Good morning. Here’s your update, starting with the big news that the Aussie got crushed again overnight.
So without further ado:
1. The Aussie got crushed again overnight. Chinese preliminary manufacturing PMI lifted the Aussie back above 89 cents yesterday afternoon. It traded around 0.8925 at 11pm AEST before weakness in US stocks and a surge in buying support for the US dollar dragged it lower to 0.8827. What the price action of the past 24 hours suggests is a big psychological shift in traders’ mindsets, with no sustained follow-through from the Chinese positivity. Rather, traders are focused on a growing sense that Australian growth is slowing or – more importantly – that there is a change afoot in global markets, and the US dollar is in the ascendancy.
2. In Asia yesterday, Shanghai loved the better-than-expected preliminary PMI, rising 20 points or 0.88% to 2,310. In Tokyo, the Nikkei fell 0.71% when the USDJPY lost ground and Hang Seng stocks were 0.59% lower.
3. There’s a bit of good data about today. The big item is one which usually passes without too much comment – the RBA’s Financial Stability Review. There will be a lot of interest in any comments on housing prices and any new rules or proposed control about lending. Around the same time, Westpac will release its China consumer sentiment release.
4. Australian police shot a teenager. Here’s some disturbing news on the back of last week’s terror raids. An 18-year-old man was asked to present himself at a police station in Endeavour Hills, Melbourne. He was met at his car by officers from both Vic Police and the AFP. They report he pulled a knife and both officers were injured before they opened fire, killing him. There are reports the man was carrying an ISIS flag, and the AFP isn’t denying it. Expect more on this one through the day.
5. How to raise capital in Australia. It’s possible, despite all the bleating from startups that have so far failed to ignite interest from Australian VCs. This Australian startup just raised $35 million in its first round, valuing it at over $100 million. It’s an invoicing app company called Invoice2go and it’s getting a new CEO after closing a huge fundraising round from Accel Partners and Ribbit Capital. Founder Chris Strode, a former Macquarie banker, said the investor recruitment started in 2012 and was a long process, but the hard work ultimately paid off. For a first round, $35m is not to be sneezed at.
6. The Queen purrs over Scotland’s refusal to leave. Well, this is awkward. David Cameron, the British PM, has been recorded talking to former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, and he clearly broke a couple of sacred etiquette rules. Such as the fact the Queen “purred” down the line when he told her Scotland had voted No in last week’s independence poll. She is very unlikely to be amused.
7. The iPhone 6 Plus bends. And stays bent, according to reports from users flooding through after they kept it in their pockets while sitting down. And it’s true – here’s the video that proves it. You can either chalk it up as a win for the smaller iPhone 6, or a loss for the kind of people who sit down with their phones in their pockets.
8. They shoot horses, don’t they? In the Snowy Mountains, yes, where wild brumbies are eating each other. Here’s an incredible – and gruesome, with video – piece from The Conversation today about why it’s high time to stop the handwringing over our culling of the Australian icon, which is quite understandably an emotive subject.
9. So you want to work for Google? And why not – it is, after all, the most tired No 1 in every list of the world’s best workplaces in recent memory. Take these tips from the top and it could be you sliding down that curly steel tube to the ground floor every day. Former CEO Eric Schmidt said there’s four criteria… and one of them is you have to be “Googley”.
10. AFL Grand Final update. Seven won’t be showing it live in HD, even though it has an HD channel, 7mate. A fan who’s been championing the cause for two years now claims Seven Melbourne managing director Lewis Martin promised him back in March that 7mate would offer the HD option for the Grand Final. He’s publishing emails which he says proves the exchange was genuine on this very comprehensive and popular blog rallying support for the cause. It’s also an excuse to run this from one of our favourite tweeters:
— Sportsbet.com.au (@sportsbetcomau) March 14, 2014
THIS ONE’S FOR FREE. Another former PM said something. In an interview. On TV. Apparently. Relevance: none.
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