Good morning! Still no government.
1. The RBA meets today and will issue its decision on the official cash rate at 2.30pm AEST. No change in rates is expected but every economist and his dog is expecting a cut in August, so if there’s no indication in the statement that cuts on the horizon it could make for a very interesting afternoon. David Scutt has your full preview here. We also get retail sales and international trade data at 11.30am.
2. It’s a big day for the election count and we may have a better handle on the shape of the Parliament by the end of the day. The Nick Xenophon Team candidate for the vast South Australian seat of Grey, Andrea Broadfoot, is still a chance to snatch the seat from the Coalition, which would give the NXT two seats in the lower house and further crush the chances of a thin Turnbull majority.
3. Pauline Hanson, meanwhile, is back in a big way. She now says her infamous comment that the nation was in danger of being “swamped by Asians” was taken “out of context”. However, she added: “You go and ask a lot of people in Sydney, at Hurstville or some of the other suburbs. They feel they have been swamped by Asians and regardless of that now, a lot of Australians feel that Asians are buying up prime agricultural land, housing, you ask people in Melbourne how they feel about it as well.”
So, if the original comment was taken out of context, then there’s no room for misunderstanding this time. Simon Thomsen has written a lengthy backgrounder on the incoming Queensland senator, whose appeal and values many across politics and media still fail to understand.
4. Nigel Farage has quit. The UKIP leader and former commodities trader resigned last night having spent 20 years working to get Britain out of Europe. Even though the really complicated and difficult work is still there to do.
5. And Chris Evans has quit Top Gear. The new host of Top Gear, having seen his audience this week lopped off by one-third, has decided “his best shot” was “not good enough” to stand in the shadow of the Clarkson era.
6. To the markets, and the Australian dollar posted a huge recovery after plunging at the start of trade on Monday. Markets are a bit odd at the moment with stocks recovering post-Brexit but gold rallying to two-year highs as well. The gold rally is really about post-Brexit uncertainty, explains Greg McKenna. The US markets are back tonight after the Independence Day holiday. Oh, and then there’s iron ore, going nuts again.
7. Speaking of Brexit, Britain posted some awful construction data last night. Look:
That’s the construction sector PMI, a measure of sector activity and also a good forward indicator for the health of the economy. “While it is less than two weeks since Britain voted to leave the European Union, it is already clear that uncertainty and fear stemming from the result are now predominating in almost everything people do,” explains Will Martin.
8. Hyper-reality is the future of entertainment. Business Insider’s Steve Kovach tried a prototype Ghostbusters game with the new technology, which is like the Oculus Rift experience except you can see yourself – and other people participating – in the virtual world.
You strap on a three-pound proton pack (a customised high-end gaming PC), a vest loaded with vibrating packs, a visor (a modified VR headset, sort of like the Oculus Rift), and grab a blaster. As soon as your visor goes down, a new virtual world is painted on top of the real world. Lift your gun, and your proton blaster moves with you in the virtual world. Look at your friends, and their bodies have been replaced with the avatars of Ghostbusters.
9. In the tennis, Bernard Tomic was dispatched by Lucas Pouille in a five-setter, while Nick Kyrgios was given a towelling by Andy Murray 7-5 6-1 6-4. John McEnroe had some harsh words for Kyrgios’ capitulation. “I tell you, this is hard to take a whole lot of positives out of this. It’s not just the mental part, he needs to work on his game,” McEnroe said. “He doesn’t know what it takes to be a top-10 professional to win grand slams. I’m hoping he sees the writing on the wall before this becomes chronic, irreparable, because to me it’s getting to that point.”
10. After 223 kilometres of racing, this:
Mark Cavendish took stage three by less than a tyre’s width, ahead of Andre Greipel.
BONUS ITEM: The political tumult sweeping the Anglosphere is astonishing. Over to one of financial Twitter’s leading lights:
Have a great day. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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