10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Darrian Traynor/Getty ImagesMourners lay floral tributes at the iconic Melbourne cafe Pellegrinis on November 10, 2018 in Melbourne.

Good morning.

1. Full steam ahead. While the Democrats winning the House in the 2018 mid-term elections will slow many of US President Donald Trump’s policy proposals, analysts and economists say the president may now double down on the fight with Beijing. Here’s why.

2. Alibaba just had the biggest online shopping day of all time, booking $US30.8 billion in sales over the last 24 hours. That’s nearly triple every company’s 2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined.

3. The Australian dollar is under pressure after falling modestly on Friday, mirroring a broader deterioration in risk appetite seen during the session. It’s since gone on with that move in early Asian trade on Monday, at least against the greenback. At 8am AEDT, the Aussie was down 0.17% to 0.7212.

Investing.comAUD/USD Hourly Chart

4. The ASX200 looks set to open lower this morning, after US stocks fell by 0.9% to end the week. Falls were led by energy and materials stocks, amid the ongoing drop in oil prices and lingering trade fears. Despite that, the S&P500 still posted a weekly gain of 2.13%. In the week ahead it’s all about the labour market in Australia. Q3 wage growth data is out on Wednesday, then monthly jobs figures on Thursday. It’s also a busy week of key data and events abroad. The full calendar is here.

5. Theresa May’s Brexit deal is being declared dead before it has even arrived. A number of recent reports suggest that even if May does get approval from her top team, there is growing concern that the Brexit deal will be voted down when it is put before MPs in December. That would significantly increase the chance of a no-deal Brexit and strike a catastrophic blow to her authority, likely provoking a leadership challenge.

6. The California wildfires continue to burn out of control as the death toll rises to 23 after 14 bodies were recovered on Saturday. The Woolsey and Hill fires are burning on the outskirts of LA, and now stretch more than 259 square km across the area. The Camp Fire in northern California destroyed an entire town in less than a day and has killed at least nine people. Actor Gerard Butler shared a tweet about the devastation along with a chilling photo of what used to be his home:

7. Sisto Malaspina, the man killed in the Melbourne terrorist attack, was one of the CBD’s most loved baristas. The co-owner of Pellegrinis espresso bar on Bourke Street was stabbed to death by Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, 30, in a knife attack on Bourke St late Friday afternoon before the attacker was shot death by Victorian police. Premier Daniel Andrews has offered the Malaspina family a state funeral for Sisto. Meanwhile, Australians have raised more than $100,000 for the man who repeatedly rammed the terrorist with a trolley while he attacked police. More on that here.

8. A woman has been charged over the needle contamination of strawberries in Queensland and could face 10 years imprisonment. The Courier-Mail reports the woman worked at the Berrylicious/Berry Obsession farm in Queensland as a supervisor. She was believed to have had grievances about her treatment at the farm and police will allege she had told people about exacting revenge. She is due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court today.

9. Labor is planning a $160 million plebiscite on becoming a republic, however a poll in The Australian this morning has found support for a republic has continued to fall, two decades on from the failed referendum in 1999.

10. Apple has revealed there are hardware issues with its iPhone X and 13-inch MacBook Pro. Apple said that some iPhone X screens do not respond or intermittently respond to touch. For the 13-inch MacBook Pro, Apple said some devices might have an issue that causes data loss or drive failure. More here.

BONUS ITEM: If you see 2 dots chasing each other in this optical illusion, it’s evidence of a quirk in human nature.

Have a great day.

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