Good morning. How did we get to Thursday already? Here’s what’s happening.
1. US MARKETS NEARLY GOT CRUSHED, but staged a last minute rally. It was a huge night with the Dow trading through a 450 point range before rallying strongly off the lows into the close where it finished down 173 points for a fall of 1.06%. It could have been so much worse. The S&P 500 was down 16 points but closed 41 points off its lows at 1862. It appears traders were eyeing an important trend line which stretches back to 2011 Euro panic low. Our resident markets guru, Greg McKenna makes sense of it all, explaining why the rally had to happen here.
2. Ah Greece. It’s given us democracy, Nana Mouskouri (ask your parents), the Olympics and taramasalata, but economics isn’t one of the country’s strong points at the moment. The market had a full-blown meltdown overnight, plummeting 9% and banks and bonds have gone over the cliff with it. Greece and the EU are going to need marriage guidance over this one, because the rise of the left is making the austerity bailout difficult.
3. Australia’s market is pretty content and will no doubt try to stretch this week’s solid trade into another day. But heavy selling of iron ore futures overnight and the fact that SPI 200 December futures finished down 42 points at 5,179 means this might be difficult.
4. In Asia today new loans in China will be important for the Shanghai exchange and any thoughts about where Chinese growth really is. In Japan the Yen’s strength overnight saw it bottom at 105.18 before heading back to 105.90. The Nikkei won’t like that given the impact on sales and corporate profit so there is a strong chance of a down day in Tokyo today.
5. Got an iPhone 6 plus yet? Apple has a big release planned for Thursday US time and this time it looks like Tim Cook is rolling out the marching band and cheer squad for a new iPad air, along with updates of its other gear and software, and most interestingly, a launch date for its mobile payments system, Apple Pay.
6. Gabrielle Upton is an interesting politician in NSW – and not just because she’s one of the few Liberal MPs who hasn’t appeared before ICAC. It must be an Eastern Suburbs thing, because like her federal colleague, Malcolm Turnbull, she’s given up a Big End of town career in law and investment banking for what she sees as a calling. We talked to her and asked how her previous career in Manhattan prepared her for politics.
7. Yes there’s that death ray/blue steel stare and coiffed blonde hair that must turn Bronwyn Bishop green with envy, but Australia’s first female foreign minister, Julie Bishop, is doing a great job and growing in stature in a very challenging role. BI’s Sarah Kimmorley likes to tell a person’s story through statements they’ve made during their career and her 10 quotes from Bishop reveal a complex and fascinating politician.
8. We suspect they think they’re Ali v Frazier, but really, the whole Abbott/Putin thing is more the scene from Monty Python’s Holy Grail where the knights are at a French castle and they’re being teased with lines like “Your mother was a hamster and your father stank of elderberries”. The G20 is next month in Brisbane and now it looks like they won’t talk to each other. Perhaps it’s time Julie Bishop gave both boys a stern talking to.
9. As career changes go, this is a biggie. Jarryd Hayne, the man who finally ended eight long years of suffering for NSW State Of Origin fans, is leaving league to try his hand at the heavily padded chess game that is American football. Even Phil Gould is stunned. The godfather of league has an interesting take on what drives a superstar (hint: it’s not money). Meanwhile, Blues fans had better get used to celebrating with the Maroons once more.
10. Remember those days of your misspent youth you’d spend locked in your room doing things obsessively for hours on end? We mean a Rubik’s Cube, what were you thinking? So we have some sympathy for the man being treated for his 18-hour-a-day Google Glass addiction. But only some.
BONUS ITEM: Scientists think they’ve found a giant, 240kg kangaroo that walked like a human. Yeah, but can it fly a chopper like Skippy?
Have a great day. Catch me on twitter @simonthomsen
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