1. Dollar down The Australian dollar is falling against the greenback as it gets its mojo back, and against the British pound, which found support from renewed speculation about Brexit negotiations. The sterling jumped after Business Insider reported that the EU Parliament is preparing a resolution that will call for more flexibility in a future relationship with Britain.
Here’s the scoreboard at 7.30am AEDT.
AUD/USD 0.7878 , -0.0033 , -0.42%
AUD/JPY 84.49 , 0.17 , 0.20%
AUD/CNH 4.9953 , 0.0071 , 0.14%
AUD/EUR 0.6386 , 0.001 , 0.16%
AUD/GBP 0.5631 , -0.0017 , -0.30%
AUD/NZD 1.0724 , -0.0004 , -0.04%
AUD/CAD 0.9959 , 0.0022 , 0.22%
2. It’s wage day. The main item on the agenda today is the release of Australia’s December quarter wage price index (WPI) report at 11.30am AEDT. The quarterly wage price index has become one of the most important data releases on the calendar, given how often the RBA cites wages as part of its inflation outlook. Wage growth for the December quarter is expected grow at just 0.5% q/q, leaving annual growth at just 2%. David Scutt’s 10-second guide is here.
3. Hacking and mining. Tesla’s Amazon cloud account was hacked and used to mine cryptocurrency. While the hack exposed some of Tesla’s proprietary data related to mapping, telemetry, and vehicle servicing, Tesla says it believes the hack was limited to the company’s test cars and did not affect any vehicles owned by its customers.
4. Standing the test of time. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is funding the construction of a giant $53 million mechanical clock designed to outlast the United States of America. The “10,000 year clock” being built in the West Texas desert is designed to serve as a symbol for long-term thinking.
Whole civilizations will rise and fall. New systems of government will be invented. You can’t imagine the world – no one can – that we’re trying to get this clock to pass through.
– Jeff Bezos.
Here’s a video of the clock that he shared on Tuesday.
Installation has begun—500 ft tall, all mechanical, powered by day/night thermal cycles, synchronized at solar noon, a symbol for long-term thinking—the #10000YearClock is coming together thx to the genius of Danny Hillis, Zander Rose & the whole Clock team! Enjoy the video. pic.twitter.com/FYIyaUIbdJ
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) February 20, 2018
5. Wesfarmers profit has dropped 86% to $212 million for the half-year after $1.32 billion in writedowns relating to Bunnings in Britain and at its discount store Target. Meanwhile, managing director Rob Scott says the continued strong momentum in Bunnings Australia and New Zealand, Kmart and Officeworks, in a competitive retail environment, was a highlight for the half. More here.
6. Want to invest like a multi-billionaire? We have a list of Warren Buffett’s biggest investments. From Moody’s Corporation to American Express, Coca-Cola and Apple. See them here.
7. For the love of beer. It seems the non-alcoholic variety is fuelling the German medal-winning streak at the Winter Olympics. The German athletes had a shipment of 3,500 litres delivered to the athletes’ village in Pyeongchang with the team doctor saying it significantly reduces inflammation, meaning that those who drink it recover faster than those who don’t. Prost!
8. No rest for the wicked. The US and North Korea look like they will get right back into a nuclear standoff after the Olympics after the States announced on Tuesday that military drills — which were postponed during the Winter Olympics — will continue “as planned” after the games conclude.
9. I feel like chicken tonight… oh. 750 KFC outlets across the UK — 80% of all KFCs in Britain — have been closed after a change in food distributors led to a chicken shortage for the company. People across the UK tweeted of their outrage over the news. One called it “a sign of the apocalypse”.
Surely KFC running out of chicken is a sign of the apocalypse? Should I be expecting to see Four Horseman anytime soon? And I’m not talking about Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson & Ole Anderson ???? pic.twitter.com/zIQw46iBGT
— ???????????????????????????????? (@DanielMondinho) February 19, 2018
KFC has since set up a website where people can find their nearest open outlet, and it promised that “the Colonel is working on it”.
10. The devil wears… sunglasses? Anna Wintour has been criticised for not removing her sunglasses when talking to Queen Elizabeth II at London Fashion Week on Tuesday. Wintour, who has long been cited as the inspiration for Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada, uses the shades at fashion shows to mask her reaction to the designs. But her actions sent the internet into a frenzy as people claim this showed a total lack of respect for the 91-year-old monarch.
Have a great day.
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