Squiz Today / 04 November 2019
Squiz Today – Monday, 4 November
"It could come out more like a cylinder, it could actually create a sphere.”
Said engineer Mary Murphy who’s part of a project to put fresh choc-chip cookies into space. If you thought baking at home was hard, try doing it in zero gravity…
TRADE BLOCKBUSTER STYMIED BY INDIA
It's that time of year when the annual get-together of big names in loud outfits starts off politely enough, but leaves some ending the session a bit tired and emotional. No, it's not Melbourne's spring racing carnival, it's Asia's summit season… And it’s on right now in Thailand with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and East Asia summits bringing together the region’s leaders. On the agenda: a lot of talk about trade - particularly the RCEP.
WHAT THE WHAT?
The talk of Bangkok is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership - a proposal for the world's largest trade deal. It would cover more than 30% of global economic activity and almost half the world's population. Negotiations have been underway to progress the trade deal that would include ASEAN countries and most of the other countries - including Australia - that join them for the East Asia Summit. (The two nations involved in that forum that won’t be included in the proposed deal are the US and Russia.) And while it was hoped there would be broad agreement for the RCEP at this meeting with sign-off early next year, India threw a spanner in the works yesterday. Its PM Narendra Modi is worried about his country's manufacturing industry competing with Chinese imports.
WHERE IS AUSTRALIA IN ALL OF THIS?
We like the idea of a whopping trade agreement with those countries. As Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said before his departure to attend the summits, “RCEP countries account for 10 of Australia’s top 15 trading partners, 61% of Australia’s trade and 71% of Australia’s exports.” So scoring better terms of trade with those nations would be good for us. PM Scott Morrison got there last night, and he was straight into smoothing things over with China after another bumpy patch…
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RAIN RAIN COME AGAIN…
Some drought-ravaged parts of northern NSW and central-to-southern Queensland have received a much-needed drop of rain since we last spoke. The morale booster wasn't anywhere near enough to break the drought in those areas, but one farmer said it was “like Christmas”. The Debbie Downers at the weather bureau said it’s still predicted to be a dry and hot summer. Pfft… Adding to the political heat this week are One Nation leader Pauline Hanson and Katter's Australian Party leader Bob Katter - they’re putting their personal differences aside to embark on a drought tour of Queensland, kicking off in Charleville today.
And with drought relief set to be an ongoing issue this week, get ahead of the game with our Squiz Shortcut.
HONG KONG PROTESTS RATCHET-UP
As unrest in the Chinese territory entered its 22nd week, violence and chaos marked another weekend of protests. More than 200 demonstrators were arrested on Saturday as police again used water cannons, tear gas and pepper spray to counter protestors’ flaming barricades and petrol bombs. Notably, the office of China’s Xinhua News Agency was attacked for the first time. And last night, a knife-wielding man attacked a family after an argument over politics, and a district councillor had part of his ear bitten off. The alleged attacker was then beaten by protestors. With no end in sight, China's leaders last week said they were considering changes to how they administer Hong Kong.
RUSSIA LOCKS DOWN THE NET
A law giving officials new controls to restrict internet traffic in Russia has come into force. The move creates a 'sovereign internet' that improves cybersecurity, officials say, and users would not notice any change. But critics say it will be used by the government to silence opponents and could turn into an internet firewall similar to the one in China. Experts say it's too early to know how the powers will be used, or whether the government would be able to get around the technical challenges and high costs of fully controlling the nation’s internet access. Russians have previously protested for their right to browse the world wide web, which we assume includes checking out Heidi Klum’s Halloween party…
HOME PRICES BOUNCE
October delivered the biggest monthly rise in home prices since 2015. It was the fourth consecutive monthly increase nationally with house prices up 1.2%. Led by Melbourne (2.3%) and Sydney (1.7%), increases were also registered in Hobart (0.9%), Brisbane (0.8%), Canberra (0.6%), Adelaide (0.4%) and Darwin (0.3%). Perth was the only capital to go backwards in October with a fall of 0.4%. Looking across regional Australia, prices were up 0.4%. Analysts CoreLogic say the bottom of the market in this cycle was June, and nationally there’s some way to go to make up the 8% decline in home prices since September 2018.
THE WINNERS ARE...
ASH BARTY - She’s won the WTA Final in Shenzhen, China overnight beating Ukraine's Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-3. It’s a great way for our world #1 ranked player to finish the 2019 season - the prestigious tournament is also the richest in history with Barty pocketing $6.4 million for the win. Nice. #SquizShortcut
SOUTH AFRICA - They are the Rugby World Cup champions after dominating England on Saturday night to win the final 32-12. Prince Harry seemed to have a good time in the sheds afterwards, as did winning scrum-half Faf de Klerk (warning: once seen, it can’t be unseen…).
ALYSSA HEALY AND ELLYSE PERRY - The duo hit a record partnership in the women's domestic Twenty20 competition putting on 199 runs. The innings delivered their Sydney Sixers a 45 run win over the Melbourne Stars in yesterday’s the WBBL round.
AND WE'RE SO SORRY...
But Baby Shark isn't done yet... From protests in Lebanon to America’s baseball World Series - the world’s catchiest song just won't quit. And now the Korean family behind the hit are raking it in... They've accumulated a $180 million fortune, mostly off the back of the song. With 3.8 billion views on YouTube, good luck to them. And good luck getting it out of your head today…
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Retail Trade, September
Westpac announces its financial results and dividend
ANZ job ads data for October
Tonga’s National Day
Anniversaries of Ronald Reagan (1980) and Barack Obama (2008) first being elected president of the US
Matthew McConaughey turns 50yo
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