1. “Take a deep breath and calm down.” That’s the advice top UBS economist Paul Donovan is giving investors worried about Italy. Italy’s political crisis, and speculation that Italy could leave the euro, has been wildly overblown in recent days, he says. “Neither Italian parties nor Italian voters support leaving the Euro,” Donovan said.
2. Global stocks rose as Italian markets bounced back from the previous day’s turmoil. The FTSE MIB index in Milan climbed by 2.1% while 2-year bond yields dipped back below the 2% mark. Premier-designate Carlo Cottarelli said “new possibilities” for forming a government had emerged, lowering the prospect of a snap election in the coming months. The positive news out of Italy, combined with a strong inflation beat for Germany (2.2% rise against 1.8% forecast), helped to provide support for the euro. It rallied by more than 1% to close back above the $US1.16 mark.
3. There’s a “material risk” Australian banks will start raising interest rates, regardless of the RBA. The RBA hasn’t moved official interest rates since August 2016, and many think it will be deep into next year before that changes. Even with expected stability in the cash rate, Credit Suisse says there’s a “material risk” that mortgage rates may increase independently. It says elevated interbank funding costs could see the RBA reevaluate its view that the next move in the cash rate is likely to be higher.
4. Mary Meeker’s 2018 edition of the “Internet Trends Report” is here. The legendary internet stock analyst turned investor has released her annual presentation on the state of the web, and this year she delves into data and personalisation, e-commerce innovation, and China’s rising intensity and leadership in internet-related markets.
5. Remember the Russian journalist who was reportedly assassinated? Well, he just showed up at news conference and announced he faked his own death. The “assassination” of Arkady Babchenko, a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, was part of a sting operation with the Security Service of Ukraine. Babchenko specifically apologised to his wife for putting her through the ordeal.
6. Capex is coming. Australia will receive the latest piece of its Q1 GDP puzzle today with the release of private-sector capital expenditure (CAPEX) figures for the March quarter. It will provide markets with a snapshot of prior investment along with intended investment ahead, and has the potential to generate short-term volatility across Australian financial markets. Here’s your 10-second guide to get you up to speed.
7. The best jobs in Australia for 2018 have been announced by jobs site Indeed. Technology roles feature prominently as do those related to building and construction, and health and medical care. The explosion in data use has translated into significant job growth in data science and related areas. More here.
8. More than 250,000 alcohol breath tests were falsified over five-and-a-half years by Victorian police, according to The Age. That represents about 1.5% of the 17.7 million tests that were conducted in that time. The new head of Victoria Police’s Professional Standards Command has called it a breach of the community’s trust.
9. Hospitals are now treating addiction to crypto trading. People are so obsessed with trading cryptocurrencies that a hospital in Scotland just launched a program to treat addictive behaviour. Castle Craig Hospital, a treatment centre that offers programs to treat alcohol, drug, and behavioural addictions, is now offering a cryptocurrency-addiction program.
10. Ben Simmons is reportedly dating Kendall Jenner. The Australian Philadelphia 76ers basketball star has been romantic with the sister of Kim Kardashian “for a few weeks”, according to the New York Post’s Page Six.
BONUS ITEM: Love Fallout? Well, get excited because a mysterious new game in the series is in the works, and it’s called “Fallout 76”. Here’s a teaser:
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