Lowest in three years
By Justin Pyvis – Delivered on 26 Oct 2021

Good morning! The Northern Territory will ditch hotel quarantine for vaccinated domestic travellers from 23 November, provided they consent to using the NT COVID-19 tracking app, they're coming from a "high vaccination zone" (80%+ vax rate), test negative 48 hours before arriving and get tested again on days one, three, five, seven, twelve and seventeen.

That... still seems quite onerous but at least it's a start. Outside of that announcement it was a relatively quiet day for coronavirus news, although Australia's Lieutenant General John Frewen did confirm that once ATAGI approves booster shots they "will be made available from six months from your second dose".

All eyes will be on the Victorian parliament today, where Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to table new legislation that gives him and the state's Health Minister "broad power" to make pandemic declarations and extend them for "three months at a time, with no outer limit on the total duration of a declaration".

Fully vaccinated population (aged 12+)


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Note: Brent oil, gold bullion and iron ore prices are the second futures contract. Bond yields are 10-year Treasuries.

The US S&P500 gained 0.47% overnight to reach a new record high ahead of a flurry of earnings reports from the five largest technology companies in the US. First off the rank was Facebook, which released its report after markets closed but didn't disappoint, revealing figures close to what market analysts expected (FB shares jumped in after-hours trading).

A notable mover was Tesla, which gained 12.7% after rental car company Hertz announced it had placed an order for 100,000 Tesla vehicles reportedly worth $US4.2 billion by the end of 2022.

Locally, the ASX200 added 0.34% to finish at a six-week high thanks to stronger energy (+2.6%) and materials (1.1%) prices. A notable mover was Mineral Resources (+8.96%), which announced that it was restarting operations at its Wodgina lithium mine in Western Australia with the aim of producing again in the third quarter of 2022. The mine has been on care and maintenance since November 2019 when lithium prices were significantly weaker


Wealth taxes: US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said while it wouldn't be called a wealth tax, the US government was considering... a wealth tax, by imposing "a tax on unrealised capital gains, on liquid assets held by extremely wealthy individuals, billionaires".

Reckon it'll be indexed for inflation, or will everyone be caught up in it eventually? Either way, it has the support of pivotal Democrat Joe Manchin, who might now vote for Biden's multi-trillion dollar spending bill.

Clogged gears: Business confidence in Germany fell for a fourth straight month as supply chain issues weighed on their operations. The optimism businesses had last Spring as the economy reopened from pandemic lockdowns "has almost completely evaporated".

Crisis in three, two...: The Turkish lira hit a new record low on Monday after President Erdogan ordered the expulsion of 10 western ambassadors over the weekend. Last week the central bank cut interest rates despite soaring inflation.

Persistent inflation: Forget "transitory". The Monetary Authority of Singapore warned that inflation "is likely to persist for some time", as the city state recorded 2.5% inflation in September. Prices were up in every category except for retail and other goods (-1.0%) due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, with the huge jump in energy costs (+9.9%) the biggest mover.

Lowest in three years

The latest Australian Newspoll revealed that support for the ScoMo's Coalition government has slumped to its lowest level since December 2018.

Breaking it down: Public support for the Liberal-National government fell two points to 35%, the lowest level of support ScoMo has faced this term. A divisive issue is climate with 47% of voters wanting the government to "prioritise meeting emissions reduction targets". That's up from just 24% in 2018, when former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was bounced in part for his support for stronger restrictions on carbon emissions.

ScoMo is currently in Glasgow for the COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference where he's expected to agree to support a 2050 net zero emissions target, brining Australia in-line with the vast majority of the world.

Why this matters: ScoMo has to hold a federal election before 21 May 2022. Polling is the lifeblood of politicians and if his numbers remain this poor he'll almost certainly hold off as long as possible, despite recent speculation from the opposition Labor party that an election could be called for 11 December.

Looking forward: According to the Newspoll, "the end of lockdowns has delivered no net electoral benefit for Mr Morrison or the ­Coalition".

That's a problem for ScoMo, who was probably hoping to ride a wave of reopening euphoria that would cause people to forget that the only reason it has taken this long to reopen is because his government failed to properly hedge its COVID-19 vaccine order.

Perhaps ScoMo's only saving grace is that opposition leader Anthony Albanese is liked even less, possessing a net approval rating of minus nine against ScoMo's minus four.

The Wrap Up
    🔌Tesla's $US10,000 "Full Self Driving" feature – which when complete won't be anything close to full automation – had "some issues" on the weekend, forcing the company to remove the feature from their cars entirely (for now).
    🕵️‍♀️Billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel said people should be worried about "surveillance AI", which will come well before artificial general intelligence.
    ☎️Lobbyists hard at work: Australian telco Telstra will buy the Pacific arm of telecommunications giant Digicel in a $A2.1 billion deal, 90% of which will be funded by the Australian government.
    💉The Australian government rolled out a new advertising campaign in an attempt to boost the indigenous vaccination rate, which at around 45% is well below the Australian rate (over 70%).
    👩‍💻Since the pandemic started, the number of jobs (mostly tech) advertised on Hacker News mentioning a remote option has jumped from around 30% to 80%.
    🎾A leaked email sent to the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) revealed that unvaccinated tennis players will be able to take part in Feb's Australian Open, provided they submit to hotel quarantine for 14 days.
    🐕Elon Musk said he doesn't own any meme coin Shiba Inu and only holds Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin.
    🌍Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, along with members of his cabinet and other civilian leaders, were arrested in a military coup yesterday.
    🧒Anthony Fauci, the US government's chief medical advisor, said he expects children aged 5-11 to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine by mid-November.
    🦗In a huge boost to England's Ashes hopes, allrounder Ben Stokes – who hasn't played competitive cricket since July – was included in their touring squad and declared "I'm ready for Australia".
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