Good morning. Let’s not muck about.
1. In the face of the big sell-off in other markets around the world, the ASX defied logic and rallied strongly yesterday up 43.4 points or 0.8%. Overnight, however, the SPI 200 fell 35 points to 5286 – the market might struggle to defy logic and international leads for a fourth day in a row.
2. Chinese Golden Week continues and the focus is still on the protest in Hong Kong with news this morning that there is talk of occupying government buildings. Worth watching, because while the aggressive approach of the weekend has changed, such a tactic by the protestors will be hard for Beijing to ignore. In Japan yesterday, the Nikkei was down 0.57% and will likely be under pressure today after a big reversal in the yen from above 110 against the US dollar on Tuesday night to sit this morning back under 109. It’s a normal reaction at times of risk-off.
3. The Aussie found support at the low of 2014, trading down to 0.8666 yesterday after the weak retail sales. It is substantially higher this morning, however, at 0.8727. This is largely a result of a weaker US dollar overnight after Draghi’s comments about monetary policy helped drive the euro back above 1.26 to 1.2616.
4. Clive Palmer’s company has been suspended. Australasian Resources, 70% owned by Palmer and his company Mineralogy, holds $7 million of the Queensland senator’s money. Now it’s been suspended by the ASX for failing to publish its annual accounts, but Palmer’s saying he knows nothing about it. “I’m not in business any more, you need to ring the company, ring the chairman,” he told Fairfax Media.
5. Joe Hockey says reports of recasting his budget due to senate blockages costing up to $30 billion are just plain wrong. The AFR isn’t giving up though, and this morning claims a deal has been done with Labor to scrap $10 billion worth of welfare measures in this year’s budget. We will know more in December when the Government releases the MYEFO.
6. Ford’s legendary GT Falcon line is coming to an end, but not before NSW Police can get their hands on one. The highway patrol will no doubt be happy to get behind the wheel of Australia’s most powerful and most technically advanced police car – an 800-horsepower brute specially tuned by three-time Bathurst winner and all-round Aussie racing legend Dick Johnson. There’s a heap of tech on board too, but most importantly, it’s about twice as powerful as the production version.
7. Times Higher Education has released its 2014-2015 World University Rankings, to reveal some more good results from Australian institutions. Eight Aussie unis made the top 200, seven of them improving their standing for last year. Our best is University of Melbourne, ranked 33, up one spot from last year. The California Institute of Technology in the US ranked number one overall – for the fourth year in a row – followed by Harvard University at number two and Oxford in third.
8. There’s a better class than First Class. It’s called Suite Class, it’s available on Singapore Airlines, and one man was so keen to try it, he cashed in all his frequent flyer miles for a round trip. An $US18,000 round trip. Thankfully, he photographed his journey beautifully and now you can see what it’s like to have your own personal cabin with full-sized bed, private rooms and classy meals.
This photo is all you need to know, really:
9. The APP 100 is here. We’ve put together the definitive list of the best mobile apps out right now. And it’s not getting any easier – between Apple and Google, there’s about 2.6 million to choose from. This year we’ve broken our favourites down into categories, rather than rankings, because they’re all eye-catching in their design, intuitive and speedy in their execution, and at the end of the day, make our lives more enjoyable. Get downloading.
10. Bill Murray is wonderful. A little off-topic, but Bill Murray is the gift that just keeps on giving. He’s as unconventional as it gets when it comes to Hollywood, and this story from the director of Murray’s latest vehicle St Vincent about how he got Murray to star in it says it all. It’s fantastic. As is the trailer:
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