Good morning and welcome to your extra Friday!
1. Yesterday, iron was tanking. Today, it tanked some more. No, really tanked – the June 62% Fe Cfr China fell $2.37 to $47.28. That’s the lowest level since 2007 and, worryingly for Treasurer Joe Hockey, below the $50 forecast he would have once safely thought was a pessimistic estimate.
2. The local market is likely to have a better day if futures traders are to be believed. The rally last night in the SPI 200 June futures of 23 points, however, seems at odds with the moves in US stocks and iron ore. Perhaps the big move in oil has helped some stocks. Either way its a short day’s trade so it should be fairly quiet before the four-day break on the ASX.
3. The surge in stocks in Shanghai was a frankly ridiculous reaction to the official and HSBC manufacturing PMIs yesterday. Both indices beat expectations. But the NBS PMI only just eked out a positive number with a print of 50.1 – just in the expansion zone. The HSBC version printed 49.6 and, by every measure reported, showed an economy contracting.
4. The Aussie is back under 76 cents, just, at 0.7597 this morning. It’s underperformed the small gains in the euro and yen because of the big fall in iron ore.
5. So you want to launch a small business in Australia? IBISWorld’s business information analysts have got the drop for you on which industry to invest in if you want to thrive. Dental, for starters. Here are the other four ranking industries, in no particular order.
6. Pictures of storms from space are a bit ho-hum these days, but even by NASA standards, this Category 5 super typhoon homing in on the Philippines is whoa material. Even better is this pic from ISS astronaut Terry Virts who got one off while right above the eye. Amazing:
7. Bought tickets to Top Gear for its live show in Sydney and Melbourne in a couple of weeks? Don’t fret, you won’t miss it. You now own tickets to “Clarkson, Hammond and May Live” and you’ll be able to catch it in July. You can thank the BBC, which clearly doesn’t want to disassociate itself from Clarkson so much that it’s willing to carve off $20 million in ticket sales.
8. Ah, April Fool’s. While John Oliver mounts his campaign to end the day of enjoying humiliation at your loved ones’ expense, Wall Street misses the good old days. Now the trading floor is under 24/7 scrutiny and the pranking has subsided, but whooowee! was it wild way back when! Here’s 25 old-school pranks that Wall Streeters used to pull on the trading floor.
9. More bad news for the greyhound industry, which is itself on death’s door after at least 55 dead greyhounds were found dumped in bushland in Queensland. Police and RSPCA officers found the bodies near Bundaberg following a tip-off from a member of the public. Given there’s no kennels housing that many dogs in Bundaberg, police think the dogs may have come from different kennels.
10. AFL kicks off tonight, with Carlton opening up against Richmond. But all eyes will be on Saturday’s clash between Essendon and Sydney at ANZ Stadium. There’s news today that ASADA stuffed the case against the Bombers because it couldn’t prove the substance involved was actually what it said it was. On the field, it’s actually a cracker round, with Melbourne v Gold Coast looming as the only one-sided contest.
BONUS ITEM: April Fool’s was so yesterday here. But here’s a great story shared by this Twitter user in the UK from one girl whose dad wrote her a letter saying she’d been accepted into Hogwarts. And made her cry when she found out it wasn’t real. Bad Dad.
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