10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Getty ImagesBill Slater

Good morning.

1. The Dow tumbles more than 800 points. US stocks took a beating Wednesday as concerns about global economic growth and ongoing trade tensions continued to hang over Wall Street and after the bond market resumed a sell-off that started last week. The major indexes fell by more than 3% in the biggest selloff since early February. It’s looking like a brutal session on the local market, with ASX futures down more than 100 points. Here’s the move in the S&P500:

Markets Insider

And it didn’t stop after close with Dow futures extending their slide to over 1,000 points in after-market trade.

2. Trade tensions between the US and China continue to ratchet up. Beijing has accused US President Donald Trump of “bullying” while US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has warned China about the trajectory of its currency, a key tool the nation can use to keep its exports globally competitive. The two nations now appear to be increasingly getting entangled in a double-barrelled standoff on tariffs and over currency levels. More here. China, meanwhile, is about to unleash another credit-led investment splurge — and it’s risking getting into stagflation.

3. The Australian dollar has been slammed, falling heavily as global investor risk sentiment took a turn for the worst. At 8am AEDT, the Aussie was down 0.80% to 0.7045.

Investing.comAUD/USD Hourly Chart

As for the reason behind the abrupt and aggressive selloff, take your pick. Here’s what Business Insider’s David Scutt has to say about it.

4. NSW Premier Gladys Berijiklian has alarmed businesses and the university sector with her calls to slash the migration intake for the state. Berijiklian says the state needs a “breather” after years of strong population intake — the state took in around 100,000 people in 2016—17, including around 40,000 students and 20,000 skilled workers. Her position seems to be evolving but it’ll be a space to watch. The SMH has more.

5. Australian researchers have just detected mysterious radio signals from deep space. The mysterious signals are the closest and brightest fast radio bursts from deep space ever recorded. Meanwhile, the bursts have stumped scientists who have not been able to identify the cause.

6. James Murdoch is the top candidate to replace Elon Musk as Tesla’s chairman. The son of Rupert Murdoch has served on Tesla’s board since last year and has faced criticism in the past, with sceptics citing his lack of relevant experience. Musk, who will remain CEO of the company, agreed to step down as chairman of the company’s board for three years as part of a settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which brought charges against Musk in late August for his now-infamous “funding secured” tweet.

7. Hurricane Michael just made landfall as the strongest storm to hit the US since 1969 — more intense than Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina. The storm’s current wind speed puts it very close to a Category 5 hurricane. Watch how the storm morphed from a small tropical depression into a record-breaking Category 4 hurricane over the course of 72 hours here.

8. The Australian government is fast tracking tax cuts for smaller companies. Prime Minister Scott Morrison plans to bring in tax cuts for smaller companies five years earlier than planned. The company tax rate for companies with sales under $50 million would fall to 25% by 2026-27. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the move is a challenge for Labor which has said it wants to keep the rate at 27.5%. More here.

8. Billy Slater is swapping football codes after retiring from the NRL — but it’s only in a leadership capacity. Slater will join the AFL team the St Kilda Saints next season in a newly-created part-time role, working closely with all players, coaches and high-performance staff. “He will work closely with our current leaders as well as our emerging leaders to help them develop their leadership capacity and optimise their professionalism and performance,” says General Manager of Football Simon Lethlean.

10. Robots discriminate too: Amazon built an AI to review CVs and massively speed up the hiring process – but it was pulled because it discriminated against women. The company realised the input base for its was almost entirely male CVs, so the AI started rejecting CVs from female candidates. It’s a good example of the risks with business decisions based on data – your data better be damn good. More here.

Have a great day.

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