Good morning, and welcome to Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:
Packer brawl. The pictures of the jaw-dropping fight between casino billionaire James Packer and Nine CEO David Gyngell have produced some cracker front pages for News Corp metro newspapers today. There’s also video, which you can see here. Some have been canvassing whether there might be more serious fallout from this for Packer’s business, given the strict approach governments take in many jurisdictions to casino licensing, but the ramifications remain unclear. I’d expect the shock and amusement will pass quickly and more attention will turn to what hell these blokes were thinking.
Markets are up. The Dow was up 0.11% the Nasdaq up 0.34% and the S&P 500 rose 4 points or 0.21% to 1,885. Asian markets had a rough day yesterday, with the Hang Seng the worst performer sliding 1.28% on weaker-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data. ASX futures are pointing to a slight rise on the open.
RBA interest rates. The Reserve Bank has its monthly cash rate decision today, with no change expected. With inflation running around the top of the RBA’s 2-3% band and the housing sector remaining strong the case is building for a potential upward move in rates this year, however. The key thing to watch in the RBA statement is whether the board still believes ““the most prudent course is likely to be a period of stability in interest rates.” We’ll have live coverage at 2.30pm.
China tipping point. There’s talk again of a possible Chinese property correction. UBS’s Tao Wang has a new note out putting a 15% chance of a correction in the Chinese property market which would slow GDP to 5% next year. This would have a severe impact on Australia. Wang lists six risk factors and Mamta Badkar outlines them here.
Record US house sale. The most expensive house sale in US history just closed. It’s a mansion in the Hamptons with a lake, and it went for $US147 million to hedge fund manager Barry Rosenstein.
Big end of town. The annual Ira Sohn investment conference is underway in New York, where we’re getting presentations from a lot of the major investment managers. Jeff Gundlach thinks there’s a drop coming in the oil price http://www.businessinsider.com.au/stocks-rise-heres-what-you-need-to-know-2014-5 while Bill Ackman, in a 110-slide presentation, outlined why he’s long the infamous Fannie Mae. He thinks the stock could soar above $23 and up to $47; it closed at $4.10 overnight.
Startup city. Annual technology conference CeBIT is underway in Sydney, with a host of Australian start-ups on display and talking to potential investors in the wings. We’ve picked out 10 of the best.
Education protest. Student protesters forced ABC’s Q&A off the air last night with a protest about education funding. At least one of the protesters is a serial fringe-case activist. Host Tony Jones only half-joked at the end of the show that they’d be vetting the audience more carefully in future.
Industry dating. A new dating app in the US allows you to match with other people using your LinkedIn profile. It’s cheesily titled LinkedUp! and when you invite five friends you get to request matches from a particular industry.
Liverpool collapse. Liverpool’s hopes of winning the Premier League have been crushed by a spectacular collapse in the final minutes of their league fixture against Crystal Palace this morning. The Reds were 3-0 up with 11 minutes to play, but Palace levelled by full time. Liverpool players were inconsolable after the game. Liverpool now need Manchester City to lose one of their final two fixtures to be in with a chance of the title.
Have a great day. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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