10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Harry How/Getty ImagesConor McGregor

Good morning.

1. The Australian dollar continues to languish at multi-year lows against the greenback, showing little reaction to news that Chinese policymakers have moved to bolster economic activity over the weekend. At 7.40am AEDT, the Aussie was up 0.01% to 0.7052.

Investing.comAUD/USD Hourly Chart

2. Chinese financial markets will reopen today following a week-long holiday. Ahead of the resumption of trade, China’s central bank has cut the required reserve ratio (RRR) for some Chinese lenders by 100 basis points from October 15, releasing 1.2 trillion yuan in cash into China’s financial system. The decision is an attempt to bolster Chinese economic activity and calm investor sentiment given broad-based strength in US dollar last week.

3. Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the US Supreme Court in a narrow 50-48 vote in the Senate on Saturday afternoon. His appointment brings to a close the most divisive high court confirmation battle since the 1990s. Kavanaugh faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and doubts about his truthfulness under oath.

4. Japan just sent armoured vehicles to foreign soil for the first time since World War II. Japanese troops are in the Philippines for an exercise with Filipino and US troops. The exercise, called Kamandag, started in 2017 and has focused on counterterrorism, disaster response, and interoperability. While the drills are not aimed at any particular nation, its timing and location put it in the middle of simmering tensions between China and its rivals in the South China Sea.

5. ICYMI: Robots are coming for Coles staff. On Friday, it was revealed that the supermarket giant is investing millions to develop two automated distribution centres, and phase out existing centres. As part of the deal, the company said it will book provisions of $130-150 million for staff redundancies and lease exit costs. Sam Jacobs has more here.

6. Auction clearance rates point to further falls in Australian home prices. Rates rebounded last week despite a sharp increase in the number of properties going under the hammer. Sydney and Melbourne both recorded preliminary clearance rates in the low-to-mid 50% region, a level that has typically coincided with price declines in the past. CoreLogic will release weekly price data from Australia’s five mainland state capitals later today. David Scutt will have the data as soon as it drops.

7. The Dreamworld inquest will resume this week with senior supervisors to give evidence into how four people died at Australia’s largest theme park. It is nearly two years ago that Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett and Roozi Araghi were fatally crushed on the Thunder River Rapids ride.

8. Khabib Nurmagomedov just defeated Conor McGregor, who returned to UFC after a two-year absence. The Irishman tapped out when Nurmagomedov applied a tight neck crank in the fourth round of the fight in Las Vegas. After the win, Nurmagomedov jumped out the cage and nearly incited a riot when he seemingly charged at McGregor’s friend Dillon Danis. Watch the crazy scene unfold here:

UFC boss Dana White refused to give Nurmagomedov his championship title, and others have suggested his actions may see him barred from the US.

9. “Girl With Balloon”, one of Banksy’s most famous works, was sold at Sotheby’s for $2 million over the weekend. But moments after the hammer fell, half of the painting was shredded by a device built into the frame, to the shock of the auction crowd. In a video later posted on Instagram, the artist quoted Picasso to explain why his painting self-destructed. See it here:

10. Craig Lowndes won his seventh Bathurst 1000 over the weekend in what was his last full-time drive at Mount Panorama. The 44-year-old overtook David Reynolds for the lead with 27 laps remaining after a fatigued Reynolds experienced an unfortunately-timed cramp in his leg. The win sees Lowndes tie for the second most wins in Bathurst behind the late legend Peter Brock with nine.

Have a great day.

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