Good morning and #tay4hottest100. You know you want to.
1. ASX SPI 200 futures are indicating a rise of 26 points for the market today. It may be due to uncertainty over how the ECB’s QE announcement tomorrow night will play out, but regardless, the Australian market is lagging – the past two days’ performance was an underperformance to stocks in our region. Chinese GDP data lifted the market a bit and hopefully today is a better day.
2. In Asia yesterday, a combination of a seriously weak yen, which has risen to 118.73, and the Chinese data being weak enough to lead to heightened expectations of more PBOC easing, saw stocks across the entire region rally yesterday. The Nikkei climbed 2.07% to 17,366, the Hang Seng jumped 0.9% and the Shanghai Composite was up 1.82% to 3,173. Today we have a BoJ monetary policy statement and press conference but otherwise it’s a light data calendar.
3. The Aussie is pressured with the US dollar strength but at 0.8174 is around where it was at the close of Australian trade yesterday. The pound is at 1.5149 as positions are put in place for tomorrow night’s ECB announcement. The euro is lower again and USDJPY looks like it is expecting something from the BoJ today as well, up near 119.
4. Qantas is up, up and away. CEO Alan Joyce gave an interview for PwC’s annual Australian CEO survey as the airline prepares to announce a profit of between $300-$350 million for the six months ended December. He said while China is clearly a big opportunity, the current traditional markets are doing best – London and the US, which Joyce says is “huge”. The profit turnaround is being pushed along by a $2 billion restructure and the axing of 5000 jobs. Also, falling oil prices doesn’t hurt.
5. On that PwC survey, it showed good signs for Australia. 43% of Australian CEOs are “very confident” of growth in the next 12 months, up 9 percentage points from last year. That compares with 39% of CEOs globally. Long-term confidence is up 21% on last year and more than half (55%) expect to be hiring in the next 12 months. There’s more on the big numbers here.
6. Party politics. Then there was the time five-year-old Alex got an invoice for $30 slipped into his Infant School bag for missing his mate’s birthday party.
You can follow the Facebook brawl here. (“This is not the first time Alex has not turned up to a party that he has been invited to, either.”)
7. Melbourne cabbies are just as lost as you. They’re famous for chucking a Melways at you as soon as you jump in, but now a test being forced on Victoria’s taxi drivers is confirming that some urgent brushing up is required. Nearly 99% failed a knowledge test introduced in July last year for drivers with less than five years’ experience. Now, after complaints it was too hard, they’re being given eight chances to pass. To be fair, it’s not a walk in the park – here’s a sample of the Sydney version.
8. How the world’s most creative people managed their time. Here’s a great infographic that maps out how 15 famously productive people spent their day. From Beethoven to Dickens and Darwin, they all have one thing in common – sticking to a schedule.
9. SwiftGate continues to heat up the Triple J Hottest 100. The Drum reported on Monday that “Shake It Off” was out of contention for the Australia Day countdown because KFC had run a picture of Swift and the hashtag #tay4hottest100 next to an offer it posted on Facebook. Triple J hasn’t confimred whether that makes Swift ineligible for the competition, but regardless, the hipster angst her possible appearance is already well beyond any entertainment value the countdown itself could offer. (“Like sneaking sausage into a quinoa salad,” as one commentor wrote.)
@ThePreatures The real shame would be if Shake It Off pushed an up and coming act just outside the 100.
— Flight Facilities (@flightfac) January 19, 2015
But wait – Triple J have a position. Buzzfeed nabbed a leaked email to staff which reminds them not to comment on the issue. “All will become clear when we get to the countdown,” it says. Which sounds a lot like ABC has absolutely no problems with sucking up free promotion for its own big events…
10. Aussies doing well as Aussie Open. Seven Australian men made it through to the second round, and while a little rusty, 33-year-old Lleyton Hewitt was among them, dropping just one set in dispatching 24-year-old wildcard Ze Zhang. Hewitt faces Benjamin Becker, ranked 41, in the next round. On the women’s side, three have made it through, including Casey Dellacqua, who demolished Yvonne Meusburger 6-4 6-0 last night. The second set lasted just 21 minutes, with Dellacqua hitting 27 of 35 points. Wow.
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