10 Things You Need To Know This Morning In Australia

Sydney by Crown – sold out. Photo: YouTube

Good morning. Here we go.

1. On ASX futures, the local market backed off again overnight after a good day on the physical which saw stocks surge more than 1% higher on the Chinese rate cut sugar hit. Overnight the Dec SPI 200 dipped 6 points to 5,348. It could be an interesting day for local stock traders.

2. In Asia, the Chinese markets ripped higher on the stimulus with property developers the big winners. One cut begets expectations of another and given this is the first PBOC cut since 2012, expectations are that more will flow. Certainly that makes sense given the slowing economy. In Tokyo, it was a much quieter day than what we have seen lately. The Nikkei was up 0.33% to 17,358, back in the black, the Hang Seng up 1.95% to 23,893, and Shanghai Composite up 1.86% to 2,533.

3. China’s stimulus on Friday drove Asian shares sharply higher yesterday but the reaction of the Aussie dollar, which fell back toward 86 cents, is the clearest sign that markets are nuancing what is happening in stock markets with Chinese stimulus, US and now Europe, with other markets. Thus, China stimulus does not equal Aussie dollar strength in any sustainable way because China is slowing and will continue to slow.

4. Sydney on sale. 220 off-the-plan apartments in the Sydney by Crown development went on sale Saturday. The cheapest was an $826,650 one-bedder. Within four hours, 95% of them were gone and you can expect a good chunk of them went to buyers in Singapore and Jakarta who were targeted with launches in their own countries. The Crown Group wanted $100 million; they got $173 million. One more time, in case you didn’t get that – one-bedrom, $826,650, more than 200 sold in four hours.

5. It’s Medibank Day. Come midday, $5.679 billion worth of investors will know whether they they put their money into a good thing. It looks like it. Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, reckons shares could hit $2.40 for those looking to sell on opening. For mums and dads, who got in on the retail offering of $2, that’s a tidy 20% return. Managed funds had to pay $2.15, but they’re unlikely to be disappointed either. IG’s grey market traded by clients suggests the stock will close the day at $2.23.

6. Coca-Cola is getting into the premium milk game. Coca-Cola’s North American chief, Sandy Douglas, told Morgan Stanley’s Global Consumer Conference last week that it was about to “rain money” on the company. His pin-up product? Premium milk. It doesn’t contain lactose and it has 50% more protein and calcium than regular milk, as well as 30% less sugar. And when it hits US shelves next month, it will cost exactly twice as much as regular milk. “When you do it well it rains money later,” Douglas said. It’s also a great chance to trot out those fantastic milk dress shots CC has booked for the launch.

Picture: Coca-Cola

7. Founded in 2003 by former Wall Street banker Wayne Homschek, Pie Face was once talking of 500 shops across Australia. It peaked at 80 with a $60 million valuation, but by 2012 nearly all its company-owned stores were allegedly losing money. Homschek never lost faith, outlining a plan for 150 global stores, but last month, six of its seven New York outlets closed their doors. It’s now in voluntary administration.

8. Oh, China. The South China Sea is believed to be rich with minerals and oil-and-gas deposits and therefore, is also one of Asia’s biggest possible flashpoints. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan have claims, but there’s really only one that everyone’s fighting with – China. It’s absolutely pushing the boundaries with at the least, arrogant and at the most, downright provocative sovereignty claims in recent years. It’s latest stunt is building an entire island and airstrip on a reef in the Spratly Islands, which arguably belong to the Philippines. Here’s how it’s playing out:

US: ‘Stop land reclamation program and engage in diplomatic initiatives.’
China: ‘We hope that the U.S. can also get used to China’s more frequent presence in the seas.’

9. Bioshock Australia. The CSIRO has launched a study, Australia’s Biosecurity Future, about potential biosecurity threats. It’s all about preparing for future biological challenges which could devastate Australia’s agricultural industries, economy and environment and maybe severely alter our way of life. The science body has identified 12 “megashock” risk areas which need to be monitored, including bee loss, alien mussels, bioterrist attacks and perhaps the worst of the lot, a federal government which doesn’t give a rat’s a..e about any of it.

10. Why you should quit your job. If “terrible boss”, “no pay rise” and “taking on extra work” aren’t enough, here’s 10 more reasons to help you justify kickstarting your new life.

BONUS ITEM: Logan Paul is a Vine pioneer, one of the first online stars to stake a claim to the six-second video format. He does do set-ups, but he rarely does fakes. There is sorcery here, somewhere.

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