Good morning. Let’s get this QE business out of the way first:
– 1. QE in the US is over. So locally, SPI 200 traders did what the physical market did yesterday and remained non-committal toward the end of the overnight session. The December contract is down 1 point to 5426 bid.
– 2. In Asia yesterday, it was a day of boom-tish-boom with solid gains across the board as Asian traders felt the afterglow of the previous strength in US stocks. The Nikkei was up 1.46% to 15,554 and traders may like the fact that the yen was smashed overnight as USDJPY has moved up to 108.88. The Hang Seng rose 1.27% and in Shanghai stocks rose 1.5%. Yesterday’s Westpac MNI Chinese consumer sentiment index was weak, hitting a 3-year low, prompting Westpac’s senior international economist Huw McKay to say the time for easing is now.
– 3. It was a night of ignorance to the facts and then over-reaction to reality on currency markets. The Aussie dollar, which traded to a high of 0.8911 is now trading 0.8781! Likewise, the euro is down at 1.2635 and the pound is tanking at 1.6006.
– 4. Now for the juicy stuff. The sex lives of bankers sometimes really are straight out of The Wolf Of Wall Street. The global head of healthcare investment banking at Jefferies, Sage Kelly, is in the middle of a divorce that’s messy even by Wall Street standards. The affidavit’s being madly passed around too, mainly because it’s chockfull of allegations of mad drug abuse and – shock – sexual impropriety. We have the affidavit in full, of course, right here.
– 5. The difference between Twitter and Facebook. Earnings calls for the two social media heavyweights were out this week, and both were so-so, mostly on expectation. Then Messrs Costolo (Twitter) and Zuckerberg (Facebook) stepped up to the plate. Costolo mumbled that the World Cup didn’t have an impact and banged on about Twitter’s user base with “concentric circles” as a metaphor. Zuckerberg delivered a 10-year plan for Facebook, outlining the major milestones its various acqusitions need to meet and why and how it will impact on their business positively. Result? Twitter down 9%, Facebook – which dropped to $70 pre-earnings, is now back around $80.
– 6. Rupert Murdoch is still working at 83. Obviously, he doesn’t have to, but at the WSJ’s tech conference, in thick plastic rimmed glasses and these socks…
…the media mogul told Business Insider why. “Curiosity.” We pressed him for a bit more. “You’ve got to look to the future. You can’t look back.”
– 7. From one mogul to another. Here’s another short and sweet answer to much asked question – how do you find true happiness at work? Alibaba founder Jack Ma, famous for his one-liner philosophies, just posted a blog about how you can be happier in a less lucrative job. “A good job isn’t something you go out and find, it’s something you discover while you’re working,” he writes.
– 8. Australia’s transition through the third phase of the mining boom is on track, according to the latest Deloitte Access Economics Investment Monitor report. Mining-related construction work is fading but bulk commodity exports are breaking records. At the same time, low interest rates are underpinning a better performance from the nation’s retailers as well as a recovery in the residential construction sector. That sounds like good news, but there’s some problems with income growth in there as well. Here’s all the best bits.
– 9. Amelia Earhart’s plane might have been found. Or at least, a piece of it, somewhere not too far off the northeast coast of Australia. The aviation pioneer’s final resting place has been eternally under investigation since she disappeared over the Pacific in 1937. Now a piece of metal found in 1991 on atoll Nikumaroro, near Kiribati, has reportedly been identified as one fitted to Earhart’s aircraft during a stopover in Miami.
– 10. Halloween. Every year, more and more Australians cave in to their precious ones’ demands that they be allowed to chuck on a $2 cape and scrawl some of mum’s lipstick on their chin in an awfully transparent bid to blag a sack of free lollies. The US doesn’t understand why we hate this – after all, it’s a British tradition. (Double the reason to hate it, surely?) But The Washington Post has an interesting take on Australia’s love-hate relationship with Halloween and why you really need to be hating on Queen Elizabeth II’s great-great grandmother.
BONUS ITEM: Apples got better. A Swiss family fruit company says it’s invented a sparkling apple. Yes, it fizzes in your mouth – and you can grow your own.
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