Good morning! Let’s get to it…
1. Boring but better is how Morgan Stanley is characterising the market outlook for the rest of the year. “Global growth is improving mildly, lowflation is here to stay, central banks remain accommodative, equity markets and the US dollar are grinding higher, and bond yields are going nowhere for now,” chief economist Joachim Fels wrote, adding: “Yawn.” It’s a sentiment that’s been echoed in the Australian market for most of this year and barring a pattern of huge surprises in Australian company results season – Leighton kicked off yesterday – we can expect a broadly similar environment here between now and the end of the year.
2. As if to underline the point, the US market was almost dead flat in the overnight session, with the S&P500 gaining 0.05 points to finish with a move of 0.0%. The Dow was up 0.1% and the Nasdaq, rogue that it is, was down 0.1%. Shanghai was up a huge 2.4% yesterday on a positive official outlook on growth, while the Nikkei was up 0.5%. ASX futures are down 7 points ahead of the open today in Australia.
3. Daniel Petre has a new tech fund. The former Microsoft executive has closed AirTree, which he launched with business partner Craig Blair, with $60 million that’ll be used to invest in early stage technology startups, the AFR reports. Investments will be in $2 million to $5 million parcels, and the backers are a mix of client groups from major banks plus private investors and families – for some, it’s their first time getting into technology. They’ve reportedly looked at 30 businesses already but haven’t tipped any money into any yet.
4. The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence weekly update is out this morning at 9.30am AEST. It was the chart we described, following the shock to Australian consumers inflicted by the federal budget, as the scariest chart in Australia, because if behaviour had followed the sentiment the economy could have been in real trouble. But lately it has been bouncing back in a big way, which is very good news, and also a reminder the political storms in Canberra have a tendency to blow out. As an aside, Tony Abbott’s personal approval ratings have seen a big jump in the latest Newspoll, following his handling of the MH17 disaster. (Update 9.30am: the index is out, and shows confidence has fully recovered from the Budget crash).
5. Australian police still can’t reach the MH17 crash site, because of ongoing fighting. We’re now in a situation where the Australian foreign minister is calling on both sides to abide by the UN Security Council Resolution.
6. Sydney City Council will unveil three new works of public art that will cost $9 million for the new George Street precinct today – they were approved by a vote last night without the public having been able to get a look at what the council, chaired by Clover “community inclusion” Moore, is planning to blow all the money on. Some have argued artists will be discouraged by the process if it’s more public. Question: could it potentially be worse if the public hates the final decision? It’s a great example of politicians who bleat on about transparency and consultation and then run away and hide when they’ve got a few million to splurge because, you know, politicians know so much about art. Still, we hope they’ve made a good decision.
7. Work with someone sneaky? They may have been spanked as a kid. Drake Baer has a fascinating round-up of what research says about the influence of your parents on your parents as an adult.
8. The Royals love a winner. That’s why they made a beeline for the Australian camp in Glasgow yesterday. Princes William, Harry and Princess Kate knocked around with our medal winners, who kept reeling in the golds, including their first mens’ 200m backstroke gold in 40 years. James Magnussen survuved a scare in his 50m heat and both our hockey teams progressed comfortably. Australia is two golds ahead of the Poms and 12 medals ahead overall.
9. The space sex geckos have been saved. Russia has regained control of the satellite which had been orbiting uncontrolled while five geckos inside were being filmed having sex. The geckos are part of an experiment studying the effects of microgravity on reproduction systems and were thought doomed when Roscosmos couldn’t communicate with their spacecraft late last week. Now it’s all under control and they’ll make a fiery touchdown in September.
10. The Mad Max trailer dropped. George Miller’s fourth instalment in the iconic road warrior series has been besed by expensive problems – namely, the fact it had to be moved to Africa because the Australian desert grew flowers – but it looks like it will return a healthy profit. The first extended look at Fury Road Comic Con yesterday was as hectic as the franchise has ever been. And Tom Hardy is ace as Max Rockatansky, clearly.
Your bonus item this morning is that Mad Max trailer. Enjoy:
Have a cracking day. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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