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10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Toby Price, Aussie. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning.

1. To the markets, where there may be some relief as the US slacks off for yet another public holiday. That’s good news, because US markets crumbled into the close Friday to end a terrible week, and similar moves were afoot in Europe. Crude oil finished below $30 a barrel for the first time in a decade. So with fear the most available emotion for traders today, the best we can hope for is the 2% fall pointed to by SPI 200 March futures.

2. The dollar’s tumbling. It’s been another weak opening for the battler today, continuing to slide after closing at its lowest level since March 2009 on Friday. Elias Haddad, currency strategist at the CBA, says AUD/USD “is vulnerable to more downside this week”. It’s hovering around 0.6836 at the moment.

3. There’s not a lot in local data to save us either, with only consumer confidence Tuesday and the ABS Building Activity report Wednesday of note. But offshore, there’s a couple of biggies. China releases December house price data today, but tomorrow’s fourth quarter GDP, retail sales, industrial production, and urban investment are going to be huge data points. Here’s the NAB’s excellent diary of all the key data and events for the week ahead.

4. On China, you might have noticed its economy – the second largest in the world – has decelerated to its slowest pace in 25 years. There’s been the odd alarming headline about how it’s pretty much the end of the world. But Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius says no. He’s got this chart which shows how China’s slowdown will have little impact on the developed, western world. Except Australia.

Exports to chinaGoldman Sachs

5. Have you been married for ages? Are you getting enough sex? According to one reliable survey, “normal” for married couples is 111 times per year in their 20s, and about a 20 per cent dropoff per decade after that. But one in five couples report a rate of less than 10 times a year. So if you’re into breaking your sex life down into cold, hard figures, here’s something you might want to try – a sex schedule. It could save your relationship.

6. But don’t bother if you win a date with this ‘Sexiest Doctor Alive’ who’s looking for love, because no doubt it will switch to “on the hour”. He’s that hot. Here he is with a dog’s head:


Happy campers on my 1 day off this week 🐶 #husky #puppy

A photo posted by Dr. Mike (@doctor.mike) on

7. They’ve barely been born, yet one in four Millennials say they’ll leave their current job within a year. Deloitte reached out to nearly 7,700 young professionals in 29 countries for its fifth annual Global Millennials survey and thinks it has nailed down a key reason for why they job-hop, and one strategy for how employers can hold onto them longer.

8. Historian and academic Alun Withey is about to undertake a three-year research project on beards and there are already three things we can take away from his important work:

  • Peak Beard has been reached
  • We’re seeing the rise of the new yuppie, now known as a “yuccie”, and
  • Someone is paying an academic to run a three-year research project on the beard, and there could not possibly be anything less important going on right now than that.

9. Winning Australians that aren’t Glenn Maxwell. Congratulations Toby Price, for becoming the first Aussie to take out the Dakar Rally after winning the motorcycle division in one of the world’s hardest off-road races. The 13-day epic is these days held in South America, because France and North Africa are too dangerous, and Price won it in just his second attempt. Easy.

10. Also easy is getting rich. Just read these 12 books this year.

BONUS ITEM: What it looks like when the US bombs an ISIS cash depot:

Have a great day.

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