Good morning and go Rusty’s Rabbits. But first, let’s get the week under way:
1. In Asia Friday, Shanghai was up slightly to 2,348 but the Hang Seng fell 0.38% and the Nikkei was under a little pressure again, down 0.88% to 16,230. Without anything decent by way of data today, the overall tone from the US should help Asian markets but there is also going to be a lot of focus on the student protests in Hong Kong which may pressure the Hang Seng and maybe even Shanghai a little.
2. The Aussie dollar’s woes continued in early Asia. It’s trading down at 0.8756 – Friday’s lows. The yen is also weaker at 109.32 while euro at 1,2681 looks very sick. Sterling sits at 1.6239. The outlook on the week for Forex is more dependent than usual on stocks – a rally will push the USDJPY higher and pressure the Aussie but should stocks head lower, the yen should rally. Either way, the Aussie looks pressured.
3. There’s been a cheeky pink diamond heist in Sydney. About 100 people walked through an auction centre in Alexandria between 12.30pm and 1.25pm on Saturday where a diamond ring worth $577,000 was on display. Until the walkthrough finished, when it wasn’t. Police are hoping witnesses and the fact it’s laser inscribed with a serial number will help them track it down.
4. The battle for solar dollars. Utilities aren’t going down without a fight as more and more households switch to solar. In Queensland, our most solar-powered state, one state-owned grid company just raised daily connection fees by 1,142 per cent while removing per-unit consumption charges – effectively removing the incentive to switch to solar. In Europe there’s a trend toward implementing a “sun tax” on businesses that use solar. Queensland has ruled that out but promised to re-jig energy pricing so that everyone – solar-reliant or otherwise – pays the same.
5. The ingredients of a market crash. It’s all in place, says US fund manager John Hussman in his latest missive. Hussman says that the emerging divergence that he is seeing in markets – the lack of “trend uniformity” is a signal that all is not well along with a “shift toward greater dispersion and weakening price cointegration across individual stocks, sectors and security types”.
That’s a shift we observed in October 2000. It’s a shift we observed in July 2007. It’s a shift that we observe today.
As conditions stand, we currently observe the ingredients of a market crash.
6. We’re getting closer to medical marijuana. Support for this legalisation in Australia continues to grow, with a proposed bill to be put before federal Parliament next month. Chairman of the cross-party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy and Law Reform, Green Senator Richard Di Natale, will introduce the bill in October, and it already has the PM’s support. Tony Abbott went so far last month as to pen a letter to radio host Alan Jones, in which he wrote: “I have no problem with the medical use of cannabis, just as I have no problem with the medical use of opiates.”
7. The Sydney Swans were awful. There’s no hiding from the fact that Saturday’s AFL Grand Final was a huge disappointment for Swans fans. Hawthorn never let them in the game, led by their Norm Smith Medalist captain Luke Hodge, they shut down Sydney everywhere for a 63-point win. Buddy Franklin did his best when the ball actually came to him, but 30 minutes from the death, his old mate sealed it for him with a kiss.
— The Age Video (@theage_video) September 27, 2014
8. The Rabbitohs are into the NRL Grand Final. For the first time in 43 years, Russell Crowe’s red and green warriors have made it to centre stage. They’ll take on the Bulldogs after dusting off the Roosters on Friday night. The Bulldogs had a few fans nervous with a shakey second half against the Panthers, but held on for a 18-12 win.
9. China may be blocking Instagram. There’s reports of this on Twitter from Hong Kong users who say the Chinese government doesn’t want anyone in mainland cities getting any ideas after seeing the scale of the protests in the Admiralty district. For the first time since 2005, police have fired tear gas on crowds, then stopped when they realised it was just drawing more to the melee. The tension has been building for a month since Beijing rejected demands to freely choose the city’s next leader, instead trying to limit choice to a handful of candidates loyal to Beijing.
10. Rumours of Stephanie Rice’s comeback… are not even that. Swim fans got a short thrill this morning when they saw her tweet:
— KIIS 1065 (@kiis1065) September 28, 2014
However, shortly after the Kiis 1065 team tweeted a response, Rice denied the allegations in a series of tweets and apologies. “I’m so sorry to disappoint everyone but the previous tweet wasn’t posted by me and has no truth to it. @kiis1065 took my phone for a game.”