10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Al Bello/Getty ImagesNick Kyrgios takes a break during his men’s singles second round match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France at the 2018 US Open.

Good morning.

1. Donald Trump reportedly wants to hit China with tariffs on another $US200 billion worth of Chinese imports to the US. The move would be a massive escalation of the trade war with China – over 50% of Chinese imports would be subject to tariffs. US stocks fell sharply overnight following the reports. Meanwhile, Australian shares are poised to open higher. ASX futures were up 12 points at 8.05am AEST.

2. The Australian dollar fell for a third consecutive session on Thursday, and is not far away from the multi-year lows struck earlier this month. Weak Australian economic data, another plunge in emerging market currencies and renewed trade concerns surrounding the US and China all contributed to the Aussie’s weakness. At 7am AEST, the Aussie was down 0.63% to 0.7262.

Investing.comAUD/USD Hourly Chart

3. And ANZ says it looks set to continue to fall to 70 cents “over the coming weeks”. ANZ FX Strategist Giulia Lavinia Specchia says, “The AUD looks like it can’t catch a break.” She says widening interest rate differentials vis-à-vis the USD, an unsupportive risk backdrop and the US-China trade tiff will continue to weigh on the Aussie, “and we think the global risk/growth backdrop will increasingly challenge cyclical currencies like the AUD.” More here.

4. Boom. The number of units in Australia could increase by 10% over the next two years, according to analysis from CoreLogic. As much as 61.8% of the expected increase in supply is tipped to be absorbed by just two cities, Sydney and Melbourne. These are the capitals where home values are falling the fastest at present. The supply of new units could place downward pressure on values and rents in these cities, and could increase settlement risks among those who purchased off the plan at the peak of the price cycle. David Scutt has more.

5. TPG-Vodafone are merging. The new company, which will have 20% of the mobile phone market and 22% of fixed line, is hoped to be a competitor big enough to grab market share from the two market leaders, Telstra and Optus. Here’s how the TPG-Vodafone merger stacks up against the leaders, according to a breakdown by Chris Pash.

6. Apple will unveil its new iPhone on September 12 at an event next month in California. The new models will likely sport the iPhone X’s edge-to-edge screen design, complete with the infamous “notch” for the Face ID selfie camera. The company’s shares hit a record high of $US228.26 on Thursday after the announcement. They have pared their gains and now trade up 1.65% at $US226.67 apiece. Here’s what it could look like:

7. Qantas is convinced new planes designed by Boeing and Airbus will be able to fly from Sydney to London in just 20 hours. The manufacturers were challenged by Joyce a year ago to design a plane capable of making a viable direct flight from Sydney to London or New York. It seems they have succeeded. Joyce now plans to place an order in 2019 and says neither supplier has its nose in front.

8. Tensions in the South China Sea are intensifying. US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress heavy long-range bombers, powerful weapons of war, have made multiple flights through the East and South China Seas this month as part of US Indo-Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence mission, which aims to strengthen America’s deterrence in the face of emerging threats. It comes on the heels of a Pentagon report that China’s bombers are increasingly active in the region, often pushing the limits to project power at greater distances.

9. Can he do that? A US Open umpire caused a controversy when he offered words of encouragement to Nick Kyrgios after the star appeared to stop trying. He could be heard saying things like “I want to help you,” “You’re great for tennis,” and “I know this is not you”. After what some have called a “pep talk,” Kyrgios went on to win the second and third sets. Many in the tennis world raised their eyebrows at the exchange and criticised the umpire for speaking to a player directly. It’s unclear how seriously the sport will take Lahyani’s conduct or if he’ll be punished.


10. Got $US85 million for a luxury NYC apartment? Well, considering it comes with two tickets to outer space, a $US1 million yacht, two Rolls-Royce Phantoms, and a Lamborghini, if you do we think it would be a pretty sweet deal. Check out the 10-bedroom condo in Manhattan that has previously been home to celebrities such as Brendan Fraser, Jeremy Piven, and Hilary Duff.

BONUS ITEM: Nike just dropped a moving ad showing a 9-year-old Serena Williams being encouraged on the court by her father — and he told her to play “like you’re at the US Open”.

Have a great day.

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