1. Novak Djokovic is once again the Australian Open champion. The Serb battled through illness, Andy Murray and a mid-match court invasion to take his fifth Australian Open title 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-0. It was his eighth career major title. It was also Murray’s fourth Australian Open final defeat. The Scotsman has lost six of eight Grand Slam finals. Djokovic seemed to suffer from a mystery affliction that caused his legs to wobble, and both had to sit out for a moment in the second set while protestors invaded the court. But with a $3.1 million payday for the win, it was worth the wait for Djokovic.
2. The other rout. There was talk Queensland Premier Campbell Newman might lose his seat, but the LNP would just hold onto government. Now it’s looks like Labor might pull off an incredible win, and Newman’s political career is over. He said so himself yesterday after thanking his voters and congratulating his opponent in the seat of Ashgrove, Kate Jones. Labor has so far secured 43 electorates in the poll, but will need 45 for a majority. Tony Abbott’s called a special cabinet meeting tomorrow to discuss what to do about it.
3. The Prime Minister’s speech at the Press Club today is going to be a must-watch for everyone in Australian markets. Not so much because it will move markets but because the PM’s performance, and whether he stays or goes, is going to move the dial on confidence in the economy. If the PM can genuinely restart his prime ministership, then consumer and business confidence can recover and with it, the domestic economy will get stronger. More of the same however and the Australian economic outlook this year remains cloudy at best.
4. Locally, futures traders took the ASX SPI 200 down 24 points to 5,518. It will be an interesting day given the cross-currents from Friday with a big rally in crude, further weakness in iron ore and a general disquiet in global stock markets. Shanghai is unlikely to like the NBS PMI surveys that were out over the weekend and having lost 1.6% on Friday and 4.23% over the week, further losses seem almost assured. The key level to watch is 3,095 which is the one-month low. A break would be an important indicator of a bigger reversal.
5. It’s a huge week in data. Australian markets will watch the RBA’s interest rate decision and governor’s statement on Tuesday, retail sales and the quarterly NAB business survey Thursday and the RBA’s quarterly statement on monetary policy on Friday. That night, to cap off the week, we get the US jobs report. Here’s Westpac’s excellent calendar of all the big market news and events for the week – it’s going to be huge.
6. Australian journalist Peter Greste has been released from jail in Egypt and is believed to be on his way home. Greste was in prison for 400 days after being found guilty of several charges, while working as a journalist for Al Jazeera, which included aiding a terrorist group. He was to serve a seven-year sentence in Cairo. Greste’s family have confirmed his release from jail in a statement posted on social media and will hold a press conference in Brisbane later this morning.
7. The Commonwealth Bank is back on top as Australia’s biggest bank by brand value. Knocking ANZ out of its two-year reign, CBA’s brand value increasing 37% to $9.2 billion – close to the bank’s last annual cash profit of $8.68 billion. It’s all in the annual Brand Finance Banking 500 showdown, where the CBA even made it into the world top 10 in terms of growth of brand value.
8. Russia’s mad bomber. The Cold War was a tense time in history, but it was also responsible for some awesome creations, such as Red Heat. And this Bartini Beriev VVA-14:
The plane, whose pontoons give it the bizarre look of a bomber airframe strapped to two Star Trek-like nacelles, was the work of Italian designer Robert Bartini. It was designed to hunt US nuclear submarines, hence it can hover and skim across the ocean surface. Only two of the amazing aircraft were built.
9. Don’t wait for dope trials. The Medical Journal of Australia has published a perspective by medical researcher Professor Emeritus David Penington in which he says cannabis trials are pointless because it “has variable effects in individuals”. “It will not be possible to determine universally safe dosage of cannabis for individuals based on a clinical trial,” he says, adding that we may as well just get on with it.
10. It’s Super Bowl today, when literally tens of Australians pretend they watch NFL religiously. But it’s worth mentioning just because it’s one of the great spectacles in world sport. Channel 7 has the coverage starting at 10am. This year it’s the Seattle Seahawks against the New England Patriots. In a news nutshell, that’s Richard Sherman, whose dad still drives a garbage truck, versus Tom Brady, who wears Ugg boots. There’s also a AU$222,380 ticket for sale, if anyone’s interested.
BONUS ITEM: The real reason to watch Super Bowl. The Ted 2 trailer will star. Or you can just watch it here right now:
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