10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Cameron Spencer/Getty ImagesUsain Bolt leading the pack.

Good morning.

1. ROUND TWO: US President Donald Trump will impose a 25% tariff on $US16 billion worth of Chinese goods starting August 23. The tariff will mostly apply to industrial equipment, like tractors and chemicals. The new set of measures are the second tranche of tariffs that Trump originally announced in March, following tariffs imposed on $US34 billion worth of Chinese imports that went into effect in early July.

2. Elon Musk sent Tesla shares soaring on Tuesday after tweeting that he was considering taking the company private in a $US420-per-share deal, and had “funding secured”. Musk has clearly been thinking about a deal since at least 2017, when he said Tesla would be in a better position as a private company. The tweet vaults the company into uncharted territory, as a CEO has never conveyed such sensitive corporate information in such an unconventional and casual manner. It also raises some legal red flags, especially if any part of Musk’s tweet is found to be untrue.

3. CBA results are out. The bank reported a 4.8% drop in cash profit for continuing operations to $9.23 billion for the full year to June. The result, below analyst expectations of around $9.5 billion, supported a final dividend of $2.31, bringing the full year payout to $4.31 a share, up 2 cents on 2017.

4. AMP’s profit just fell 74% to $115 million, driven down by provisions to compensate customers for financial advice they paid for but didn’t receive. Underlying profit, without provisions for remediation, was $495 million. AMP declared an interim dividend of 10 cents a share, franked at 50%. The bank also announced John Fraser, a former head of the Federal Treasury Department, is joining the board. He starts next month.

5. Australia’s Silicon Valley is set to be established in Eveleigh, Sydney after the NSW government announced it would work with Atlassian to create a new technology industry precinct home to 10,000 new jobs by 2036. Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar says the plan sends “a really strong signal to the world that Sydney is open for business for technology, the largest industry on the planet”.

6. Malcolm Turnbull has sought to ease bilateral tensions with China by highlighting the deepening collaboration between the two countries in education and innovation. The Australian Prime Minister said it was understandable that a rising power like China would want “a more confident and assertive voice in world affairs”, but doing so requires a rules-based order and mutual respect.

7. Luxury car sales act as a leading indicator for Australian home prices, according to Commsec. The chart below tracks monthly changes in house prices against Commsec’s luxury car index. And it shows that since January 2016, the correlation has been pretty strong:


More here.

8. The NBN Co has begun rolling out a new technology known as DOCSIS 3.1 on its hybrid-fibre coaxial cables. That means Australians who get NBN internet access through pay TV cables have been told they will soon have a more stable service. The move will double downstream capacity on the HCF network, which currently serves about 400,000 homes or businesses and is expected to serve three million properties by 2020. SBS has more.

9. Amazon is always looking to fill a ton of jobs. But before you can land a corporate role with the online retail behemoth, you have to tick three particular boxes in the minds of the hiring managers and executives vetting you. These so called boxes were laid out by CEO Jeff Bezos in a letter to shareholders, customers, and employees in 1998 but are still spot on today. Here’s what they are.

10. Usain Bolt is trialling with an Australian football club. Yes, you read that correctly. The world’s fastest man is taking another shot at his dream of becoming a professional footballer, committing to “an indefinite training period” with an Australian A-League football team, the Central Coast Mariners. The club, based north of Sydney, confirmed the deal today after weeks of speculation, saying it doesn’t guarantee the eight-time Olympic gold medallist a contract, but having trained with German, Norwegian and South African sides, Australia now looks like the champion’s best shot.

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Have a great day.

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