1. First, to the markets where it’s clear that the buyers are back for the ASX, where the 200 index rose another 0.59% to 5,669. It couldn’t quite climb to the recent June highs, but as Chris Pash wrote yesterday, even with the weak lead from the US “the Australian market opened higher and kept going. Six out ten sectors were higher”. Banks were all up, big miners were slightly higher, but energy stocks suffered. Futures are pointing to another mildly positive day today.
2. In Asia yesterday, Shanghai had a rollercoaster ride moving from sharply down, with a low of 3,690, before rallying to a pre-lunch high of 3,877 before closing at 3,823. The battle is raging for the heart and souls of Chinese stocks and after two days of selling the authorities will be pleased that the market had a positive day. The Nikkei rose to the highest level in three weeks yesterday with a 0.7% rally and the rest of Asia finished in the black as well.
3. China hit its 7% GDP growth target again! That’s 25 years of 7% growth! Except it’s all bollocks really, because BI’s Linette Lopez says China’s books are cooked and to get a proper idea on what’s going on, you have to look elsewhere. Such as Singapore, where GDP declined 4.6% last quarter. And here in Australia, where net export growth is expected to fall from 1.7% to 1.4% in 2015. Xi Jinping’s transition to “the new normal” is not going as smoothly as hoped.
4. Bernard Tomic was arrested in Miami last night. It’s straight to Tennis Australia’s Hall of Shame once again for the “bad boy”, who got in trouble at his hotel for… playing music too loud? Kid can’t even play up properly…
— Miami Beach Police (@MiamiBeachPD) July 16, 2015
5. Salma Hayek is gorgeous, an actress of sorts and married to a billionaire. A billionaire who demanded his wife go back to work after giving birth to their daughter eight years ago. In his words:
“We’re not putting up with some lazy girl in the house. That’s not who I married.”
But wait – Hayek was OK with that because the smooth-talker added: “I don’t want to be deprived of your work. I want to watch it, too.” Hayek says she “never spent more than two weeks” away from her girl, and she’s finished 15 film and TV projects since her birth. And the couple are still married. Huh.
6. Remember Peter Costello? He’s the guy who gave us the GST and made negative gearing attractive for mum-and-dad property investors. Here’s his solution for bringing down property prices, which absolutely aren’t rising because of negative gearing:
“The quickest way to bring down property prices is to double the interest rate.”
7. The SIM card is dead, almost. Apple and Samsung are leading a charge to make the pesky chips permanent in phones. But here’s the kicker – the technology will allow you to swap carrier without changing cards. No contracts and the ability to switch at will? Expect some push back from the telcos on this one.
8. Seaweed is the new bacon. No, really – researchers in Oregon have patented a new strain of red algae that grows very quickly and has twice the nutritional value of kale. And unlike kale, tastes like bacon when fried (i.e. delicious).
9. Momofuku’s David Chang has never been afraid to poke the bear. He’s one of the hottest chefs in the world, with 16 restaurants, including Momofuku Seiobo in Sydney, so he’s spent plenty of time in Australia, and doesn’t like our burgers. In fact, he thinks they’re the worst in the world. US-born Sydney chef Gregory Llewellyn of Hartsyard tends to agree. Chang, who’s previously sung the praises of MSG, thinks Aussie burgers suck for adding beetroot and egg, but he quite likes Mary’s in Newtown. There’s more on this major rift in US/Australian relations here.
10. It was a disappointing night in the cricket, where Australia lost David Warner early to a silly shot before finishing the opening day of the Second Test at Lord’s 1/337. Let’s hope unbeaten centurions Steve Smith and Chris Rogers can make up for it tonight.
BONUS ITEM: The world’s most painful sting belongs to an ant in South America. Just ask Hamish Blake:
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