1. Budget 2015 is nearly upon us and, perhaps scarred by nearly a full year’s worth of negative media stemming from Budget 2014, Joe Hockey’s been keeping his head down a bit this time around. Here’s the latest – it’s a bit of a mix of good and bad:
- $1.3 billion has been allocated towards new medicines and vaccines to be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
- Almost 80,000 new mothers will lose some or all of their government parental leave payments
- Tony Abbott focuses on spending rather than saving in the interests of job creation and economic growth.
- The public sector will fork over $4 billion in spending cuts, privatisations and the sale of landmark properties near Parliament House.
2. The local stock market should have a better day if the futures moves over the weekend are any guide. It slipped lower on Friday afternoon, completely missing the Chinese rally and better sentiment throughout the region, but with a solid futures trade and Dalian iron ore back up at 442, the miners might also get a lift. Perhaps the PBOC rate cut will help the market at the margin.
3. After a huge day Friday, forex markets settled down in US trade with euro and sterling off their highs. USDJPY remains becalmed and the Aussie got an early lift this morning on the back of the PBOC move and the 80/81 cent region is stacking up as the Aussie dollar version of ASX 6,000 at the moment. We’ll see how things go over the next week or so.
4. There’s a global disconnect between stocks and the real economy at the moment. Matt King from Citibank argues “it is expectations of central bank liquidity, not economic or corporate fundamentals, which have become the main driver of everything from €/$ to credit spreads to BTP yields”. That means that traders and investors are all on the same side of the stock, bond and other rallies. Great on the way in but as these traders try to exit their positions, the market is likely to become extremely illiquid. King says the way out “may not prove so easy; indeed, we are not sure there is any way out at all”. Greg McKenna took a look at his take on why central bank liquidity injections are having the opposite effect.
5. Releases this week don’t come much bigger than the Federal Budget. You’d think. But actually, it hasn’t been much of a market mover for many years. There’s juicier stuff in today’s NAB monthly business survey, Australian home loan and investment loan data tomorrow, and Wednesday’s wages data. Here’s Westpac’s excellent diary of all the week’s key events and data.
6. Happy Mother’s Day for yesterday, mums. Samsung celebrated it best my launching a YouTube campaign asking mum fans to share their mums’ best text messages under the #TextsFromMom hashtag. We’ve pulled together some of the best moments, like this:
7. China cut again, lowering one-year lending rates by 0.25% to 5.10% effective as of today. Following the release of benign inflation data on Saturday, the PBOC yesterday also decreased deposit rates by 0.25%, lowering the benchmark one-year rate to 2.25%. It says the move will “support the healthy development of the economy”.
8. We’ve come a long way since the stealth bomber. Today, militaries all over the world are pushing technological boundaries and the results are as stunning as they are scary. We’re seeing lasers, heat rays, even bullets that change course mid-air. And if you really want to know what a “Golden Hour blood container” is, check it out here in this list of the 19 most game-changing weapons of the last 15 years.
9. Want to be smarter? There’s plenty you can do just by learning a few simple habits. Quora users shared their 25 easiest ways to improve yourself without too much effort.
10. England’s looking for a new coach in a bid to win back the Ashes, starting July 8, because they just sacked their current one, Peter Moores. And, as is always the case when English cricket needs some talent, they’re looking abroad. Namely, to us. Jason Gillespie is the frontrunner for the job, according to all reports, with Justin Langer and Tom Moody in the mix. They’ve already given given South African Andrew Strauss the ECB director’s job, and with New Zealander Ben Stokes and Irishman Eoin Morgan holding the team together, they’re heading down the right track.
BONUS ITEM: These ducklings chasing a laser pointer. For the smiles.
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