Good morning, and welcome to Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:
Australia’s trade deal with Japan, announced last night, is expected to be ratified by the respective parliaments by the end of the year. It’s the first time Japan has agreed to reduce beef tariffs for any other country; they will fall from the current 38.5% to 19.5%. The price of imported Japanese electronic goods and cars will fall quickly in Australia with the removal of import duties, including the 5% on cars. Dairy is a big winner; cheese exports are already $372 million a year on 27,000 tonnes of sales covered by a global quota of imports to Japan. There will be an Australia-only increase of 20,000 tonnes. (It’s a case of blessed are the cheesemakers, though it doesn’t necessarily extend to all manufacturers of dairy products.)
Other notable provisions include more transferability of financial and legal advisory services between Japan and Australia, and the trigger point for an investment by a private Japanese company being referred to Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board increases from $248 million to just over $1 billion.
The sell-off continued in the US markets overnight with tech stocks hardest-hit again. The major indices were all down 1% or more, and the NASDAQ was down has now had its biggest three-day slide since 2011, is down almost 7% from its recent highs. ASX futures are pointing to a softer open; Australian technology-related stocks were hit hard yesterday and there’ll be a lot of attention on the sector again today. We get the NAB business survey at 11.30am AEST which traders will be watching closely to see if last month’s poor number was an outlier.
Looking across Asia, the Nikkei is looking weak technically and is down for the third day in a row losing another 1.69% in trade yesterday. At times like these when risk goes a little off the Yen strengthens and this has driven USDJPY back to very important technical support. The Yen sits at 103.09 this morning and traders are watching the 102.80/90 zone very closely. We get Japanese trade data this morning at 9.30am AEST and the Bank of Japan decision later in the day. Chinese markets are back from their holiday today and the Shanghai exchange is likely to be pressured lower.
Wall St’s brightest minds have shared their most important charts in the world. Plenty in there on the major global economic stories right now including the progress of the US recovery and Chinese debt.
The stream of news around businessman MP Clive Palmer continues: The Australian reports he’s only voted on one piece of legislation since being elected, while Brisbane’s Courier-Mail says he’s being sued by one of his ex-best-mates. Remember, this bloke could determine the government’s agenda with his control of a four-vote bloc in the Upper House.
Ships and submarine equipment are focused on a small search area where signals thought to be emitted by the black boxes from the missing Malaysian Airlines jet. The race is now on to find them before their batteries expire – some estimates put the deadline at today.
Peaches Geldof has been found dead in her home in Kent, with authorities only saying at this point that the death was “sudden and unexplained. She was 25. “What a beautiful child. How is this possible that we will not see her again?” her father Bob said in a statement. “How is that bearable?”
Hard work aren’t always enough: your relationships and your network matter too. Here’s a great round-up of the research on how your network can shape your health and happiness, including how your ideas tend to be only as good as your colleagues’ ideas.
Unknown Australian golfer Matt Jones secured the final wildcard spot in the US Masters with two miracle shots at the Houston Open: one 40-foot putt for birdie and then an incredible chip from the rough over a bunker in a playoff hole. Good on him and best wishes for the Augusta this week, where Australia’s Adam Scott will be defending his title.
Have a great day. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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