10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Sony Pictures Imageworks – © 2006 Warner Bros. via IMDbSuperman Returns

Good morning.

1. US stocks erased losses Monday, eking out gains after the Dow Jones industrial average fell as much as 194 points. The Trump administration continued to ratchet up trade tensions with some of the world’s largest economies. The EU warned it could hit the US with tariffs on $US300 billion worth of US goods, and Canada rolled out retaliatory tariffs on $US12.6 billion worth of US goods over the weekend. ASX futures are pointing higher ahead of this morning’s open.

2. It’s RBA day! The Reserve Bank of Australia will deliver its interest rate decision at 2.30pm AEST. Having left the cash rate unchanged for 20 consecutive meetings, most, besides a few select academics, expect that trend will continue for some time yet, including today. And given the cash rate will almost certainly remain at 1.5%, attention will yet again turn to the accompanying monetary policy statement in which markets will be looking out for any tweaks that could indicate a change in mindset from the board. Get your 10-second guide to today’s release here.

3. The Australian dollar was hammered on Monday, falling to the lowest level since January 2017 against the greenback. A resurgent greenback, along with steep declines in commodity prices ahead of the introduction of US tariffs on Chinese imports on Friday, were the main catalysts behind the steep reversal. At 7am in Sydney, the AUD/USD was down 0.85% to 0.7339.

Investing.comAUD/USD Hourly Chart

4. ASIO and DFAT chiefs have warned Australian companies about the possibility of further trade disruption and cyber attacks from China. The AFR reports the briefings were an effort to help the business community better understand the government’s position on Beijing. One source said it signalled a “new era of co-operation”.

5. The worst of Sydney’s housing market downturn is probably over, according to the Deutsche Bank. Sydney home prices have fallen 4.5% over the past year, the largest decline over a financial year in two decades. Given the prospect of even tighter lending standards, many forecasters expect the downturn will last for several years. However as Sydney auction clearance rates stabilise, Deutsche Bank believes it could be a sign that the worst of the downturn is now over.

6. “This is effing nuts.” A massive fight broke out during a FIBA World Cup qualifier match between Australia and the Philippines. A whopping nine players were ejected from the games, meaning that, according to Fox Sports Australia, the game had to continue five-versus-three. It’s been called “the biggest basketball brawl since the Malice at the Palace.”

7. Goldman Sachs has a new World Cup final prediction. Using machine learning to simulate how it thinks the World Cup will play out, Goldman has updated its previously predicted England-Brazil final to a Croatia-Brazil final. It still has Brazil as the likely winner. And Neymar will have to reconsider his apparent play-acting with many sick of his antics.

8. Astronomers caught a planet being born for the first time in a stunning new picture. The planet, called PDS 70b, is about 370 light-years from Earth and orbits a young star. Although the distant exoplanet has a cloudy atmosphere, it’s a toasty 537C.

New planet being born solar system pds 70 70b coronograph vlt eso1821aESO/A. Müller et al.An image of a newborn planet around PDS 70, a dwarf star 460 light-years from Earth.

9. Australian researchers have found no evidence that cannabis helps with chronic pain. An Australian study of 1,500 people published in the journal Lancet Public Health found those using cannabis had greater pain and anxiety, were coping less, and reported that pain was interfering more in their life. There has been speculation that using cannabis for pain may allow people to reduce their prescribed opioid use but research has been limited until now. More here.

10. Alibaba, robots and food. What more could you want? The tech giant has replaced waiters with robots to deliver fresh seafood right to people’s tables at its high-tech restaurant Robot.He in Shanghai.

BONUS ITEM: Your childhood dream of seeing a superhero in action is now a reality, thanks to Disney which has made flying stunt robots that can pose like superheroes in midair.

Have a great day.

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