Good morning! Here’s your run-down for Wednesday.
- Good news to start: the IMF has raised its global growth forecast for 2014, pegging it at 3.7% over 3.0% last year, but warning central banks against raising interest rates too quickly. Critically for Australia, the forecast for China is 7.5%, up 0.3% from last year’s projection, slowing to 7.3% in 2015. The full report is here (PDF).
- Australia’s Q2 inflation number is out today. The market’s expecting between 0.5% and 0.7% for the quarter; the softer the number, the stronger the downdraught on the Aussie dollar. We’ll have the number here on BI at 11.30am eastern time with analysis.
- ABC News has video showing asylum seekers in Indonesia with burns on their hands which they claim were caused by Australian naval officers forcing them to put their hands on hot parts of a boat’s engine in a rescue operation. They also claim they were punched.
- Novak Djokovic is out of the Australian Open after a shock loss to Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka, whose celebratory tweets last night are worth a look. Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard is also through to the semis after beating Ana Ivanovic.
- Speaking of Canadians, Saputo will declare victory today in the battle for control of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, with an announcement it has lifted its stake in WCB above 50% after Geoff Wilson agreed to sell his 1.15% stake to Saputo. Oh, Canada…
- Sydney will be getting to grips with the sweeping package of measures to combat street violence announced by the state government yesterday. There are big changes for the city’s nightlife, with 1.30am lockouts and 3am closing times. The Australian points out none of the measures introduced by O’Farrell would have stopped the two fatal attacks that have burst the dam on the issue and built the public pressure on the NSW Government. The Fin reports on hoteliers worried that Sydney will lose its vibe.
- Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has been suggesting Tony Abbott and the Coalition might be a one-term government. Abbott, in Davos, has told The Australian’s Dennis Shanahan that Shorten is “a bit cocky for someone who’s in the job a few months.”
- The changes in how Telstra structures its business really is one of the more fascinating stories in Australian business at the moment. This week there’s been a $60m acquisition and now it’s capping the cost of mobile phone calls.
- Thailand has declared a 60-day state of emergency for Bangkok. Anti-government protests have turned violent in recent days, ahead of elections on February 2.
- The ACCC is investigating “tap contracts” in pubs, through which the big brewers lock bars into selling only their own products on draught.
Bonus item: This viral video of Stormtroopers twerking, doing the Dougie and a move from All the Single Ladies is a neat start to the day. Have a good one.
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