Good morning, and welcome to your week. Here’s what you need to know…
Markets rise. The US markets had a strong finish to the week with the S&P 500 closing above 1900 for the first time. The Dow was up 0.38% and the Nasdaq was up 0.76%. The Nikkei continued its three-day strong run and was up 0.87% on Friday, while Shanghai was up 0.68%. ASX futures are pointing to a slight rise at the open today in Australia. Today it’s a holiday in the US and it’s a relatively quiet week ahead with the capex numbers on Thursday the big print in Australia.
Euroskeptics on the march. Early results from the EU Parliamentary elections over the weekend are a huge shock to the EU establishment, with candidates hostile or skeptical of the European project seeing major gains in the polls. In France there was a shock win for the hard right, with Marine Le Pen (daughter of Jean-Marie) and the National Front securing around 25% of the French vote. It could hold up to 25 seats in the EU Parliament, up from the three it won five years ago. In the UK, the far-right UKIP appears to have topped the polls. In Greece, the hard-left Syriza movement – in opposition in Athens – topped the poll, while in Ireland Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA and whose politics are also firmly left, secured a huge 24% of the vote in Dublin and will increase its seats. More here.
Thai tensions. There were growing protests in Bangkok against the latest military coup in Thailand over the weekend. The Guardian reports this morning the king is expected to endorse the army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha as head of the government, which may help quell some of the unrest.
Budget battle. Parliament returns this week and the government will be seeking to secure support from the Greens and crossbenchers for the various measures in the federal budget. Labor has come around and will support the deficit levy on people earning over $180,000.
Consumer worry. Westpac’s Red Book, which digs deep into the readings from the bank’s consumer sentiment survey, has a great explanation of how the kind of crash in consumer mood we’re seeing around the federal budget can have effects in the real economy. A dive in the sentiment reading can start showing up in real spending a few months later and we’re now seeing some huge falls in this important leading indicator. Here’s one chart that shows the sentiment on the question of whether it’s time to buy a house – Westpac notes that this kind of fall is usually only triggered by interest rate increases.
As we noted last week consumer sentiment does sometimes fall around budget time so what’s critical now is that consumers are reassured and that the concern in these sentiment readings doesn’t convert into drops in spending that can squeeze businesses big and small. And the government isn’t getting great marks on this at the moment. More here.
Atlassian criticism. Australia’s richest young people, Atlassian founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, say the Australian government fails to understand the technological economy and how, without creating it here, Australia is going to end up sending wealth overseas as the sector expands over the coming years. Speaking directly to the PM’s desire to be known for infrastructure, they compare the NBN to a highway that’s going to have no cars on it. “It’s good having a really good highway network, but if you’ve got no trucks and no vehicles, what’s the point of having a good highway network?”, Cannon-Brookes said. They revealed Atlassian is now having to look overseas for talented developers and also played down the prospect of an IPO this year – the likelihood of this has receded as investors’ appetite for tech stocks waned in March and April this year. More here.
Social agency insights. Business Insider’s Aaron Taube spent some time inside Huge, a social media agency in New York which runs social media accounts for eight different brands, including Audi. There’s a run-down of the nuts and bolts of how they monitor the social conversation about their clients, and also an example of the planning process – including how this tweet about serving cheese at room temperature came from an idea that started 45 days before. It’s a nice tweet and everything, but still: 45 days?
Never lose anything again. Tile is a little location device that lets you find anything you’ve tagged it with using an app on your mobile phone within a short distance. When something goes missing beyond that range you can ask people in the Tile community to help you find it, and their phones will buzz when they come within range of it. There’s been a huge build-up to Tile’s release it has now started shipping.
Auction madness. This small scrap of paper with the word “The” written on it now has bids of more than $20,000 on eBay.
Tell him he’s dreamin’.
Asian Cup. Australia’s Matildas lost 1-0 to Japan in the final of the Women’s Asian Cup overnight in Ho Chi Minh City. A goal in the first half was enough to seal it for Japan although the Aussies created most of the chances in the second half. More here.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.