Good morning. Let’s get started.
1. It looks like another solid day for stock traders with the March SPI 200 futures up 29 points to 5,851 at the close on Saturday. The Aussie came under pressure as well but sits around 0.7760/70 in early trade this morning.
2. In Asia Friday, stocks in Shanghai ripped higher to close at 3,207, up 0.96% for a gain of 31 points. At one stage, the market had been up 2% at 3,237 but it pulled back after lunch. Hong Kong stocks were up all day and finished close to their highs at 1.07% but stocks in Tokyo retreated from recent highs, down 0.37% to 17,913. That’s still a solid 1.5% gain on the week for Tokyo while Shanghai was up 4%.
3. Housing prices will keep rising in 2015. That was always a likely danger as soon as the RBA dropped rates, but the release of Westpac’s Redbook has all but confirmed that the market will tighten. “The index tracking views on ‘time to buy a dwelling’ jumped 9.7%, hitting its highest level since Feb 2014,” Westpac notes on housing finance. “The turnaround since Dec is extraordinary.”
4. Not a lot in data this week to move the Australian market but plenty going on overseas. Here’s Westpac’s excellent calendar of all the key events for the week.
5. Half-year results from Australian companies have been coming in above expectations. About 60% of ASX-listed companies so far lodging six-month results have increased profits and beaten expectations. The usual beat rate is around 45%. So far, profits for three-quarters of companies have risen from a year ago and 73% have increased their dividends. But there are still 80% of companies to make their announcements, so this could easily change. The share market has been responding, including a huge 2.3% rally Friday.
6. There’s lots to learn from Shark Tank Australia. Channel Ten’s entrepreneur show debuted last week and has quickly become a must-watch for start-up founders and budding business folks. Last night we saw a woman trying to sell flour made from bugs, self-charging drones and a device that holds your tongue down so the doctor can check your throat. Some saw cash interest from the sharks, but the real value came from watching how differently each idea was pitched and what it meant for their success.
7. Washington Wizards’ John Wall discovered a new dribble by accident. He practised it, and now the “yo-yo dribble” has become deadly. Opponents think he’ll pass – but wait, no!
8. Don’t open the emails. A group of cybercrims known as “Carbanak” are targeting bank employees, using their emails to access their bank’s internal network. From there, they learn how to transfer money and bloat a user’s account with fake cash, then withdraw it again in the real stuff. Because no-one’s the wiser, they’ve racked up at least a billion – so far. Oh, and they’ve figured out how remotely access an ATM and have it spill cash out into a waiting accomplice’s large laundry bag with “fwag” written on it.
9. One line to Hollywood. NSW actress Emily Fonda auditioned for a movie The Adventures of Max and Banks. She got the part and amazing! It was for Fifty Shades of Grey! Not so great – she only had one line. But that one line was “Mr Grey will see you now”, arguably the film’s high point and the tagline for the film’s poster. Now Fonda’s everywhere, kind of. “I think the trailer gave my character quite a bit of oomph, which was unexpected, but lovely,” she told The Age.
10. Is Greg Inglis next to go? Burgess, Sonny Bill Williams and Jarryd Hayne have all bailed on the NRL, now Rabbitohs’ star Inglis is rumoured to be chasing a $1.17 million contract in France. Last year the ARU introduced a new flexible contract system for elite players, in the hope that Australian rugby talent stays in the country. There’s a chance NRL chief Dave Smith might have to use his new powers to offer Inglis something above the salary cap to stay – but maybe that’s just what Inglis’s manager is counting on…
BONUS ITEM: How many beers can you smuggle into a football game? Not as many as this guy.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.