Good morning! Who needs weekends? Here’s what you need to know as the week begins…
1. It’s an important week for the Australian economy with some data releases that will shed light on whether the scratchy data from May – including a shock fall in retail sales – was just a blip, or something more material. Tomorrow morning we get the NAB survey which will give us a picture of business confidence and investing intentions, and then on Wednesday there’s the important latest release of the Westpac Consumer Sentiment index, which dipped sharply around the federal budget in May. On Thursday morning there’s the Australian jobs report, with the market expecting 12,000 jobs added for June. This morning we get the Performance of Construction Index from AiG, which gives us a read on the health of the construction sector which is vital to the transition of the economy as the resources investment falls away.
2. The Australian rebound that everyone will be looking for was addressed by Scott Haslem and the economics team at UBS in a note out on Friday, which shows a dramatic bounce in one indicator of retail activity. The green line shows that brutal fall in May retail mentioned above, but the BDO data appears a good leading indicator on future moves.
Haslem expects a strong rebound in the ANZ job ads data out today and conclude that their “super-leader” numbers “suggest activity hasn’t continued to weaken post May, and that the domestic economy has recovered somewhat through the month of June.”
3. Japanese PM Shinzo Abe starts a state visit to Australia today, which will take in an address to a joint sitting of Parliament (the first by a Japanese PM), the signing of the new free trade agreement brokered on Tony Abbott’s trip to Japan earlier this year. Abe will be accompanied by a powerful business delegation, including the Mitsubishi chairman Yorihiko Kojima. It’s an opportunity for Abbott to underline his international relations credentials, and it will likely take some of the focus off the wrangling that has surrounded the federal budget in recent weeks. Amid ongoing tensions over incursions by the Chinese military into Japanese airspace, there’s an important strategic to this visit in terms of Australia’s relations in the region that can’t be overlooked.
4. To the markets, and with the US closed on Friday for Independence Day there isn’t the usual pointer from Wall Street for the region’s trading day. So it looks like being a slow start to the week. The ASX September futures contract is up 13 points to 5493 after the physical market finished up just over 0.6% last Friday. The Nikkei was up a similar amount while Shanghai and the Hang Seng were relatively flat. This week we get FOMC minutes from the June meeting out of the US on Wednesday, and the Bank of England rate decision on Thursday. More here.
5. Macquarie Bank could be drawn into the financial planning scandal that has engulfed the Commonwealth Bank, with Nationals Senator John Williams telling the AFR there are “a lot more questions for Macquarie Wealth to answer”, after the Senate committee “had individuals from Macquarie give evidence to us in camera, which unfortunately we are not able to discuss. But needless to say, there are still serious questions for them to answer.”
6. Google CEO Larry Page has a rather French proposal for how society can deal with the inevitable loss of jobs as people are replaced by robots in various industries (the latest example being journalism). Page suggests companies should consider hiring two part-time workers to do one full-time job.
7. A Voice Kid breaks down. This had to happen sooner or later. Poor Romy, 12, couldn’t get a single judge to turn for her smooth rendition of Adele’s Turning Tables… and it hurt. The judges rushed on stage to console Romy as she crumbled, while Twitter – the self-appointed social conscience of our time – took them, Romy’s mum and dad and the show itself to task for allowing kids to be put in such a tough public arena in the first place.
8. Finally, the Internet of Things has a tangible innovation that everyone can understand. The connectivity of everyday objects is greatly hyped but aside from being able to switch on your lights or control the aircon at home remotely, the real-life benefits have been somewhat unclear. But now it can help you brew the great beer – with Brewbot alerting your smartphone on the different actions required at different times to make the perfect beer at home.
9. He’s Rick James… Rock ‘n roll autobiographies are eternally locked in a struggle to top each other when it comes to decadent, crazy lifestyles. But this is Rick James, the original Super Freak. The New York Post has a great look at Glow, James’ posthumously published autobiography, in which he recounts how he met Jim Morrison halfway through a suicide attempt, and avoided being murdered by Charles Manson.
10. Novak Djokovic is the men’s Wimbledon champion. The Serb eventually won 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 5-7 6-4 for his second Wimbledon title, but it was far from one-way traffic against 17-time Grand Slam event winner Roger Federer. The Swiss veteran was anything but as he reeled off five games in a row to win the fourth set from 5-2 down, but couldn’t keep momentum through the final set. As far as finals go, it was a classic for the ages, with some glorious strokeplay proving a welcome relief from two weeks of brutal aces.
Bonus item: The story around this incredible video is trending on Business Insider this morning – a very close call between a jet landing and another crossing the runway at Barcelona Airport. The pilot aborts his landing attempt when the other jet strays onto the runway – and it was all caught on camera.
Have a cracking Monday. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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