Good morning, it’s Wednesday. Let’s get over it.
1. So the RBA dropped the cash rate to an historic low of 2% while removing its explicit easing bias from their May monetary policy statement. With expectations of more cuts in 2015 diminishing, that troubled economists who thought RBA governor Glenn Stevens had wasted a bullet. But Goldman Sachs’ head of Macro Research in Australia and New Zealand, Tim Toohey, is unconvinced. And here’s Greg McKenna on why the RBA always has a bias on interest rates in line with its mantra of “doing least harm”.
2. In the wake of it all, the local stock market was hammered along with global equities overnight and futures are indicating the ASX 200 may be about to retest the bottom of its 5,743-6,000 range today after the lead from the US. The top of the range is solid but the technician in Greg Mckenna suggests the bottom may not be quite as solid.
3. The week’s not over yet. Today it’s all about retail sales in Australia, where the consensus view for March is for a rise of 0.4%. Here’s David Scutt’s 10-second guide to the release which will come at 11.30am AEST.
4. In Asia yesterday, Shanghai stocks fell heavily amidst more rumours about stamp duty on stocks and news there had been some margin changes at brokerage houses. The important thing about yesterday’s move is the Shanghai Composite broke its two-month uptrend. Traders will have noticed that.
5. Australian tech fair CeBIT is under way and Business Insider journalist Alex Heber is there checking out all the cool tech and startups. Among the booths and B2B, she’s found:
- A hacker who hasn’t found anything he can’t bust into
- Robots who think they an take on soccer pros by 2050
- Redballoon founder Naomi Simson’s favourite colour is actually yellow
- Former Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki not wearing an Apple Watch, and;
- 3 things AOL’s self-proclaimed digital prophet looks at when forecasting trends
6. Tarmacgate. News broke yesterday of a curious incident in France on Anzac Day when Australia’s ambassador Stephen Brady was prepping to meet the PM on touchdown. Brady was reportedly told that his partner, Peter Stephens, should “stay in the car”. An Abbott spokesman didn’t deny it. but said the PM was happy to meet the two. Brady offered his resignation and his offer was refused. Today, the SMH has some more details on who Stephens is and why he might not have been welcome.
7. Struggling to get to sleep? This might help:
Note: It runs for 8 hours, 20 minutes. Irish visual artist Johnnie Lawson recorded and uploaded it to YouTube five years ago, and six million insomniacs now swear by it.
8. Back to Apple, and here’s the first news article ever written about the company. Sheila Clarke of Kilobaud magazine heard about these two guys in February 1977 who’d just sold 10 computers out of their garage and went to investigate. After seeing a set of photos BI published which were taken by early Apple employees, she sent us her original article, and you can read it in full here.
9. While at Microsoft, Bloomberg confirms the tech giant really is thinking about making a play to buy Salesforce – but only now that the company has been approached by someone else about a possible acquisition. Meanwhile Bill Gates keeps getting richer. Here’s his amazing real estate portfolio to date, which seems to be centred around a love for horses and hotels.
10. NASA sent a balloon carrying microphones into space and now has no idea what the creepy hissing sounds it recorded are. Unlike some scientists at Parkes, NSW, recently, who thought they were listening to space sounds, but eventually realised someone had left the microwave door open in the kitchen.
BONUS ITEM: The Unipiper is back. Playing the Star Wars theme on bagpipes, while balancing on a BB-8 droid ball. Bonus bonus – the bagpipes blow flame.
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