10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Roger Federer serves during the French Open at Roland Garros on June 11, 2006. Source: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Good morning!

1. Trade war stakes are rising. Trump has escalated the year-long trade war with China, threatening to increase current tariffs to 25% on over US$500 billion worth of goods. There are over US$200 billion of goods that are currently at 10% tax and US$325 billion that are currently untaxed. Beijing has placed tariffs on US$110 billion of US goods since the trade war began. Here’s what’s happened.

2. The Aussie dollar has been hit hard by trade war threats, crashing to lows of .6965 this morning.

Investing.comAUD/USD Hourly Chart

When and how China responds could dictate whether we see stability or another rollercoaster. Here’s what else is coming up in markets this week.

3. Toppling the smartphone kings. Apple, Samgsung and Google have all reported that it’s getting harder to sell smartphones to a premium market, and their Q1 results had some rough numbers. There’s a couple of theories on the reverse in sales data, as people hold on to phones longer and new cheaper alternatives flood the market. It looks like the market leaders are in for a good fight to stop the slowdown.

4. The Netflix of gaming, AI assistants and new phones. That’s what we’re looking forward to at Google I/O – the biggest conference of the year that kicks off on Tuesday. It’s where the tech giant unveils it’s latest gadgets, revolutionary R&D and a wide range of new services. Here’s our predictions.

5. The Chinese personal shopper (daigou) movement is shifting and Australia needs to capitalise more on its reputation of quality products before it’s too late. An economics professor outlined China’s love affair with Australian products, including the controversial baby formula demand. He warned that Australia’s trade in these products is more fragile than we realise and we need to strengthen these pathways through large scale development.

6. ICYMI: the Australian economy’s not doing so well. According to Australian Industry Group’s latest report, we’re seeing a serious slide in employment and wage growth. The wages index dropped 10.9 points to 48.2 (seasonally adjusted), which is the lowest level on record. Companies also reported that they are seeing consumer discretionary spending tighten, further exacerbating the slowdown.

7. Trump beset in Asia. North Korea has just conducted a strike drill using several rocket launchers and new tactical weapons. The move has been perceived by experts as an excessive show of force for the Trump administration. There have been several negotiations between North Korea and the US in recent months, and Trump has insisted a “deal will happen”.

8. Emergency landing for fiery plane. In Moscow, 13 people are dead and multiple injured after a plane had to make an emergency landing at the major Russian airport on Sunday. The plane had only recently taken off from the same airport when a small fire broke out on board, forcing the plane to circle back for landing. As it landed, the plane burst into flames. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

9. An eye on anti-vaxxers. The UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has taken an aggressive stance against anti-vaxxers – people who reject vaccinations for their children. In a recent interview, Hancock said that the group has “blood on their hands”. He also said that he hasn’t ruled out compulsory vaccination. Many studies have shown that refusing to vaccinate not only puts their own children at risk, but the wider community as well.

10. A rusty return for Federer. Six time Australian Open winner, Roger Federer, says he’s “not confident” about his upcoming return to clay courts for the Madrid Open. His last match on clay was in 2016 and since then, he says, he’s “forgotten how to slide”. He’ll be competing in the Open next week against Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

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