10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Out. (Photo: Justin Tallis / AFP / Getty Images)

Good morning! Wednesday already.

1. Spot the moment when the RBA announced its interest rates decision yesterday in Aussie dollar chart:

Source: Investing.com

It reflects the market’s acceptance that the RBA is firmly on hold and not thinking of raising rates any time soon. The Aussie fell and bonds found a bid as the idea that Australia could follow other central banks in getting a bit more hawkish was put to the sword by a firmly neutral statement from the RBA governor. Westpac sees RBA rates on hold now through 2017 and 2018, and economists say the signs to watch, among others, are wages growth and the consumer price index. David Scutt has a full round-up of the reaction here.

2. Elsewhere in markets, the ASX had a thumping day yesterday, rallying 1.75%, and futures are pointing to another strong open today to back it up. ANZ’s consumer confidence index posted a big 2.4% bounce yesterday, too. Iron ore took a bit of a dive. US markets were closed.

3. North Korea appears to have a intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit Alaska or Darwin. As Alex Lockie points out here, the likely next step is, well, not very much at all. That’s because North Korea has had the capacity to hit its neighbours for some time, the US has been containing nuclear threats for decades, and North Korea knows any strike will result in its own destruction.

4. The sucky country: Australia’s broadband is slow and expensive, and it’s hurting the nation’s digital competitiveness. Australia slipped two places to 18th in the World Economic Forum’s Networked Readiness Index, and the challenges are mapped out in a report from EY which puts Australia at 50th spot on average fixed broadband speeds. Behold:

Source: EY

There’s more here.

5. We’re not going great at the tennis, either. Bernard Tomic bombed out in the first round at Wimbledon and spoke afterwards about how he’s lost his motivation for the game. And get this: the longest rally in the game lasted four shots. The only Australian remaining in Wimbledon now is Russian-born qualifier Arina Rodinova.

6. What do teachers, chefs, cyber security experts, and designers have in common? They’re all likely to hold their jobs as automation of industries progresses — along with the HR department which will do all the “transitioning”. We’ve got a list of 9 Australian jobs least likely to be replaced by robots.

7. 44% of listed tech companies in Australia and New Zealand posted share price increases in the first six months of the year. The corollary, of course, is the majority went flat or fell. Here’s the list:

Click to enlarge. (Source: Clare Capital)

Logistics software company GetSwift came out as the overall “winner”, with more than 200% growth in its share price in the past six months. More here.

8. An important correction on smart devices for the home. Matt Weinberger reviewed Amazon’s Alexa Show, the new home device that you talk to just like the standard Alexa, but which also features a screen that you can tap and make selections on. Today, he notes he missed a somewhat important point: that this is the start of a revolution in home computing. Meanwhile, Samsung is building an AI speaker, too.

9. One of the world’s best riders has been kicked out of the Tour de France, in the cycling equivalent of Sonny Bill Williams being sent off while playing for the All Blacks in a Lions test. Peter Sagan threw an elbow at Mark Cavendish in the sprint to the line overnight and soon after was excluded from the race. Here’s the moment:

Reaction has been mixed from pros and fans.

10. Shell’s giant ‘Prelude’ is on its way to Australia. It’s the world’s largest floating structure and is designed to extract LNG offshore in otherwise unreachable places. It’ll eventually start work at a specially constructed mooring station two hours’ chopper flight from Broome off the north-west coast. Here’s a photo of the back of it — see if you can spot the teeny people.

Picture: Shell

More photos and facts here.

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