1. Malcolm Turnbull nil for 30. The Australian Prime Minister has failed a key test he set for deposing his predecessor Tony Abbott, losing a 30th consecutive Newspoll. The loss takes the Coalition’s losing streak against Labor to 564 days. Despite the result, Turnbull remains confident he can still win the next election.
2. Iron ore looks set to spring back to life as Chinese markets reopen at 11am AEST for the first time in four days. On Friday, iron ore spot markets were static for a second consecutive session, thanks to a public holiday in China. The price for 62% fines, 58% fines and ore with 65% Fe content held steady at $63.57, $37.29 and $80.70 a tonne respectively.
3. Data diary. In Australia this week there’s the NAB’s monthly business survey on Tuesday, Westpac’s monthly consumer sentiment index on Wednesday, ABS has February housing finance data on Thursday and the RBA’s Financial Stability Review is scheduled for 11:30am on Friday. Key data abroad will be led by US inflation figures on Wednesday night. Also on Wednesday the US Federal Reserve will release the minutes from its March meeting, the UK has industrial and manufacturing production data for February, and China will report inflation data of its own. Capping off the week, China reports its trade balance figures for March on Friday. More details here.
4. There’s talk the US could respond with missile strikes after US President Donald Trump accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of being behind a chemical attack in Syria. The attack, in which a helicopter dropped a barrel bomb containing sarin gas over a suburb, has killed at least 40 people and injured hundreds more. Some predict the death toll could rise to 150. Some US lawmakers have begun suggesting that Trump should respond militarily to the attack with Senator Susan Collins saying he should consider a “targeted attack” like the one he authorised last year. Senator Mike Rounds said he needs to “send a message once again that what he said he meant”.
Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2018
5. Now Vinomofo is hitting out against Glaucus Research. The digital retailer says research on its business by the short seller – and referred to in its note on fund manager Blue Sky – is inaccurate. While Glaucus says the wine site will “likely run out of cash without further investment”, Vinomofo says it is now a break-even business, reinvesting profits into marketing and growth. More here.
6. Patrick Reed wins the green jacket at Augusta. Reed held off late challenges from some big names to win his first US Masters. He shot a 2-under 70 to finish at 15-under, one stroke ahead of Rickie Fowler and two shots ahead of Jordan Spieth. Reed briefly lost the lead, but also caught a huge break on hole 13 when his ball did not land in the water. More here.
7. The Aussies continue to clean up at the Commonwealth Games. Australia stands at the top of the medal tally leaderboard with a total 81 medals, 31 of which are gold. A rollercoaster night for the swim team saw the Aussies walk away from the pool with five gold medals. After Kyle Chalmers and Emily Seebohm faltered in their signature events, they came back with a vengeance to securing medal sweeps in the men’s 50m backstroke and women’s 50m butterfly respectively. Chalmers, 19, also assisted the men’s 4x200m freestyle team to win in a Games record to close the night on a high.
But the gold rush may not last as the Commonwealth Games bosses look to curb Australia’s medal rush to try to narrow the gap between power nations Australia and England and the rest of the participating countries.
8. It may not have been an Aussie victory but, boy, do we love an underdog. In what has been one of the biggest upsets of the Commonwealth Games so far, the Kiwi netballers were beaten by Malawi 57-53. The shock result came after the Silver Ferns had led in the third quarter 39-35. At the moment Malawi pulled off the surprise win, the crowd at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre went nuts.
????????Malawi beat the ????????@SilverFernsNZ 57-53
— 7CommGames (@7CommGames) April 8, 2018
The loss means the Kiwis now have to beat England to secure a place in the top four, and a shot at the play-offs.
9. Social credit. China is setting up a ranking system system that will monitor the behaviour of its enormous population, and rank them all based on their “social credit”. Like private credit scores, a person’s social score can move up and down depending on their behaviour. The exact methodology is a secret – but examples of infractions include bad driving, smoking in non-smoking zones, buying too many video games and posting fake news online. The program is due to be fully operational by 2020, but is being piloted for millions of people already. The scheme is mandatory.
10. Formula One isn’t for the faint-hearted. A pit stop has ended in disaster for a mechanic in Kimi Raikkonen’s team. The Finn was eventually forced out of the race after accidentally hitting a crew member when he was given the green light to exit the pits too early. Alarming footage showed the mechanic flip over Raikkonen’s rear left wheel. He was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg.
Kimi Raikkonen ran over one of his crew members leaving the pits. It’s kinda gnarly, so click at your own risk. pic.twitter.com/3rqFSPgN4Y
— Nick Bromberg (@NickBromberg) April 8, 2018
Have a great week.
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