Good morning. First, to the meerkats:
1. The Australian market was doing well yesterday before the RBA disappointed the buyers. Iron ore was up, as was crude, which rallied strongly, so it could be a better day for the index today. It’s difficult to tell as the market flirts with and rejects recent highs. Not quite a triple top yet but another day or so and we’ll know.
2. In Asia yesterday, Shanghai got a lift from the US move and a solid boost from the PBOC injecting another Y20 billion into the banking system. That, combined with talk of the establishment of a specific bank to prop up the property market, saw another amazing run higher. At the end of play, Shanghai was up 2.5%. We are now getting close to a 100% return in the past nine months. That’s incredible – another seven-year high.
3. On forex markets, the US dollar regained the ascendancy once again overnight. Euro has failed three times to break 1.1055/90 so traders are worried about its ability to sustainably rally in a technical sense and they also know that ECB QE is about debasing the euro as much as anything else. The only thing in the euro’s favour at the moment is that traders are uber bearish euro. Sometimes that’s all a market needs to steady – but at the moment the US dollar remains in the ascendancy. Which is why the Aussie is lower and the yen back above 120.
4. Also on the dollar, it jumped just before the RBA made its rates call yesterday. That was the third month in a row there’s been a spike just seconds before the RBA’s announcement. ASIC is investigating.
5. On the data front today, the delayed ANZ weekly consumer confidence data is here, which should be exciting after the AiGroup PSI and retail sales data yesterday suggested the Australian economy is healing. Offshore we get the BoJ policy announcement, German factory orders, French trade, and EU retail sales. FOMC minutes in the US are vital tonight as well.
6. You might be one of the 17-odd million people who’ve gasped at this horrifying Vine. If not, put your headphones on first:
Unfortunately, it’s not a hoax. But as the full video shows, the girls are okay, if a little battered. It’s also a great reminder of how deceptive six-second edits can be.
7. Australia’s Facebook use is through the roof. Check these numbers the social media giant gave us recently:
- 10 million Aussies active on Facebook each day
- 9 million are viewing it on a mobile
- For 1.7 hours each day
There’s more mindblowing stats here, including a depressing stat for how many Ice Bucket Challenge videos every Aussie watched on average.
8. At least you’re not a Kiwi. That applies to many situations, but right now it’s relevant because house prices in Auckland just keep skyrocketing. One agent reports selling 420 homes for more than $1 million in March, up more than 40% on 12 months ago. The company says its median price for property is up 9% on March 2014 at NZD$711,000 ($698,000). By comparison, the median price in Sydney is $690,000.
9. Whistleblower Edward Snowden has been tightly managed by his Russian handlers since shifting to Moscow in June, 2013. His trainwreck interview with John Oliver this week though hints that a) He’s in over his head and/or b) Russians don’t watch John Oliver’s show. But they’re not such numpties that they haven’t infiltrated the White House as part of a “year-long breach”.
10. The Masters will be a classic. First round scores will start rolling in early Friday morning our time, and all eyes will be on the card of one T Woods, who apparently found some form in a practice round last week. But it’s also Augusta, which provides some of the best eye-candy in world sports for armchair fans. BI’s Jay Yarow got to spend a day there during a practice round, and the cheese sandwiches were delicious. Here’s what else he saw.
BONUS ITEM: World’s best dog uses its Indoor Voice:
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