Good morning! Welcome to Monday.
1. Starting with markets and the Australian dollar has tumbled to its lowest level in two years. Here’s the hourly chart showing the battler getting beaten up into the end of last week:
The final hammer blow was delivered by another strong US jobs report on Friday night. Stronger-than-expected wages growth, now at 2.9% a year, saw the US dollar strengthen again, with bond yields rallying. The price action is likely to be dictated by geopolitics this week.
2. Property market update: still soft unsurprisingly, but preliminary clearance rates over the weekend were fractionally up, despite the increases in interest rates from ANZ and CBA last week. There was a preliminary combined capitals clearance rate of 59.1%, up from the 58.2% the week before. The numbers are consistent with continued price declines in the period ahead. Full details here.
3. Turning to the week ahead, and the week kicks off with RBA assistant governor Michele Bullock giving a speech today titled on the “evolution of risks in the household sector”. The main event on the domestic calendar is the jobs data due on Thursday, and the financial sector will be following the proceedings of the royal commission again, with insurance in focus. Overseas, there’s Chinese inflation and new loan data out today, but the big one will be US inflation data on Thursday night which could help give a clearer indication on the outlook for US interest rates. Sam Jacobs has a detailed look at the week ahead here.
4. The Coalition has two major headaches to contend with. There was a near-thirty-point swing against the NSW government in a by-election over the weekend in the state seat of Wagga Wagga, and a new Newspoll whose results would see the Coalition obliterated if they were replicated across the country in the next federal election.
5. Serena Williams will be the water-cooler conversation of the day after the fireworks during the US Open final, which was won by Naomi Osaka. What everyone will remember, though, is the clash between Williams and the umpire which all started with her being penalised for taking coaching direction from the box. She later got another penalty for busting a racket and then was docked a whole game for exploding at the umpire, calling him “a thief” and accusing him of sexism. It led to extraordinary scenes at the end of the game with Osaka — who had just won her first grand slam — in tears and Williams having to ask the crowd to stop booing. Williams has now been fined $US17,000.
6. Mike Pence says he’s “100 per cent confident” that nobody on his staff was behind that anonymous op-ed in the New York Times. The US Vice President was suspected by many of being the article’s author because it uses an unusual word, “lodestar”, which he has been known to use in speeches. Pence says he would be prepared to take a polygraph.
7. A mission to clean up that massive patch of floating garbage in the Pacific is underway, using this:
It’s part of a 2,000-foot long array with a net that is being tested off San Francisco after being towed out of the bay late last week. The Ocean Cleanup array is equipped with lanterns, radar reflectors, navigational signals, GPS, and anti-collision beacons. We’ve got full details on the project and more photos here.
8. That ducking autocorrect problem where your iPhone always tries to replace the f-ing with “ducking” was the result of some very detailed conversations at Apple, according to the person who designed the iPhone keyboard. “The fact is when you actually type the dirty word, maybe you were trying to type the name of the aquatic fowl. How do you know? Because the keys are right next to each other,” explains Ken Kocienda, a former Apple designer. Fair enough. But he also explains that before the iPhone was released, they had to research all sorts of profanities to make sure they could never accidentally find their way into a message. “We discovered that we needed to add words that you would never say in polite speech – racial, ethnic slurs. We actually needed to research and get a compendium of these words and add them to the [iPhone] dictionary,” Kocienda said. More here.
9. Australia compares very well to other countries when it comes to offering flexible work. Data analysis by jobs platform Indeed has shown that more than 12% of listings mention flexibility and family-friendliness — higher than any other country they looked at. Part of it is to do with the growth in part-time and older workers in the labour force.
10. At $US3 million a pop, you’d expect buying a Bugatti Chiron would be quite an experience in itself. Turns out around half of the owners of the world’s most expensive cars buy them sight unseen — and they also have an average vehicle fleet of 42 cars and two planes, according to the manufacturer. For those that do want to savour the buying process, however, there’s an incredible rigmarole that involves a trip to a chateau in France. Read about it here.
BONUS ITEM: Pretending you’ve actually made a young family member disappear with a magic trick is a thing now.
I highly recommend that everyone turns their siblings invisible HAHAHAH pic.twitter.com/SK4jLw7cNa
— DAVID DOBRIK (@DavidDobrik) September 6, 2018
Enjoy your Monday.
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