10 Things You Need To Know This Morning In Australia

Chin up. Picture: Getty Images

1. We just have to start with this idiot. Every parent says at least once in their lives: “If he told you to jump off a cliff, would you?” But Harrison Williams’s mum and dad probably didn’t expect to still be saying it to their son at 26. Williams is headline news around the world today after jumping from his friend’s boat and swimming across to climb on a dead whale, because one of his mates said “it would be pretty funny”. Yes, there were great whites in the area. Williams told Seven News that once he was on the whale, he knew he’d done something stupid.

Now, to the markets:

2. Japan is running the show right now. The Bank of Japan unleashed shock and awe on markets Friday, adding more QE to news of reforms to the state pension fund (GPIF) which will increase allocations to foreign stocks to 25% from 12% (buying foreign stocks = yen selling). Result? A USDJPY rally 2.77% by the New York close to 112.32. And the Nikkei itself was up 4.83%. According to the NAB strategy team, it was the GPIF story “that allowed European and US stock markets to key so positively off the Nikkei’s surge”.

3. So the Nikkei’s strength dragged the region’s bourses higher with the Hang Seng up 1.25% while stocks in Shanghai lifted 1.21%. On Saturday though, the release of the Chinese NBS manufacturing PMI of 50.8 was a disappointing miss. Japan is out on a public holiday though, so we may not get the follow-through across the region that may have been expected.

4. On Currency markets, the yen and yen crosses were the big story. AUDJPY traded up to a close of 98.72, a recent August high and the highest level since AUDJPY fell out of bed in May 2013. The euro is, strangely, still hanging in there at 1.2519 and sterling is at 1.5991. The Aussie is struggling at 0.8733 this morning after the Chinese data and general US strength.

5. It’s a huge day for data. There’s a raft of important manufacturing PMIs in Australia, China, Korea, Taiwan, India, France, Italy, Germany, the UK and the US. Australia also gets TD inflation and building permits.

6. Australia’s banks are rolling in it. Westpac this morning announced a full year cash profit of $7.628 billion, up 8% and better than forecasts by three percentage points. The statutory net profit was up 12% to $7.562 billion. That’s the last of the big four results in for the full year and it’s been a good one for them – all up, net cash profits of $28.6 billion.

7. Trouble at El Bulli, Sydney. Sandra Nikolic told her Facebook friends to join her at “the best restaurant ever”:

To all my REAL FRIENDS on here i will be having a birthday party dinner thing if anyone is interested in coming let me know the plan is to go to the best restaurant ever for dinner el bulli spanish tapas and cocktails yum yum then maybe out for some dancing and much much more drinking its this saturday

It didn’t end so happily. Nikolic was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, resisting arrest and assaulting police after refusing to pay the $289 bill. There’s more on exactly how that came to pass here.

8. The Birthday Paradox. If you’re in a room with 22 other people, the odds are in your favour that you’ll share a birthday with one of them. Which makes no sense at all, because there’s 365 days in a year, making the probability of you sharing a birthday with anyone else 0.27%. Here’s why putting 23 people together changes all that.

9. Australia’s weekend of sport. The winners: Dante Exum, who put in a very solid game for his new NBA team Utah Jazz as they recorded their first win of the season. Michael Cheika, whose Wallabies kicked off their European tour with a lively 40-36 win over the Barbarians. And Western Sydney Wanderers, who put in a mighty effort to hold Saudi Arabia to 0-0 and become the first Australian AFC Champions League champion. The loser: Michael Clarke, whose Test team is in tatters after crumbling to 4-143 chasing 603 with still a day to play against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi and gave up the equal fastest century on record to Misbah-ul-Haq (56 deliveries).

10. The race that stops a nation runs tomorrow. And the form guide is out after places were finalised on the weekend. If you’re patriotic, there’s really only two chances you need to know about – Fawkner and Unchain My Heart are the only Australian-bred stayers in the 24-strong field this year. Fawkner is a strong chance though, and looking to become the first horse to win the Caulfield Cup one year and the Melbourne Cup the next. Here’s the full form guide if you want to get your bets on early.

BONUS ITEM: The greatest weather cross ever. That is all.

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