Good morning, and welcome to Tuesday, with a reminder that it’s April Fool’s Day. Here’s what you need to know:
- Australia has won its four-year legal fight to stop Japanese whaling activities in the Antarctic. Timing note: Tony Abbott leads a trade delegation to Japan next week which includes some of Australia’s most senior business leaders.
- Malaysian authorities have changed their story about the last words spoken to air traffic control from Malaysian Airlines flight 370. What was originally reported as “All right, good night” has now been changed to “Good night Malaysian three seven zero”. On its own it’s an incremental detail, but yet another example of the shambles that has characterised Malaysia’s handling of the information around the jet’s disappearance.
- There’s heartbreaking news for Newcastle Knights player Alex McKinnon who has been woken from his induced coma following a neck injury sustained in last weekend’s NRL action. He’s reportedly been told he’s quadriplegic and faces the prospect of never being able to walk again – though he has been able to speak with his family since coming off ventilation.
- The RBA meets today and while there’s virtually zero likelihood of a rate cut, the decision is still going to be an important one with signs of strong inflation and the Aussie dollar hitting four-month highs in recent weeks. This morning it was trading at around US92.68c. There’s also Australian PMI out this morning and global PMIs through the day. Markets will be reassured by a pretty dovish speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen overnight which implied the current US monetary policy settings will continue for the foreseeable. We’ll have live coverage of the RBA announcement at 2.30pm AEDT.
- Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel business is facing potential closure over an unpaid $35 million carbon tax bill. Palmer has campaigned to have the tax retrospectively abolished.
- Michael Lewis’s new book Flash Boys about High Frequency Trading has made technological advantages of algorithm-driven traders over ordinary guys the other talk of the markets this week. Lewis says the speed at which HFT traders can move leads to “legalised front-running”, allowing upward bidding of stock prices in a fraction of a second on news before selling it back to others. Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget is one who disagrees, saying the real inequality in the market is that guys trading at home are never going to be able to compete with multi-billion dollar funds that have huge resources, research, and networks of contacts. Within 24 hours of his book coming out, Lewis has had to deny a rumour that he owns an undisclosed stake in the HFT-agnostic bank that is a focus of the book.
- Surprise! Android apps crash less than iOS apps. (Not an April Fool.)
- Again, not an April Fool: England were smashed by the Dutch in the cricket World T20 overnight, being bowled out for a miserable 88 having been set 133.
- Parents of a school in Sydney got a text message on the school’s broadcast SMS system this morning saying the school had been burned to the ground by arsonists overnight. A corrective email has been sent immediately and the school has a statement on its website saying it’s open as normal. April Fool’s rating: 9/10.
- Newly-single and dating Miranda Kerr has an interview in the latest edition of GQ in which she opens up about her sex life, and apparently she asks for performance reviews. “I always ask for a critique on my performance,” she says. “I always want to better myself in every way. The older I get, the more confident I am about asking for things I enjoy.” What’s that about Gen Y always looking for feedback? More excerpts and Mario Testino photos at the Daily Mail.
Bonus item: There was a 3ft brown snake on the field in the Titans game last night. Ah, Queensland.
Have a great day. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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