1. You might have heard the RBA cut rates yesterday for the first time in 18 months to a modern-day low of 2.25%. The main theme behind the move was shoring up growth, but there were plenty of economists out there that didn’t think the case for a cut had been made just yet. RBA governor Glenn Stevens didn’t agree and laid out his reasons in the Governor’s Statement. And here our very own Greg McKenna breaks it down into Plain English, just for you.
2. The wash-up on the markets locally is that the excellently performing ASX looks set for another solid day today with Futures traders falling over each other to buy in overnight trade. The March SPI 200 contract is up 96 points to 5,738. As some might say, “boom”.
3. The RBA hoped the rate cut would send the Aussie dollar down. They were right – for a couple of hours. Then last night, it ripped higher and is back above 78 cents, completely erasing the RBA induced swoon.
4. And if that’s not enough, UBS came out yesterday saying it expects another rate cut next month.
5. In Asia yesterday, the Shanghai exchange moved well away from the important support level and the natural ex-poste excuse that China is slowing, so there must be more stimulus coming. There probably is but 2.45% in a day suggest some technical buying as well. At the close, the Shanghai Composite rose 77 points to 3,205. The Hang Seng was only up 0.29% to 24,555. In Tokyo, the Nikkei dipped 1.26%, 222 points to 17,336 after a weak response to a JGB auction and a reaction to the previous night’s Wall Street moves. Futures for the entire region are in the black though overnight so it should be a good day for stocks today in Asia.
6. Sir, your $525 plate of grass is ready:
The Fat Duck is here and the 15-course menu looks spectacular. While this US guy has walked 33km to work for a decade because he couldn’t afford to fix his car, Aussies broke down the doors in desperation to pay $525 to eat something created by Heston Blumenthal, snapping up all 14,000 seats for the Fat Duck’s six-month Melbourne gig within hours. But it’s more than a meal – it’s a four-hour show. It opened yesterday, and we have the exclusive pics of what’s on the menu right here.
7. So what the hell’s wrong with this country? Lots, according to the CEO of global advisory firm Pottinger, Nigel Lake. He got everyone talking yesterday with his post about how, despite these times of unprecedented largesse, we’ve still managed to become the world’s new whinging Poms. It’s a great read.
8. At least we don’t live in Argentina, where bad things happen to people who criticise the government. A prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, was found shot dead last month in his apartment. He’d just presented a 300-page legal document that claimed president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner conspired with Iran to cover up Iranian involvement in a deadly terror attack on a Jewish organisation in Buenos Aires. Nisman claimed the president and her aides were at the time were trying to secure access to Iranian oil, but the case has now all but died with him. But in the latest development, a draft for an arrest warrant for Fernández has been found in Nisman’s garbage bin.
9. Coca-cola “premiumised” milk is on the shelves in the US. It’s called Fairlife and it costs twice as much as regular milk. So what’s the difference and should you buy it? Our US colleagues got some in and gave it the taste test.
10. Cristiano Ronaldo for sale. Price: A billion quid. The man his agent Jorge Mendes calls “the best player ever” says Ronaldo has a one billion pound release clause in his contract and would sell for £300m “tomorrow” if the club chose to let him go. But he won’t go, Mendes told BBC sports editor Dan Roan. That’s a lot of squids, given Tim Cahill was no doubt hi-fiving everyone yesterday after signing a AU$10 million, one-year contract with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua. According to the SMH, it was Cahill’s two-goal performance against China in the quarter-final of the 2015 Asian Cup that sealed him the deal.
BONUS ITEM: Amish hoons gonna hoon:
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