Good morning, and welcome to the week. Here’s what you need to know.
The week ahead. There are some important leading indicators in Australia, with the ANZ-Roy Morgan weekly consumer sentiment out tomorrow, and then the Westpac-MI monthly consumer sentiment out on Wednesday – delayed a week to capture the impact of the budget. (Greg McKenna took a detailed look at the indicators on the budget reception here.) In the US we get Fed minutes for April on Wednesday, then existing and new home sales on Thursday and Friday respectively. The big number in Asia is HSBC China flash PMI on Thursday.
Markets are up. US stocks finished a little stronger to end the week, with with dow up Dow 0.27%, the Nasdaq up 0.53% and the S&P up 0.38%. After a fall of 0.58% in Friday trading, ASX futures were up 7 points at the close on Saturday, pointing to the week starting on a stronger note.
The US bond surge. One of the biggest stories in global markets at the moment is the rally in US Treasuries, which has seen the yield on the 10-year bond tumbling to 2.48%. It started the year at 3.03% and most analysts expected it to climb. Weaker than expected US growth started the rally but more recently there has likely been a large element of short covering driving prices as traders who expected rates to rise were caught with the wrong positions. Watch this space.
Poll shocker. Political polls aren’t usually as instructive as today’s in Australia, which show big falls in support for the Coalition and approval of Tony Abbott as Prime Minister. It underlines the importance of how the government sells this dramatic budget. Labor’s reaction in government to poor polls came to be characterised by panic; the Coalition’s reaction this week will be instructive.
Know your Modi. India’s stock market has been surging since the election of Narendra Modi as the leader of the world’s biggest democracy. Morgan Stanley explains this in a note titled A Trigger For The Next India, explaining that Modi’s BJP will unleash a wave of reforms that will drive growth. But as BI’s Mamta Badkar pointed out at the weekend, there’s a dark side to Modi that everyone should know about.
Pitch perfection. We’ve spoken to Joe Kiely, a pitch analyst at startup incubator BlueChilli, and Trevor Folsom, private investment fund manager at Elevation Capital, for their views on the elements of a winning pitch. Their advice includes that the idea needs to be explained in 30 seconds, and it needs to solve a real problem. This doesn’t just apply to startups, remember – with many big companies seeking to become more entrepreneurial, it can help to understand how to present your business ideas. More here.
Train a’coming. Chinese researchers have built a prototype train that is theoretically capable at reaching speeds of around 2,900km/h. That’s Melbourne to Sydney in about 15 minutes or Sydney to Perth in around 90 minutes. It works by running in a near-vacuum tube. Here’s a photo (of the prototype):
Tech influencers. There’s no surprise in the No.1 spot in Business Insider’s list of the 100 Most Influential Tech Women on Twitter, but there are some great recommendations on people to follow from investment, entrepreneurial and media circles to keep you in the loop.
Sleep tips. Feeling a bit drowsy this morning? Failing to sleep properly can have some surprisingly bad consequences. Here are some tips for getting some proper shut-eye and waking up feeling refreshed.
Winners. Arsenal won the FA Cup final at the weekend with a brilliant goal in extra time, just when it looked like the match was about to go to penalties. In the Super Rugby, the NSW Waratahs are back in finals contention after a thumping win over the Lions, which puts them fourth on the ladder overall. But as long-suffering fans of the team will know, “Waratahs” could be the Aboriginal word for “don’t hold your breath”.
Bonus item: Led Zeppelin is being sued by the bass player from Spirit, who claims that the opening of Stairway to Heaven was a rip-off of their song Taurus. (The two bands used to tour together in the late 1960’s.) Judge for yourself – the guitar riff starts here around the 40-second mark and you have to say it’s eerily similar to Stairway.
Have a cracking day. I’m on Twitter: colgo
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