Good morning, and welcome to Thursday. Here’s what you need to know…
1. Markets rose in the US session after the Fed signalled no looming change in interest rates in its monthly statement. As Joe Weisenthal writes this morning, Janet Yellen has confirmed her dovish nature, even describing the recent high CPI number as “noise”. What this means is Yellen isn’t, like of Bank of England governor Mark Carney, of a mind that interest rate rises could hit markets sooner rather than later because she isn’t overly concerned about the signs of rising activity in the US economy.
2. The “Dot plot” showing the views of FOMC members on where they think interest rates will be over the coming years is a little more dovish this year, signalling rates are unlikely to rise soon, but that there’s a wider dispersion in next year. Some analysts say this is a signal that the era of super-low rates will end.
3. At the close the Dow was up 0.6%, the S&P up 0.8% and the Nasdaq up 0.6%. The Nikkei rallied more than 0.9% yesterday, while the ASX was down a third of a point which it may recover today on the US lead. The VIX, a predictor of how much the market is going to move, hit a fresh 2014 low on the back of the Fed announcement.
4. The Socceroos almost pulled off a miracle in their World Cup group game against the mighty Dutch, leading The Netherlands 2-1 at one point. But it was not to be; with a final score of 3-2, Australia is out of the World Cup (as is Spain, after a disastrous loss to Chile in the other group game). But they’ve acquitted themselves very well. And best of all, Tim Cahill, who scored a wondergoal first-touch volley on the end of a 43-yard pass, now has more goals than Ronaldo, Messi And Rooney combined. Hats off, gents.
5. And so, too, to the NSW Blues, who won the State of Origin series for the first time in nine years with a come-from-behind 6-4 victory over Queensland in Sydney last night. It was a tense affair, with scuffles breaking out repeatedly in the first half and Queensland looking like they were going to square the series, but NSW lifted in the second half before running in a try to take the lead in the final quarter. At the siren, NSW fullback Jarryd Hayne gathered the ball near his own try line and took it into touch, almost falling towards this this beautiful moment of triumph and relief with the sea of Blues supporters in front of him:
The drought’s broken.
6. Amazon launched its first smartphone, the Fire, which could be a nightmare for retailers. A feature called Firefly allows you to scan physical items and encourages you to buy them on Amazon instead. It’s also stacked with features that IT professionals and business users will love, including a Mobile Device Management system that allows administrators to lock and wipe phones remotely, and access to files on a corporate network using a simple login. It also lets you scroll without touching it.
7. Public servants at the Australian Taxation Office are poised to take industrial action over a proposal that means they will have to finish at 5pm, rather than 4.51pm.
8. Overseas incentives. ANZ chairman David Gonski says the federal government should consider extending the dividend imputation system to include foreign taxes. This would encourage companies to invest more and more money overseas.
9. Fish-catching spiders. Scientists have found a new type of spider in Australia that catches and eats fish from ponds. Details – and a photo of one of the spiders catching a goldfish – here.
10. The new ringtone? This technology can make your electric car sound like a spaceship. (This is important in city streets because, as the start of the video shows, electric cars can be dangerously quiet, making them a risk to cyclists and pedestrians.) The fun starts about halfway through. But a horrifying thought: if it can be personalised, people could choose music to rev their engine to. Enya, anyone?
Have a great day. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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