1. The Australian dollar’s losing streak is over. The AUD/USD’s longest losing streak in two years came to an end on Friday, helped by late selling in the greenback. The weakness in the greenback came despite stronger-than-expected US economic data released during the session. The 5-minute AUD/USD chart below tells the story of Friday’s session with the Aussie slowly recovering after falling to fresh multi-month lows in Asian trade.
Chinese and Japanese markets will be closed today.
2. The RBA’s monthly interest rates meeting on Tuesday (2:30pm AEDT) is unlikely to bring any surprises, with official interest rates almost certain to stay on hold at 1.5%. The rates announcement will be followed by a speech from RBA governor Philip Lowe that evening, at the central bank’s board dinner in Adelaide. Then on Friday, the RBA will present its quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy (SoMP), which will include its latest economic forecasts. ANZ’s currency strategists don’t expect either event to spark a sharp move in the AUD.
3. AMP chairman Catherine Brenner has resigned. Brenner announced her resignation, effective immediately, and will be replaced by Mike Wilkins, who will take on the role of executive chairman in an interim capacity until a suitable replacement is found. The group general counsel and company secretary Brian Salter will also leave the company and forfeit his bonus. More details here.
4. Trump says a North Korean meeting could happen in 3-4 weeks. He made the comment on Saturday night in Washington, Michigan at a “Make America Great Again” campaign-style rally that he hosted to escape the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington, DC. When Trump mentioned the peace talks between South and North Korea, the crowd started chanting, “Nobel!” referring to the Nobel Peace Prize. “It’s going be a very important meeting, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” he said.
5. The closer Britain gets to Brexit, the closer the country gets to a recession. UK GDP growth was just 0.1% in Q1, and Britain is just 11 months away from Brexit. The housing market is crashing, Brits are feeling poorer, and they have slowed down their consumer spending too. Suddenly, this whole Brexit thing is starting to get too real. See more from Business Insider’s Jim Edwards here.
6. Turnbull has committed $500 million to a protection package for the Great Barrier Reef. The unprecedented investment is the largest single environmental protection package in Australian history. The project will aim to improve water quality, target coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) and implement scientific reef restoration of the reef. It will also support the 64,000 existing jobs on the reef as well as create thousands more. More details of the package will be detailed in the federal budget in May.
7. China is building a vast civilian surveillance network to watch its 1.4 billion citizens. From using facial recognition to name and shame jaywalkers, to forcing people to download apps that can access all the photos on their smartphones, China is using advanced technologies to monitor its citizens. Not to mention an enormous “social credit system” that ranks citizens based on their behaviour, and doles out rewards and punishments depending on their scores.
8. Jordan Mailata. If you don’t know who that is, you’re about to hear his name a lot more. An American NFL team used a late draft pick on the gigantic Australian rugby player — despite the fact he’s never played US football. The 203cm, 143kg 20-year-old was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 7th round of the NFL draft. He was first discovered by NFL scouts after his rugby agent put together an impressive highlight reel showing Mailata steamrolling various rugby foes. See it below.
9. Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were reprimanded by Formula One stewards after they collided on the track on Sunday at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Throughout the race, the pair had been fighting for fourth place until lap 40 when Ricciardo attempted to overtake Verstappen. Let’s just say it didn’t end well, and both were forced out of the race.
The pivotal moment in Baku ????
Ricciardo and Verstappen collide in dramatic fashion
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 29, 2018
10. Roger Federer is arguably the best male tennis player of all time. Even at 36, he continues to marvel on the courts and triumphed at the first major of the year – the Australian Open. But to maintain his sporting dominance, Federer has to eat right. So what does the diet of 20-time Grand Slam tennis champion look like? Homemade waffles. Yep, not exactly the elite-athlete-my-body-is-a-temple-type breakfast we were expecting either.
Have a great day.
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