bots. We’re actually closer to building Pacific Rim’s giant alien-fighting robots than you might think. While it is hopefully unlikely that giant creatures will emerge from an interdimensional portal to battle us, Pacific Rim Uprising previews a range of technologies that are likely to be a big part of humanity’s future. Here’s more.

BONUS ITEM: Mike Hughes, Flat Earther, did it:

That’s a steam-powered rocket, folks. And he’s alive.

Have a great week.

You can get 10 things direct to your inbox each morning by punching your details into the form below.