10 Things You Need To Know This Morning In Australia

Russian missile cruiser Varyag – coming to Australia. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning and welcome to our brave new world of space exploration. Almost.

1. First, to the markets where in Asia, Shanghai was up 1% to 2,494, a three-year high, after the HKMA dropped the conversion limits of RMB 20,000 for domestic residents effective next Monday. HSBC said this was expected “ahead of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect going live on 17 November 2014.” But it also speaks of liberalisation of Chinese capital markets, and the RMB in particular, so it’s positive for Shanghai and investors wanting to get to mainland Chinese companies. It’s through the level we highlighted a couple of days back and Shanghai 3,000 seems a fair bet over a 12-month time horizon.

2. Traders on the ASX took the SPI 200 December futures contract down 7 points to 5,481 while March was 5 lower at 5,440. It’s a market that feels heavy at the moment after yesterday’s 1% loss on the physical so BI’s Greg McKenna says he has “a bias lower”. The Nikkei had an up day (+0.43% to 17,197) but futures are down as talk of a snap election was pooh-poohed by the Government, putting the cancellation of the sails tax increase on the back burner. In Hong Kong, stocks rose 0.54% to 23,938.

3. The Aussie is well bid and rallied to a high of 0.8744 overnight and sits at 0.8715 this morning up 0.36%. The yen was a little stronger, also up 0.2% as USDJPY dipped to 115.53 (I reckon its headed lower) but the euro and sterling were lower. On the data front, we get consumer inflation expectations here in Australia. In Japan, we see machinery orders and corporate good prices. New loans are finally to be released today in China along with industrial production and retail sales.

4. It’s war and we’re all going to die. OK, maybe not, but there’s plenty of worried folk in the media about the fact Russian President Vladimir Putin will be watched over by four of his country’s naval vessels during the G20 in Brisbane this weekend. One is a guided missile carrier, Varyag, and the Russians say it’s important to have their flag flying somewhere nearby while the talks are on. Australian Defence Force chief Mark Binskin says they’re monitoring the fleet. Asked if the ships were a show of force, Binskin said: “You’ll have to ask the Russians.”

5. Petrol stations gouge Aussie drivers – not news. This time they have no excuse – news. Since mid-year, global oil prices have fallen 25%, but it sure doesn’t feel like there’s been a 25% drop at the bowser, so we asked David Scutt from Scutt Partners to run a quick check for us. “From the first available price reported in 2014, average petrol prices at the bowser have fallen 11.1%,” Scutt said, adding that it actually needs to be judged against the price of Tapis crude, which has fallen by 28.3%. So even allowing for the AiP’s 1-2 week lag between Singapore and local prices “someone, somewhere is making a healthy profit”.

6. Busted. Five major banks have been fined over $US3 billion over alleged fixing in currency markets. The honour roll is eye-watering: Citi, JP Morgan Chase, HSBC, UBS, and RBS. Basically the traders were sharing information about their clients’ activities between themselves, which meant they were putting the banks’ interests (read: theirs) ahead of their clients. Extraordinarily, they had conversations like this:

There’s a lesson here for everyone about culture. There’s a level of joshing about with partners which is OK, but everyone should be able to recognise the line between having fun with people outside the business and doing right by the job that has them there in the first place. All the details (with more squirm-inducing messages) here.

7. We landed a spacecraft on a comet! Now, if only it can stay there… After 10 years traveling 6 billion kilometres through space, the Rosetta craft deployed its probe Philae successfully, and it landed on Comet 67P succesfully. Unfortunately, the harpoons that were meant to fire and anchor it to the comet didn’t, and it looks like the probe bounced. Radio signals coming back from Philae are “disrupted” and the ESA won’t be able to confirm if its $1.6 billion was well-spent until tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed.

8. The future of this guy is not so certain. NASA had Hot Mohawk Guy on its Curiosity launch. India had an admirable contingent of women in the command room when it put a satellite in orbit around Mars. And when the ESA told Matt Taylor he’d be the face of Rosetta this morning, he thought he’d chuck this little number on for the presser:


Twitter is not impressed. (But then again, it never is.)

9. The problem with LinkedIn. The networking site has 300 million users, many of whom used it to get a job. You’re probably one of them, but a recent lawsuit highlights a feature of the site that can allegedly have the opposite effect. It’s all to do with LinkedIn’s “Reference Search”, a product offered to Premium subscribers. It gives employers a list of people in their network who have worked with the person they’re looking at hiring. That allows them to reach out for a reference using LinkedIn’s InMail. The obvious problem here is that your potential employer is selecting a reference from someone you might not want as a referee, hence there’s a proposed class action brewing against LinkedIn.

10. The Man is the man. Let’s just stick to what Anthony Mundine is good at here – being a supreme athlete. Last night he won his third version of a world title – the WBC silver middleweight – against an unbeaten fighter 11 years his junior. This was no easybeat. Sergey Rabchenko is a known knockout fighter and he landed a lot of heavy blows on The Man. And not only was he supposed to win, but in doing so, was headed for a pop at no less than Floyd Mayweather himself, which is Mundine’s dream. Top stuff from someone whose sporting talents this nation should celebrate.

BONUS ITEM: Kim Kardashian is trying to break the internet. With this shot, she might:

Lady’s got talent. Picture: Paper/Jean-Paul Goude

With this very NSFW “other shot”, we say it’s a fait accompli.

Have a great day. I’m on Twitter.

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