10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

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Good morning!

1. Australia has reacted to the Banking Royal Commission report, and the findings didn’t have the cauterising effect that people were desperately hoping for with bank share prices rising following release.


The one area that appears to be suffering most is brokerage with the threat that their commission structure will be abolished.

2. The RBA yesterday kept its cash rate unchanged at 1.5%. It’s holding off for a 2.5% inflationary growth target, which would see the cash rate move higher. Economists around the country have weighed in with a range of forecasts from rate hikes, holds and further cuts. One thing is clear, uncertainty prevails.

3. Data reports have weakened the dollar. The Aussie opened at 0.7224 following several weak data reports on Australian spending, but the RBA monetary policy statement lessened the blow. The USD is in fighting form but the Aussie saw strong gains against the other major crosses, particularly the pound. There are two major speeches today that will dictate the dollar. David Scutt has more.

Investing.comAUD/USD Hourly Chart

4. The great iron spike. Following the tragic mine disaster in Brazil, iron ore has been gaining significant ground over supply concerns. It now looks as though it will lift to about $100/tonne, according to Commonwealth Bank mining analyst Vivek Dhar.

5. Double or nothing. Google has managed to spend double it’s capital expenditures in 2018, investing over $US25 billion into the business. A lot went into infrastructure and data centres for its cloud business, but it managed to well outstrip Amazon and Microsoft in spend. Google saw its stock sink 3% after their 2018 results were released. Here’s why.

6. The State of the Union speech will be delivered today at 1pm AEST. Google trends have released the top issues that Americans are searching for ahead of the address with abortion and health care topping the list, but it’s expected that Trump will be focusing more on immigration given the current border wall issues. The State of the Union sets the government agenda for the year, but this year’s speech was postponed by the US government shutdown. Here’s the run down.

7. Outlook not so good. The latest retail sales data has shown that spending has slowed considerably over the Christmas quarter with a 0.4% slump after seasonal adjustments. Economist Gareth Aird has said that “concerns around the economic outlook for households have risen… it’s clear that the correction in dwelling prices is now spreading to the broader economy”.

8. Women in tech are nudging up the rich list, albeit slowly. The Forbes rich list has been released and we’ve collated the 11 richest women in tech and their net worth, including Zhou Qunfei who is considered the richest self-made woman in the world. Women in tech are still battling to see a rise in numbers and the first one on the rich list doesn’t appear until number 57.

9. You’re probably not drinking red wine correctly. Former chief winemaker at Penfolds has revealed a few simple mistakes that people make, and how to get the best out of your bottle of red. If you want to get the most out of a nice Tempranillo or have a little Sangiovese to your next bistecca, you’d better follow some of these tips.

10. Til death do you part. Unfortunately for its customers, the death of Quadrigacx CEO has parted them from roughly $AU260 million. The cryptoexchange founder passed away suddenly at the end of last year, taking the only passwords to the encrypted currency. The company has no way of accessing the funds and are now looking to sell down their assets.

BONUS ITEM: A researcher of impact physics at the University of Dayton Research Institute has replicated a drone hitting a plane wing as it comes into landing and, boy, it’s a little terrifying to watch.

It’s worth noting that the plane wing is from a Mooney M20, which is not a commercial plane.

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