10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

My eyes! Picture: Universal.


1. Locally, after a couple of days of weakness and a really important technical test yesterday, ASX futures traders are pointing higher. March SPI 200 futures are up 35 points.

2. The Aussie is back above 77 cents at 0.7746 after the big post-employment fall yesterday. The yen is stronger as well with USDJPY dropping back to 118.87. On the data front today we hear from RBA governor Stevens at 9.30am. He’ll be addressing the House of Reps Economics Committee.

3. It was an interesting day in ASIA. Shanghai opened under pressure and in the red but rallied strongly as the day wore on. The composite finished up 0.48%, 15 points at 3,173. In Tokyo, the Nikkei ripped higher on the back of acute weakness in the yen. Stocks closed up 1.85%, 327 points at 17,980. The overnight fall in USDJPY would usually put Japanese stocks under pressure but the positivity in the US sees futures indicating only a small fall of 20 points for Tokyo today. In Hong Kong, stocks rose 0.44% to 24,422.

4. Japan is one thousand trillion in debt. So, good news! It’s the lowest since Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008. But it has still driven Japanese debt to GDP ratio to more than 225%, which is not so good because it shows exactly how the path to a massive debt pile is an easy path to find and a difficult path to get off. And that’s why, according to Greg McKenna, central banks are so scared of slow growth and deflation.

5. Congratulations to Aussie snapper Raphaela Rosella, who won a gold medal at the World Press photo contest overnight. Brisbane-based Rosella is co-editor of non-profit publication The Australian Photojournalist and has been knocking on the door of the awards for some time now. At 26, she’s already been nominated to attend the awards’ Joop Swart Master Class three times, and finally got one of the 12 placements in November last year. She won the Portraits Singles gold medal for this picture of “Laurinda”, one of “many socially isolated young women in disadvantaged communities in Australia”:

Laurinda. Picture: Raphaela Rosella.

You can see more of her work here and a collection of the rest of the best World Press finalists here.

6. How awful is 50 Shades of Grey? The amount of people sitting in the cinema chatting, watching their phones or walking out says it all, says Paul Colgan, who actually did sit through it all and laughed in relief along with those left when the credits rolled.

7. In other great pic news, here’s President Obama playing with a selfie stick:

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There’s nine more pics of the most powerful man in the world getting intimate with himself here. And video.

8. How to make money from the collapse in crude. There’s two ways – simply trade oil on a futures exchange or through a broker, or on the stock market. Rivkin CEO Scott Schuberg has outlined how Aussies taking the can profit from the big moves here. But be warned – trading oil at such a crucial time is a dangerous business.

9. Rio’s big year. The price of iron ore has crumbled but it hasn’t held Rio Tinto back. It released results late yesterday and noted underlying earnings were $9.3 billion, a beat on market expectations. The big miner has been cutting costs, increasing ore output, pulling back on capital spending and cutting debt. A strengthening US dollar and cheaper oil prices helped bottom line. And as the price of ore halved, Rio reduced its net debt level by $5.6 billion to $12.5 billion.

10. Remember Corey Worthington? No? You’re not alone – he had 15 minutes of fame back in 2008 by organising a MySpace party which was crashed by hundreds, then refusing to take off his yellow sunglasses while being interviewed by A Current Affair’s Leil McKinnon. He’s got a new business, and a serious neck tattoo.

BONUS ITEM: Dr Phil is way more intense when nobody says anything: