10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Man bags – good enough for Indiana Jones. Picture: Warner Bros

Good morning.

1. To markets, where everything’s quiet and everyone’s waiting. Here in Australia, they’re waiting to see what RBA governor Glenn Stevens has to say about why rates dropped when he speaks at 1.30pm. In the US, Janet Yellen’s speech on Friday may give some clues about where US rates are headed in June. The impact on SPI 200 futures was a fall, a rally and a flat close during the overnight session with the June contract off just 1 point. The dollar is becalmed above 72 cents.

2. But iron ore. Oh, iron ore. It crumbled overnight in its third-biggest single session fall in two years. The spot price for benchmark 62% fines fell by 6.69%, or $3.67, to $51.22 a tonne, leaving it down 27.3% from the multi-year peak of $70.46 a tonne struck on April 21:

Here’s why, maybe.

3. Streaming wars. You can now get Spotify’s Premium service for $3 a month. Hot on the heels of Google and Apple offering family plans, Spotify is now letting you split a $17.99 monthly plan six ways. Obviously, you don’t need to be a family to enjoy it, but you will have to find five reliable mates and an easy way to split the $17.99. Try Venmo or Square Cash.

4. But Apple doesn’t compete on price. The company’s mantra since day one was that it was committed to making the best product. So it’s big news when Tim Cook, asked if $US600 is too much for an iPhone, says:

“I recognise that prices are high. We want to do things that lower that over time to the degree that we can.”

Cook said that in India, where Apple struggles in the face of much cheaper competition. That problem caused some awkwardness when he stopped outside a store in Gurgaon to wonder out loud if an Apple-branded iPhone case was “counterfeit”. It wasn’t.

5. House prices in Australia will stagnate for a couple of years, then fall outright in 2019 and 2020, according to Capital Economics’ chief economist Paul Dales. He reckons we’re even more vulnerable to a tumble than the US market was before prices there fell by 30% during the GFC. But here’s why he says we shouldn’t expect a US-style collapse.

6. “Hodor” is more than just a word people say to make sure other “Game of Thrones” know they know what Hodor says. It’s actually a symptom of a real disease, discovered in 1861 by French physician Paul Broca who was trying to figure out why Louis-Victor Leborgne could only say the word “tan”. Humans, being humans, just called him “Tan”.

7. Fintech is kind of a big deal right now, right? The online lending industry and all its hopeful disruptors trying to take it out of the hands of traditional lenders is building a reported $180 billion industry. Deloitte says nope. The practice did a deep dive and found fintech startups “will not be significant players in terms of overall volume or share“.

8. Thieves, you’ve changed. Wielding sledgehammers, four offenders smashed their way into Gucci and Prada stores in Melbourne last night. A quantity of expensive “man bags” were stolen.

9. UFC superstar Conor McGregor is spoiling for a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jnr. But he won’t get out of bed for it for less than $100 million. He reckons a rumoured $7 million payday for him (and $100 mill for Mayweather) is an insult and Mayweather “needs” McGregor. We’re pretty sure Mayweather’s going along just fine in retirement.

10. So you’ve checked out what you’re really worth on Adzuna, but haven’t had the courage to send the result to your boss with the handy “Email this to my boss” function button. These things are better off said face to face, anyway. So when you do, here’s the one word to avoid at all costs when you ask for more cash.

BONUS ITEM: The magic of drones brings JJ Abrams’ hastily scrawled storylines to life in spectacular fashion:

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