It’s Friday, and we’re in love – with this ultimate guide to your morning’s news.
1. Australia is losing the Commonwealth Games. Already we’re behind the English, having bagged just the five gold on the opening day in Glasgow. That’s still two gold behind our entire haul from London 2012. At least our 4x100m freestyle relay girls had the good grace to smash a world record.
2. Overnight stocks in the US were a bit boring with the Dow down just 3 points to 17,084, the Nasdaq drifting 2 points lower to 4,472 while the S&P 500 gained 1 point to 1,988. On the data front, jobless claims were super low at 284,000 versus 308,000 expected but the Markit PMI was 56.3 versus 57.5 expected and 57.3 last. New home sales were also lower, dipping 8.1% but the Kansas City Fed manufacturing index bounce strongly to 11.
3. In Asia yesterday, Shanghai shares were on a tear and looking like technically breaking out. The catalyst was the solid print of 52 for the July Flash PMI. Shares in Hong Kong were also higher with the Hang Seng up 0.71%. In Japan though, stocks fell 0.29% to 15,284.
4. The Aussie is back at 0.9413 which is a confirmation that the range top remains the range top for the moment. The rally after the Chinese data evaporated and the battler is a little lower. Not weak, but lower nonetheless, as traders eye the RBNZ’s warning of intervention and the possible strategy the RBA might take. But the night belonged to the US dollar, which swept all before it. Euro finished at 1.3463, sterling 1.6985 and USDJPY lifted to 101.81.
5. Another passenger airline crash. The third in a week, and the second that’s weather-related. An Air Algerie flight crashed overnight en route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers with 110 passengers on board, almost half of them French citizens, officials say. It looks like it was brought down in a sandstorm.
6. They’re coming after your super. Spruikers trying to raid your retirement savings with get-rich quick schemes aren’t exactly a new breed, but Chris Pash reports on their latest tactics which some in the industry believe could cause Australia’s next financial sector scandal. Planners (yes, we know, they haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory as a group lately) have told us about the aggressive tactics property schemes are using – up-front spotter’s fees of $10,000 and fast-talking email bombardments – to get clients to borrow against their self-managed super funds. Sound like an old story? Here’s what’s different now: property is exciting again, and there are half a trillion dollars at stake in self-managed superannuation. This is why the RBA is watching the issue, and why we’ll be reporting on it in some detail over the coming weeks.
7. Mark Zuckerberg could become the world’s richest man. After Facebook’s stellar Q2 earnings report yesterday, he’s already joined a very special type of billionaire’s club. But if Zuckerberg, valued at $32bn, wants to be the world’s richest man – a title currently held by Carlos Slim – Facebook’s stock has to rise from its current level in the mid-$70s to around $200. Which is not inconceivable.
8. Tasmania has had a gutful. Whenever maps and Tassie get together, jokes aren’t far behind, but our Apple Island brethren deserve a bit of respect every now and then. For the second time in 30 years, they’ve been offically snubbed at the Comm Games. The first was when they were left off a huge map of Australia created by performer at the opening of the Brisbane Games. Now they’ve just noticed Australia’s female swimmers in Glasgow sport cossies with sans-Tassie maps of Australia. “Un-Australian and unforgivable,” says Premier Will Hodgman.
9. John Malkovich trashes the Sydney Opera House… again. The veteran actor, producer, director, singer and fashion designer said our beloved icon is fit only for a circus. “I mean, I don’t know, I have only played in about 200 opera houses, and it certainly has acoustics that would do an aeroplane hangar a disservice,” he told News Corp en route to Comic Con San Diego. Malkovich was roundly hissed for his disastrous 2011 Sydney Festival production The Giacomo Variations. Clearly, he’s not letting it go.
BONUS ITEM: There’s a new “Best Photobomb Ever” headline on a certain type of news site just about every week, and generally they turn out to be the least interesting ever. But it’s OK this time, courtesy of Hockeyroos Jayde Taylor and Brooke Peris:
— Jayde Taylor (@_JaydeTaylor) July 24, 2014
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