1. Financial markets are set for a big week in Australia and globally with a raft of important data and a full week of corporate earnings reports in the US. The increased risk appetite and improved performance of global stocks, combined with improved commodity prices, is likely to give the local index a boost. On Friday the ASX 200 closed at 5,279, up 4.7% on the week. That brings its recovery from the September lows to 7.34%.
2. The Fed is still on track to hike rates according to Fed vice chair Stanley Fischer. Reuters reports that while he did leave the door ajar with his “expectation, not a commitment” comment he added that the track toward higher rates looks set. He highlighted the recent weakness in US jobs reports and considerable uncertainties in the US economic outlook but added “we do not currently anticipate that the effects of these recent developments on the U.S. economy will prove to be large enough to have a significant effect on the path for policy.”
Greg McKenna has more.
3. Forget a rally, the Australian dollar is heading to 66 cents, according to Westpac chief economist Bill Evans. After rising sharply over the past two weeks, as stocks and investor risk appetite recovered, Evans says that even though it’s currently looking strong Westpac is sticking to it’s forecasts for “the Australian dollar to finish the year around USD 0.68 and fall further to USD 0.66 in the first quarter of 2016.”
4. The US has a problem and they’re looking to Australia for answers. In the wake of the Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon on October 1, which saw 10 people killed, the US is looking for ways to prevent further mass shootings. According to NBC, president Barack Obama has looked at Australia’s gun reforms, introduced by the Howard government, and is aware of the subsequent decline in violence following the National Firearms Agreement.
“When Australia had a mass killing … it was just so shocking the entire country said, ‘Well, we’re going to completely change our gun laws,’ and they did. And it hasn’t happened since,” he said.
5. WikiLeaks has struck again. This time it’s a leaked document from the Trans-Pacific Partnership outlining terms related to intellectual property, and it has some high-powered advocates worried. The 60-page chapter covers matters ranging from drug patents to copyright terms to trade secrets. The partnership still must be ratified by each of the participating countries. Read more here.
6. Uber’s plans to expand in China might hit a roadblock. China’s Ministry of Transport has just issued draft rules that could significantly tighten the regulations that ride-hailing companies must abide by, seeing companies like Uber bear many of the costs of traditional taxi companies. The rules would see drivers forced to have at least three years of experience and the companies would also need to maintain servers in China and share data with local transportation authorities. This is bad news for Uber, which has apparently declared China its most important market outside of the US.
7. Science says there’s a reason why you’re a light sleeper. As we get older we tend to lose the hours of shut eye. But while many of us put it down to not being able to switch off from work, or having too many errands to run, researchers have discovered that humans have a sleep section of the brain, and that as we age, we lose the special type of brain cells that live there.
But it’s not all bad news. The scientists said there’s a way to we can still get the benefits of sleep if we’re missing out: we all now have a solid excuse to nap.
8. The tux is back in a big way. Peter Marshall, the formal wear expert behind the Black Tie Guide blog, spent hundreds of hours poring over old magazines and newspapers to examine the changing face of the tuxedo — arguably one of the most misunderstood garments of all time. We combined his research with our own to bring the whole story of the tuxedo into focus. And as it turns out the tuxedo is entering a Golden Age. Cheers, Mad Men.
9. Vin Diesel nerded out about ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ — and it was amazing. During his first appearance at New York Comic, Diesel geeked out about his love for the popular roleplaying game “Dungeons & Dragons” while talking about what attracted him to his next movie role in “The Last Witch Hunter.”
“I guess I’m safe in this room. It’s no secret that I love ‘Dungeons & Dragons,’” the said to a thunderous round of applause and cheers. “If you’ll indulge me, I actually had a character that was a Witch Hunter.”
But it gets better. He said his name was Melkor, based on the dark lord from “The Lord of the Rings” who had a giant army of creatures ranging from orcs to vampires and werewolves. Read more here.
10. Musk says we need to leave Earth ASAP. Billionaire entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk is worried about the next apocalypse. In fact he’s so concerned that he thinks we need to get off Earth and become a multi-planet species as quickly as possible. And he doesn’t just want to send a handful of colonists, either; he’d like to launch 1 million people to Mars. Later this year, via his rocket company SpaceX, Musk plans to reveal a spacecraft designed to carry as many as 100 people at a time to the red planet. In the meantime, he’s teased the world with a vision of how he’d land humans on Mars in a capsule called Red Dragon:
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