10 Things You Need To Know This Morning In Australia

You good thing. Picture: Getty Images

Good morning. Welcome to your ECB Special Edition.

1. So it happened – the ECB announced QE is in for at least two years. That means the bank will be buying a staggering €60 billion of asset purchases per month. Over the course of QE, that equates to roughly 25% more than Australia’s annual GDP. Here’s all you need to know about last night’s big call from Mario Draghi.

2. The first rate casualty of euro QE is Denmark, which eased policy again and dropped its rate to -0.35%. You can expect more to follow, but Australia? Maybe not, according to this analyst who says the RBA is unlikely to fix an economy that isn’t broken.

3. And the Aussie is holding in well. While the euro has fallen 1.96% to 1.1381 and the pound has been dragged 0.82% lower to 1.5017, the Aussie dollar has only lost 0.41% against the US dollar and sits at 0.8050. Pressure is on today though, and traders will be watching the 0.8000/30 level closely today.

4. All that adds up to a day ahead that has to be good for Australian stocks. Futures indicate a rally, with SPI 200 traders taking the March contract up 33 points overnight to 5,395 bid.

5. Likewise, Asia is in the money today too. Futures indicate another 20 points higher for the Shanghai composite, 165 points for March Nikkei futures and 104 points for the Hang Seng. All had solid gains yesterday. But with the release of the Flash Manufacturing PMI indicators for Japan and China this afternoon, there could be a wrinkle if the data disappoints.

6. Oh, Cahill. Australia’s evergreen striker Tim Cahill did it again last night, scoring both goals in the Socceroos’ 2-0 AFC quarterfinal win against China last night. And the first one was a blinder:

Cahill’s 39th goal for Australia set up a likely semifinal with Japan in Newcastle next week, which will be huge. And you can bet most of the fans will be paying to be able to say they saw Tim Cahill play for Australia.

7. Apple Watch update. It’s still a couple of months away, but the list of things we know the Apple Watch will do on startup is growing. And they’re pretty impressive – reminding you that you’ve sat down too long, helping meet your daily goals, give you directions. Just don’t do too much with all the things you can do – the Watch battery looks like it will only give you a maximum of four hours’ active use.

8. Davos is go. The World Economic Forum in Switzerland can cost networkers up to $70,000 a ticket. It’s BI’s Jim Edwards’ first time there and so far he’s seen speeches from at least five presidents or prime ministers. Sadly, no one’s saying anything interesting, especially former UK PM Gordon Brown. But with a good front row seat, Edwards set out to force Brown to say something interesting. Here’s the story of how he failed.

9. It’s been a bad year for Libya. There’s a crippling civil war going on between its Islamist-supported central government and a rival nationalist administration run by renegade general Khalifa Hifter. Earlier this month, an errant rocket destroyed an oil facility and burnt stock equivalent to 36 hours’ of national production. And the Central Bank’s foreign currency reserves dipped from $US321 billion to $US113 billion. Overnight, Hifter seized control of the branch that held it. He claims his men haven’t ransacked the vault yet, but is just letting the government know he has them by the… ahem. $100 BILLION.

10. What does the underside of an iceberg look like? This:

San Francisco-based designer and musician took the amazing snap on a trip to Antarctica, and there’s plenty more amazing pictures here.

BONUS ITEM: If you drive through flooded roads in Queensland, you’re bloody idiot. And Queensland Police will fine you by giving you a Nickelback CD.

Have a great weekend. I’m on Twitter.

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