Good morning, and welcome to Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know:
Aussie dollar slide. The negatives are stacking up for the currency, with the uncertainty over the budget, sliding iron ore prices and some fiscal drag from the cuts in the federal budget all weighing on the growth outlook. The battler fell to 0.9240 overnight, down more than 1c from the start of the week, and there may be some way to go yet.
Rollercoaster markets. The Dow fell 0.8%, the S&P 500 was down 0.6% and the Nasdaq lost 0.7% in the US session, with retailers Urban Outfitters (-8.8%) and Dicks Sporting goods (-17.9%) getting slammed on poor results. In Asia it was green everywhere yesterday, with the Nikkei (+0.49%), Hong Kong (+0.57%), and Shanghai (+0.14%) all up. The ASX traded mainly lower yesterday but a late rally say it finish up 0.22% for the session. Futures, however, are pointing to a fall at the open today.
Consumers retreating. The ANZ-Roy Morgan weekly consumer confidence index yesterday showed consumer sentiment in Australia tumbling at a rate faster than even during the GFC. The more well-established Westpac-MI monthly consumer sentiment survey is out today, delayed a week to try and capture the impact of the federal budget. Signs that consumers might be retreating into their caves are important leading indicators anyway but right now there’s the added element that it might be largely connected to people’s perceptions of the federal budget. Tonight from the US we get the FOMC minutes and Fedspeak with an appearance from Janet Yellen.
Record temperatures. Land and ocean temperatures in April this year were tied with April 2010 for the highest on record, according to data from NOAA released overnight.
HealthEngine growth. Australian medical startup HealthEngine has opened another round of fundraising just a year after a $10.4 million joint investment from Telstra and Seven West Media. HealthEngine compares itself to a Wotif for GPs, allowing you to search available doctors’ appointments in a particular area. The Telstra-Seven investment gave them a stellar board, including Pat O’Sullivan, the former Optus CFO and COO at PBL. There’s more about them here.
Microsoft’s laptop alternative. In the three months since Satya Nadella’s appointment as CEO, Microsoft has been racing through announcements. Overnight in New York the company unveiled the Surface Pro 3, which it’s billing as a true alternative to the laptop. It includes a fancy, super-responsive pen for writing and a. It’s available from August in Australia for $979 from MicrosoftStore.com, Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi. Pre-orders are being taken from today.
At 22, I wish I knew… LinkedIn has rounded up contributions from more than 80 contributions from its Influencer contributors – including Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, Deepak Chopra and Naomi Simson – and asked them to lay out what they wished they knew in their early 20s. Many of the contributions centre around not working too hard.
Winning Aussie architecture. The East Tower at new Sydney development One Central Park – the one on George Street with all the plants growing up the side – has been named among the top 10 best new building towers in the world. There are some outstanding creations in the list, which you can see in full here.
Fight Club’s clues. This year marks the 15th anniversary of Fight Club, the brilliant movie that sparked an entire new genre in gags that begin: “The First Rule of [insert social custom here] is you do not talk about [social custom]. The movie contains a stack of clues that point towards the spectacular plot twist at the end. Have a look at them here.
Sedentary kids. An inaugural report card on the fitness of Australian kids has found 80% of children between five and 17 years old are not meeting physical activity guidelines of at least 60 minutes of exercise each day.
Have a great day. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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