Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
- Markets are set to open lower in Australia and around the region this morning, following another session of selling on Friday on Wall St. Citi’s Matt King had some limpid, if perhaps overstated, imagery to consider: the big concern is that there’ll be a “Wile E. Coyote” moment, when markets look down and realise they’re “treading on air”. This bleak scenario would be one “in which investors may be coming perilously close to realising that market levels owe everything to central bank stimulus and nothing to an improvement in underlying fundamentals.”
- A less alarming analysis of recent market fall comes from Deutsche Bank’s Keith Parker, who argues the fall has been led by hedge funds unwinding some big positions they held in growth stocks at the start of the year. This move out of growth and into value is now spilling over into mutual funds that are still long growth.
- It’s a relatively quiet week data-wise heading into the Easter break. US retail sales are out tonight and China Q1 GDP is out on Wednesday. In Australia we get the minutes from the April RBA board meeting tomorrow morning, and traders will be looking closely for any guidance on the board’s thinking on the Australian dollar’s strength. This morning it was trading just below the US 94c level. The Nikkei fell almost 2.4% on Friday with the Yen strengthening and on concerns of the effect of the new sales tax on the economy, so today’s session will give a good indication of how tightly that negative sentiment has taken hold.
- Goldman Sachs says client discussions last week were dominated by questions over whether the current falls were anything like the dot-com bust; they have outlined six differences between this fall and the original tech wreck, including that returns are far less dramatic and interest rates are much lower. Still, there’s been a rapid shift in sentiment in tech stocks and it doesn’t bode well for companies hoping to list in the near future, like Australia’s Atlassian.
- Labor in government decided to lift Australia’s retirement age to 67 by 2023; Treasurer Joe Hockey is now saying Gen X may need to work until they’re 70 to help cover the looming rise in the cost of the age pension as the population gets older and lives longer.
- BIS Shrapnel predicts NSW is heading for an $82 billion surge in non-mining construction spending as infrastructure projects kick in. BIS projects a sustained period of economic growth for NSW, which lagged behind the rest of the country during the mining boom.
- Harrison Ford did an AMA session on Reddit over the weekend and had a revelation about the most famous moment in the Raiders of the Lost Ark, where Indiana Jones is confronted by an expert swordsman, and he simply pulls out his pistol and shoots him dead. The scene, Ford explained, was supposed to be an epic battle between sword and whip, but he was afflicted by dysentery at the time and needed to run to the bathroom every 10 minutes. So they rewrote the scene to make it more manageable for the star. He was running off to his truck as soon as Spielberg yelled cut.
- Need to land a meeting this week? Eight successful entrepreneurs share their tips for getting in the door here.
- Australia’s Adam Scott and John Senden fell away from contention at the Augusta Masters on day three. America’s Bubba Watson is storming it home at time of writing, three clear of the pack on the final hole.
- Liverpool fans will be starting the week in an exceptionally good mood: the Reds beat Man City 3-2 overnight, giving them a huge boost in their pursuit of the premiership title. The game included a sublime goal by Raheem Stirling.
Bonus item: A New York-based Australian cinematographer used a drone-mounted camera to shoot this stunning video of Sydney while he was at home over the summer. It’s worth a look if you haven’t seen it doing the rounds over recent days.
Have a great Monday. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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