10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

No, she meant it. Picture: Getty Images

Friday! To the markets!

1. First, Australia, where the ASX was under pressure and in the red all yesterday. The 200 index had a wild ride, trading down below 5590 before rallying back toward square only to fall back to this level before rallying again. In the end, the market was off 0.4%. The key drivers of the market’s performance were the moves in the miners and the banks. Futures indicate more pressure today on prices in Australia.

2. In Asia yesterday, authorities are still winning with a 2.44% gain in the Shanghai composite index. David Scutt wrote, “It now looks safe to say that Beijing’s efforts to underpin the nation’s stock market – including the arrest of ‘malicious’ short-sellers and blanket ban on selling for some market participants – is working.” And the Nikkei had a better day yesterday, up 0.44% on the back of local earnings optimism.

3. The euro is up but the Aussie dollar hasn’t benefited at all from the dip in the USD dollar. There is a clear sentiment shift in traders’ perceptions about the Aussie dollar in that could see it come under real pressure if traders get a decent catalyst to sell. The Kiwi held onto most of its gains from yesterday while sterling came under pressure.

4. Boom, went Amazon. Its stocks rose an incredible 18% after Q2 earnings beat expectations on both the top and bottom line. Its net income of $US92 million smoked off a loss of $US126 million at this time last year. The stock spike sent CEO Jeff Bezos’ personal net worth soaring by, ooh, about $US7 billion…

5. Earth 2.0 is real. NASA’s been finding Earth-like planets since firing up its Kepler observatory in 1995, but it’s taken 20 years to find one that matches us this closely. Kepler 452b is bang in the “Goldilocks zone” – that is, orbiting a Sun like ours at a distance which allows it to support life. This is about as exciting as space exploration gets, and we have all the details here, plus this NASA artist’s impression of what our new home looks like:

Picture: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

6. There’s a proper, good old-fashioned celebrity feud going on right now. Taylor Swift is being bashed up on social media by her former bff Katy Perry and generously proportioned rapper Nicky Minaj. It’s complicated, but gets more engrossing every day – promise. Here’s the basics you need to understand how the war broke out, escalated and where it’s at right now.

Rowr.

7. Australia’s corporate watchdog is facing a review after completely missing the recent failures of governance and misconduct in the financial planning industry. The federal government wants to look at ASIC’s capabilities and how it uses its powers, and possibly change its $300 million funding structure.

8. Want to know which uni degree lands you the highest paying job? Chris Pash has the chart you’ve been looking for.

9. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says he spends about 80% of his day reading. So we looked through 20 years of interviews and shareholder letters to find out which books he recommends most highly.

10. Happy got-lucky story. A couple of years ago, Justin Carmack was living day to day travelling Africa and Asia, working bars and hostels. For a couple of years, he’d also been blogging about his scuba-diving hobby and all the great spots he’d explored. Then last year, Google decided his page was worth a higher ranking. “Overnight, advertisers started popping up in my emails,” he told BI. “One ad would equal about two weeks work in Estonia.” He’s still on the road, except now he’s pulling $US40,000 a year on top of all the great experiences tourism operators are chucking at him. It could happen to you, too, so don’t give up.

BONUS ITEM: Two months ago, a drone fan got drunk and lost his craft on a neighbour’s roof. It took his mate until now to build a rescue vehicle… and here’s the epic result:

Have a great weekend. I’m on Twitter.

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