1. It’s rates day and the RBA is expected to make history with a cut. It’s no slam dunk, but a quarter per cent slash to a new modern-day low of 2% is expected at 2.30pm. It will be a contentious call – many believe it’s too early to use one of the last bullets in the gun, but pricing has swung back towards easing almost solely on the basis of what has been widely seen as an “official leak” to the media.
2. And that’s not all. We also have the Ai Group performance of services, ANZ weekly consumer confidence, HIA new home sales and ABS trade data this morning, so it’s the Aussie dollar forex traders will be focused on in Asia today. If the RBA passes on the cut and stays pat at 2.25%, expect the Aussie to rally around 1 cent against the US dollar. If they cut, as is widely expected, and 0.7775/85 breaks, watch out below.
3. Looking back locally on the ASX200, Westpac’s undershoot on earnings yesterday weighed on banking stocks and the market. ANZ this morning announced a cash half year profit up 5%, ahead of forecasts at $3.676 billion and futures are pointing to a better open but it’s likely to be a day of two halves with the RBA announcement likely to fuel the last 90 minutes of trade. Should the RBA decide to hold, any strength is likely to be reversed.
4. Australia’s AAA rating is safe, says NAB. For now. That’s because “Australia’s net debt position remains modest and the economy retains economic, monetary, and fiscal flexibility”. But the Abbott Government is in the middle of managing the worst fiscal deterioration outside of two World Wars and the Depression since Federation. The good news is NAB reckons “net debt will peak a bit over 14% of GDP in the next few years”.
5. The BBC has chosen its new “Top Gear” hosts. The UK Telegraph claims model Jodie Kidd, actor Philip Glenister and television host Guy Martin will assume the roles of Clarkson, Hammond and May. They’re pretty much a bunch of nobodies to Australian audiences, but then again, so were the other three once. Glenister, however, is made for the role, as anyone who saw him thrashing a classic Audi around in “Life on Mars” a couple of years ago will attest.
6. China is making moves in Antarctica, otherwise known as the home of 200 billion barrels of oil. The ban on commercial drilling of resources in Antarctica is due to expire in 2048. Australia has the largest claim on Antarctica, and three research stations. But suddenly China’s opened a fourth research station, and has already chosen a site for a fifth. And the ban on commercial drilling of resources in Antarctica is due to expire in 2048…
7. They’re still talking about Mayweather-Pacquiao. It’s now clear Pacman was fighting with a torn muscle in his right shoulder and was disallowed numbing drugs to help him deal with it before the fight started. It’s also becoming clear that Mayweather knew about it and likely had a mole in Pacquiao’s camp. And he had a fair go at it during the fight:
Our take? Meh. It clearly wasn’t enough for Pacquiao to consider walking away from $80 million.
8. It’s meteor night. Tomorrow morning you’ll be able to see the guts of Halley’s Comet burning up as pieces drop to Earth in the Eta Aquarid meteor shower. At its peak – around 2am – there could be up to 40 meteors an hour. That’s a lot of wishes. If you’re lazy, catch the Northern Hemisphere version live on Slooh beginning at 10am.
9. The most terrifying presentation we’ve ever seen at a hedge fund conference just came from serial entrepreneur and inventor Jay Walker. It’s probably not what you expect, but it’s certainly a very eye-opening take on the miniaturisation of drones and why they could soon be the last thing you want to see in the sky near you.
10 Welcome to a life of privilege, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Windsor, otherwise known as Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.
The baby will be known as Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 4, 2015
BONUS ITEM: Why you should always take your mic off.
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