10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Good morning!

1. The Australian dollar fell sharply on Wednesday as the US Federal Reserve provided no indication it’s considering cutting official rates. “We do think our policy stance is appropriate right now. We don’t see a strong case for moving in either direction,” Federal Chair Jerome Powell said.

Following Powell’s remarks, the AUD/USD slipped around 40 pips. David Scutt has more.

Investing.comAUD/USD Hourly Chart

2. House prices have been dropping for 19 consecutive months, but there may be some good news in sight. The dip in house prices is the same duration we saw in the downturn at the start of the decade, except this one is significantly larger when it comes to how far prices have fallen – dropping to 8.4% over the past year. However, the overall pace of declines has been slowing in recent months and real estate research firm CoreLogic says the worst of it may be over. *pray emoji*

3. Everyone is talking about the cost of living pressures in Australia, especially as the political campaigns ramp up. But are the cost of living pressures as intense as we’re being told? According to new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday, the answer is actually no. This graph proves it.

4. We’re doing autonomous transport wrong, and experts worry that we may make the same mistakes we made with cars. Instead of fencing off or creating barriers for autonomous cars, we need to create shared spaces for them to operate with cyclists, pedestrians, public transport and regular vehicles. It’s also smart to focus on the last mile, that annoying stretch between home and public transport. And no, the government’s idea for a commuter carpark fund won’t help.

5. Huawei Australia’s CEO George Huang is out after just a year in the top job. He’s been replaced by Haosheng ‘Hudson’ Liu, a veteran of Huawei of 21 years, who comes to the role from the Indonesian arm of Huawei. John Lord, Huawei Australia Chairman, welcomed Liu, but also noted the “challenging year” Huawei Australia had experienced after being blocked from the 5G rollout. He didn’t get into details about why Huang has left the role.

6. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been jailed in the UK. The controversial figure has been sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaking his bail conditions 7 years ago and avoiding extradition to Sweden. The sentencing comes three weeks after his dramatic expulsion and arrest from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Assange has been holed up in the embassy for 6 and a half years, after Ecuador gave him political asylum in 2012. He has his US extradition hearing on Thursday local time.

7. The sensor that malfunctioned in two fatal Boeing 737 Max crashes had been flagged 216 times to the US aviation regulation body, according to an analysis by CNN. The reports to the Federal Aviation Administration, from 2004 until the crashes happened, highlighted cases of sensors failing, bring replaced or fixed. In some cases, the sensor, which measures a plane’s angle in the sky, led to emergency landings. The news comes as Boeing beefs up its legal team.

8. Minister fired for leaking Huawei plans. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has dumped Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson. Williamson is accused of leaking confidential information about May agreeing to let Chinese telco Huawei help develop the country’s 5G network. May said she had “compelling evidence” that Williamson was responsible for the high-level leak that followed a confidential meeting of the government’s National Security Council. He has denied her accusations.

9. Move over, iPhone. Apple’s fiscal Q2 earnings surpassed Wall Street’s expectations and many investors interpreted it as a sign that iPhone sales have stabilised. But Goldman Sachs says Apple’s fiscal Q3 earnings will instead be spurred by products such as the iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. Apple reported $US31.1 billion in iPhone sales but that still represents a 17% year-over-year decline, whereas there is strong growth in other products and services.

10. To no one’s surprise, millionaires have their eye on the lucky country. Australia has been named the top destination for migrating millionaires, according to data the consultancy New World Wealth released in its 2019 Global Wealth Migration Review. The research shows that around 12,000 millionaires migrated to Australia in 2018. It’s all due to our low crime rate, strong school system, first-class healthcare system and growing economy.

BONUS ITEM: Lionel Messi’s 600th goal for Barcelona was an absolute corker. Playing the first leg of Barca’s Champions League semifinal against Liverpool, Messi sent a stunning 30 metre free kick around the Liverpool wall and into the top-left corner of the goal. Barcelona went on to win 3-0.

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