Good morning. Goodbye, Richie.
1. Yes, Richie Benaud died. It’s a sad day for just about every cricket fan who just lost the voice of the game who was part of everyone’s childhoods. Thanks for the calls, Richie, marvellous. How much did we love you? This much:
There’ll be a lot more to come on that today. For now, to the markets.
2. The most interesting stock market action remains in China. Yesterday the rotation away from the hysterically priced Shanghai exchange to the “relatively cheaper” Hong Kong stock exchange continued. The Hang Seng finished the day up 2.7% at 26,944 but it had been up around 4% at one stage earlier. In Shanghai there was a big reversal after the Shanghai composite traded well through 4000 before the sellers entered the fray, with the index closing down 0.91% at 3,958. The price action in both markets is nothing but manic.
3. A broader view of China’s economy shows anything but manic – it’s all pointing one way and Bloomberg metals analyst Kenneth Hoffman sums it up in one word – “terrified”. He just returned from a week in China, and he wants everyone to know things are “a lot worse than you think”.
4. But they’re not going to go down without a fight. The big iron ore miners may have poked the bear in their attempts to squeeze out smaller players by ramping up production and throwing thousands of workers on the scrapheap in the process. Bloomberg reports China, a country which seemingly cares more about about local jobs than Australia, will offer a subsidy of around 6 yuan per tonne to local iron ore producers.
5. After losing half a per cent yesterday, the rally in the US and Europe could help the ASX 200 head north today as the futures suggest. The market is wary of topside resistance at 6,000 however and has at least three times recently rejected this, or near levels. It’s a cracking technical set-up for those traders who trade the index.
6. We’re bored with the internet. It’s the only deduction to be made when all that’s left to go viral are optical illusions. Here’s the new blue-or-gold dress of the week – is this cat going up the stairs or down the stairs?
You’re much better off wasting time on this eyesight test.
7. Should Apple be concerned? It has two new products on the market and neither are wowing the critics. This video from Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern is very likely to put any fencesitters off buying an Apple Watch.. And the new Macbook out today has divided critics as well. Both products are providing the same mix of “looks great” and “frustrating performance”.
8. Greece made its latest EUR 450 million payment to the International Monetary Fund and it caused a bit of a rally in European. But don’t be fooled, Mike Bird writes, beacuse it’s all a bit like “having a celebratory drink because you’ve paid your electricity bill — it’s probably not a good signal about your financial health”. The real horror show is yet to come, he says.
9. Here’s 13 pictures that prove George Clooney’s wife Amal is a complete boss.
10. The Masters. Tiger Woods is still one of them on Day One, hitting this shot of the day in an up and down round:
And here’s Ben Crane playing the worst shot of the day, or maybe even the Masters:
Tom Watson, all 65 years of him, is likely to make the cut. Jordan Speith is leading, as Rory McIlroy had a steady (read “boring”) round to finish one-over. Excellently, Jason Day is in the best shape of the Aussies, on a roll, and could actually finish at the top of the leaderboard.
BONUS ITEM: From one spin legend to another:
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