10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Interest was high in this Bondi dump. Picture: www.domain.com.au

Good morning. Let’s get busy.

1. Locally, after a down day yesterday, futures traders are pointing to a better open this morning. March SPI 200 futures are up 20 points to 5,840. The Aussie has nicely reclaimed 78 cents at 0.7812.

2. In Asia yesterday, the Nikkei dipped back a little (-0.1% to 17,987) after hitting an eight-year high recently. Weak GDP anyone? Not stocks traders. But this fall was related to selling a big index heavyweight. The broader Topix index rallied 0.2% to 1,462 which is the highest close since December 2007. In Shanghai, Chinese New Year Eve saw stocks end on a high note before the holidays this week. The index finished up 0.76%, 25 points to 3,247. In Hong Kong, stocks were also higher, up 0.24% to 24,785.

3. THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARTS IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Are these 88 – yes, 88 – charts which are important because the investing world is a vastly different place now than it was last time we ran them. And because Wall Street’s brightest minds chose them for us.

4. The “Bondi hoarder” gets to keep her house. Mary Bobolas and her two daughters have been battling Waverley Council for 25 years as piles of rubbish and rotting furniture grow over their home at 19 Boonara Avenue, Bondi.

Until yesterday, they owed the council $180,000 in fees for clean-ups, and had until 6pm to pay or the house would be auctioned at 7.30pm. They came up with the money and neighbours are reportedly “dismayed”. As are, no doubt, those interested in buying the property. “In 24 years I’ve never had this many enquiries on any property,” Ric Serrao from Raine & Horne Real Estate told the ABC. Nobody likes rubbish piling up next to their home, but forcing someone to sell their home is controversial, especially given that in 2013, hoarding was recognised as a disorder by the American Psychiatric Association.

5. Our richest sports star is Andrew Bogut. He’s in the second year of a big contract with NBA team Golden State and worth $16.2 million a year, according to BRW, which just released its Top 50 Sports Earners list for 2014. Golfers Adam Scott and Jason Day follow Bogut, and Shane Watson is still our highest paid cricketer ($4.5m). You’ve got to scan all the way down to 39 to find the first female on the list – surfer Stephanie Gilmour, who pulls in $1.75m from sponsorships with Quiksilver and Ford. And despite all the bleating about the “Bondi Billionaires”, Buddy Franklin is nowhere to be seen.

6. What next for the greyhound industry? It’s been rocked by horrible footage aired on ABC’s Four Corners showing dogs being trained by chasing live piglets, possums and rabbits, before mauling them to death. Ideally, the industry would like to see this as a case of a few bad apples spoiling the whole barrel. That’s going to be a a harder sell now that Greyhound Racing Victoria’s former integrity and racing operations manager has been identified in the Four Corners footage as one of the men seen training dogs at a facility where live baiting sessions were occurring.

7. Battle of the brands. Brand Finance has released its Brand Strength Index and when it comes to local rivalries, Woolworths is still winning Australia. The supermarket chain brand is now valued at $8.964 billion, but close behind and a real challenger is Telstra which put on 5% in value to $8.708 billion. The four major banks are also in our top eight. Globally, Lego has overtaken Ferrari as the world’s most powerful brand, and Apple is still the most valuable – in history.

8. The oil market is closing in on stabilising. Crude oil has rallied in early February as some traders have speculated that the supply glut — which has been blamed for the oil crash — may be under control. Morgan Stanley’s Martjin Rats says there’s three signs that show good news is on the way for oil investors. And if you think the man on the street couldn’t care less, check out this tweet from Tracy Alloway, the Financial Times’ US financial correspondent:

9. Looking for a career change? Something that will make you pots of cash? Then you could do worse than check out the 25 highest paying jobs with the most openings right now, a list compiled by Glassdoor for the US market, but expect it to roughly parallel what’s going on here. And hey, if you’re determined, why not move to the US?

10. On matehoods. Tennis player turned politician John Alexander has a cunning plan for getting his boss Tony Abbott out of strife over his knighthood dilemma. “Our highest honour should be a Matehood and you should honour people by officially calling them ‘Mate’ and the official greeting should be ‘G’day Mate’,” Alexander told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell today.
Yeah mate? Nah mate.

Have a great day. I’m on Twitter.

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