1. The US Fed is out of patience, dropping the word from its FOMC statement after a two-day meeting. That means the US people are preparing for rate hikes in June or perhaps September. The timing of Fed chair Janet Yellen’s call was perfectly pitched – bonds rallied, the US dollar sold off and stocks reversed their earlier weakness, which is exactly what they she was aiming for. Yellen also noted that net exports would also be a drag on growth this year. That’s a clear signal the Fed wants the dollar lower, and hey presto…
2. The US dollar had its biggest one-day fall in around 18 months. The Aussie liked the news and roared back over 78 cents. Here’s the chart:
3. So the ASX should have a good day, as the futures indicate. The overnight move took the market up and through the recent tight range that has constrained it. That will excite a few bulls and bring in some fresh ones. We’ll see if our market can hold on today. Worth noting is that iron ore absolutely tanked yesterday, and futures are down more than 2% as a result.
4. In Asia yesterday, the love affair with stimulus seemed to kick Shanghai stocks higher – again. But it’s still being outpaced by China’s massive real estate developers, even though the rate of price decline in Chinese housing increased to -5.7% from -5.1% last month. Shares in China Vanke rose by 4.04% on Wednesday and Poly Real Estate Group was up 5.05%. That’s because Premier Li knows a lot of Chinese invest a disproportionate amount of their savings in real estate (sound familiar?) and lets the country’s state-run banks bail out developers in depressed times, to the tune of billions.
5. The best financial deal in the world could be this “magic ticket” owned by 25-year-old Max-Hervé George. He owns life insurance contracts that guarantee him a return of 68%, because if things go bad, he can switch his investments based on their closing prices during the previous week. He’s kind of an investor who can time travel:
“It is not possible to lose as the possibility to go back a week in time is in my favour.”
6. Reverse takeovers are all the rage on the ASX, but Shark Tank judge Steve Baxter isn’t a fan. For starters, “it’s easier and cheaper to do a clean listing,” he says. Especially when you’ve got a market where investors will pay billions for drilling on the faint hope they might find commodities below the ground. “And people complain about tech startups being risky?” he says. “Tech startups are gold.”
7. Aussie managers swear in meetings, and that shocks a lot of international execs. Almost as much as drinking alcohol during lunch. Richard Lewis has all the reasons why, and how visitors can deal with it all in his book “Cross-Cultural Communication: A Visual Approach.” But we’ve got the quick version here for you.
8. TV is changing. Apple is about to announce a potential $2 billion streaming service, and people just keep turning away from free-to-air and cable. But as every confused parent knows, kids are heading elsewhere – toward watching other people play video games:
Amazon bought Twitch last year when it had 45 million users. It now has double that – here’s why.
9. In debt? Here’s a neat infographic which will help you pay it off quicker.
10. The aurora australis has been having a couple of nights out after our Sun got a little unstable this week. Normally, you’d have to be in Tassie to catch the shows regularly, but this week, viewers have been treated to the spectacular show as far north as Kiama. Here’s a selection of the best images and videos. We’ll start you off with this beautiful timelapse from Rudi:
BONUS ITEM: Miranda Kerr’s selling something in Japan. But what is it?
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