10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Old dog, new tricks. Picture: MGM/Columbia

Good morning.

1. Rate cut? Don’t get your hopes up, if this speech from RBA governor Glenn Stevens yesterday is anything to go by. Stevens outlined the implications for slow growth, including an impact on living standards, the need to revisit budget calculations, and the risk of over-reacting by simply cutting rates. It came across all a bit gloomy, actually.

2. A terrible day yesterday for the ASX 200, which fell 1.6% leaving the 200 index at 5,614. The big banks lost ground, BHP was weaker by 2.05% to $26.27 and Rio Tinto 2.25% to $52.18. But Greg McKenna reckons the most interesting event was that the recently spun off ex-BHP operations of newly listed South32 took a $US1.9 billion writedown – incredibly close to the recent listing. Futures are only marginally lower today as US markets have already soaked up the worst expectations, so September SPI 200 futures are down 2 points to 5549.

3. The big winner today was the Kiwi dollar, up a full per cent to 0.6635 after the RBNZ cut rates by 25 basis points to 3%. The Aussie has not been able to follow the Kiwi higher and is still below 74 cents this morning. That means the Aussie Kiwi has dropped back to 1.1111.

4. No more ABC shops. Remember back in November when ABC managing director said 400 jobs had to go so it could soak up $254 million in funding cuts? About 100 came from its news division. And now, presumably, the other 300 are the staffers in its 128 nationwide stores and outlets, which will stop handing you all the best Wiggles and Dr Who merchandise and switch to a digital model.

5. Let’s list all the great things we can see in the new Bond, James Bond trailer. The new Aston Martin and Q promising “tricks”, Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy, a scene that has shades of Live and Let Die’s voodoo excellence, and the return of Spectre. FOUR Bond girls. And Christoph Waltz. Watch it all here now and start counting down the 107 days until the full release.

6. Iron ore prices could drop by another 47% by the end of the year. The World Bank says so in its latest quarterly Commodity Markets Outlook, and blames increased output from Australia and Brazil as the cause. And the outlook for all metals isn’t so great either. That’s not good news for Aussies, because we go bonkers over the iron ore price – this chart shows why.

7. WD-40 is amazing, like duct tape in a can. It’s a company worth $1.3 billion off the back of a spray that’s most famous for getting engines started and rusty nuts undone, but in 1953, it was a struggling startup in every sense of the term. If you want know exactly how much of a failure it was, you need to know what the “40” in WD-40 means.

8. Airports are a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Simple things like bringing a double adapter can make your wait time so much easier, along with these 21 other airport hacks we’ve pulled together. (Hint – free wifi…)

9. What’s a “demand reset”? A problem we all might face, and one Apple definitely does face as China’s economic slowdown starts to have a real impact. In a note to clients following Apple’s third quarter results, analysts at Cowen downgraded shares to “Market Perform” from “Outperform” due to demand reset, and if it can pull Apple’s shares down, no one is safe.

10. Sydney’s median house price has broken through the $1 million mark for the first time in the city’s history. If you’re just so b…dy sick of this kind of rubbish, consider moving to one of these other capital cities. They’re all lovely, really, and $1 million will go a lot further than some cockroach-infested two-bedder under an international flight path.

BONUS ITEM: Bronwyn Bishop’s Facebook page is all the talk after she updated her main pic with… a shot from a helicopter. You might have seen some of the larks everyone’s having, with pics like these:


There’s loads more where that came from. Have a great Thursday – Friday’s up next.

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