Good morning and welcome to the start of the rest of your weekend. Almost.
First, to the markets:
1. In Asia yesterday, Shanghai was up again, rising another 0.76% to 2,391 while the Nikkei was bulled by the yen above 109, climbing 0.67% to 15,658. The Hang Seng dipped 0.49% to 23,702 but stocks in Singapore and Mumbai rose with the Straits Times 0.31% higher and the Sensex rising 0.91%.
2. Today’s a big day for Japan with the release of vitally important CPI data, household spending, housing starts, the unemployment rate and of course, the BOJ meeting and outlook. In Australia, we get the release of RBA credit (read “debt”) data this morning along with PPI.
3. The Aussie rebounded and is at 0.8830 this morning on the back of a little risk-on meme and US dollar weakness which allowed the euro, which should have been crushed overnight on the back of the German data, to recover from a low of 1.2546 to be back at 1.2606 this morning. Sterling is back below 1.60 at 1.5998 and USDJPY at 109.20.
4. Today in bank profits. ANZ’s full year cash profit is up 10% to $7.1 billion. The statutory profit after tax was $7.3 billion, up 15%. It announced a final dividend of 95 cents per share fully franked, up 14% on the interim dividend and brings the total dividend to 178 cents per share, up 9%. Macquarie Bank was even more upbeat, posting a massive 35% half-year profit. Happy days for investors, but ANZ CEO Mike Smith said macro-drivers of growth in the sector are slowing and the environment is looking more challenging.
5. All the tech news. In case you’ve missed it, Alex Heber is the proud owner of a new daily BI update, 5 Things You Need To Know In Australian Tech Today. It’s kind of like a cooler 10 Things, but with less Bonus Item. Today’s it’s particularly excellent, with giant robot wars, a great new deal between the Victorian government and Airbnb, and Expert 360 founder Bridget Louden telling startup whingers to just get on with making great companies.
6. The Australian Government is in your data. The Mandatory Metadata Retention Bill was passed yesterday and Luke Hopewell has the ultimate All You Need To Know guide to what it means. In a nutshell, more than most people think, basically, because your internet provider now has to hold details on all you do online in case Messrs Abbott and co want to peek at it. If you prefer, it could be seen as what those naughty lads at JuiceRapNews got Greens MP to call “a facist f…fest of Orwellian proportions” in this very NSFW video.
7. Should we be freaking out about Ebola or not? The daily updates are maddening – even doctors can’t agree on what messages they need to send to the West, from “Anyone who passes this fence will die” to “It’s a very wimpy virus”. And then NSW MP and doctor Peter Phelps steps into the mix:
— Peter Phelps MLC (@PeterPhelpsMLC) October 26, 2014
So here’s our take on who you really need to listen to, and sorry, it’s not really much help at all.
8. Oh, Switzerland. The liberated clockmakers love a referendum and with good reason – get 100,000 signatures on a proposal and it’s compulsory for the nation to then vote on it. The Swiss People’s Party made headlines for ushering in the country’s controversial Ban New Minarets policy and now it wants the goverment to hold a fifth of its assets in gold. The details say if successful, all the gold would have to stay in Switzerland, and crazy as it is, it’s making more than a few people nervous.
9. Remember’s New Zealand’s “accidental millionaire” who fled to China after Westpac accidentally gave him a $7.5 million overdraft? He ended up in jail. Now the US has a version in hedge fund manager Joseph P Galbraith. He’s been missing since February, but a reporter tracked him down, possibly somewhere in Europe, to tell him Credit Suisse has launched a lawsuit to get back $1.5 million it accidentally wired to him in January. He calls it “ridiculous, bordering on laughable” and presumably went back to ski somewhere exotic.
10. How rich is Bill Gates? If he bought three Ferarris a day, it would take him 218 years to go broke.
BONUS ITEM: Even table tennis players celebrate too hard. World Cup champion Zhang Jike enjoyed his win, but not so much the $US45,000 fine his celebration cost him.
Enjoy your weekend. I’m on Twitter, inconsistently, but I’ll try to remember to plug 10 Things daily.
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