10 Things You Need To Know This Morning In Australia

As it happened… Phil Hughes is struck by a bouncer at the SCG. Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty.

Good morning.

Let’s start Wednesday.

1. Praying for Phil Hughes. The opening batsman, 25, one of the game’s most likeable blokes, remains in an induced coma and critical condition in St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, following surgery to reduce brain swelling. The left hander was on 63 and looking set to return to the Test side against India next week when a bouncer hit the back of his head and he was knocked out at the SCG. Mouth-to-mouth was administered onfield after Hughes reportedly stopped breathing. It’s now a waiting game, with Hughes’ family saying it will take 22 to 48 hours to know how he is. Warnie summed up the national mood.

You can read well wishes others have sent here.

2. The Aussie dollar got smashed and along with Aussie crosses it’s the big local story this morning after the currency made a fresh low for 2014 of 0.8511 as the chorus of calls grows for the Aussie to fall over the next year, in part thanks to a speech last night by the RBA Deputy Governor Phil Lowe.

3. The idea that Australian wages are too high is a “furphy”, according to Lowe. Instead he blamed the exchange rate. BI’s Greg McKenna thinks Lowe should should’ve titled his address “The Aussie dollar needs to go down and will you PLEASE all cheer up”. Lowe’s full address is here.

4. In Asia, it was messy in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng down down 0.21% to 23,844, while in Tokyo the Nikkei Average lifted 0.29% to 17,408 on pre-election comments about growth. Shanghai was the big mover up 1.29% to 2,568. USDJPY is at 117.94 this morning while Euro is up as well after support at 1.24 was solid – it sits at 1.2474 while Sterling is at 1.5703. The Yen moved on comments from BoJ Governor Kuroda who said that he “will carefully watch market moves, including FX, and their impact on economy,” knocking the wind from the US dollars sails a little.

5. It was a good day for Medibank Private shareholders, especially for mum-and-dad investors who bought at $2 and watched the price rise to $2.23 before it closed at $2.14, a cent less than institutional investors paid, as nearly $1.3 billion worth of shares changed hands. With a P/E ratio of about 21, management looks like they’ll be busy keeping shareholders happy. One person delighted was former owner and finance minister Mathias Cormann having banked $5.679 billion from the sale.

6. America is aflame. Why? Ferguson. To backtrack: a white policeman shot an unarmed black youth and yesterday, a 12-person grand jury, after hearing a range of evidence, decided not to indict the officer for trial. It led to riots in the town, with more than 60 arrested and wide-scale desctruction. In New York, bridges were blocked in protest. President Barack Obama called for calm as race relations in America came to the fore once more.

7. Will love win out? The NSW Liberal Democrat – not to be confused with the Liberals – senator David Leyonhjelm, is introducing a private members bill on same-sex marriage to the Senate today. With nearly three-quarters of voters backing marriage equality, you’d think it was a political no brainer, but with the PM against the idea and the Liberal Party still to decide whether its MPs will be allowed a conscience vote, the walk down the aisle for gay and lesbian people is still a long one.

8. No subs for you!. Tradies in Adelaide must be wondering where they went wrong with the Abbott government. The car industry: gone. South Australia’s burgeoning renewable industry is in limbo as the RET’s future hangs in the balance and now defence minister David Johnston has unloaded on the government-owned Australian Submarine Corporation for a 4% budget over-run on the A$8 billion contract to build three destroyers. Johnston told the Senate yesterday that he wouldn’t trust them “to build a canoe”. Well there goes any chance of the ASC winning the $20 billion contract for 12 new subs. Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin must feel blessed. Australia is spending $12.4 billion on an extra 58 of the over-budget and delayed F-35 joint strike fighters. That’s $95 million each, on a plane originally meant to cost $50 million.

9. Kim Dotcom is broke. The flamboyant, New Zealand-based showman and entrepreneur behind Megaupload, Mega and unBound Digital has spent in excess of $10 million in legal fees fighting online piracy charges and says he’s run out of cash and expects to have his bail revoked as a result.

10. Great news frequent flyers! Australian airport security is considering letting the people in the cheap seats on a plane have proper cutlery again. Business and first class passengers obviously aren’t a danger, since they’ve had them all along. The review is also considering small scissors with blades of 6cm or less. Phew, now the danger from sharp finger nails should finally fall.

BONUS ITEM: What do you get the man who has everything? Something from the Unofficial Goldman Sachs Guide to Christmas Gifts, a lighthearted look at things for people with too much money by the man who brought you Goldman Sachs elevator.

Have a great day! I’m on Twitter @simonthomsen.

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