Good morning. Here’s what’s happened so far.
1. Joe Hockey has a massive hole in his Budget. A $51 billion hole, according to a report from Canberra economics firm Macroeconomics. A big part of the revenue deficiency is the fact that iron ore was sitting above $100 a tonne but is now down in the $70s which has wiped off $10 billion in revenue. But wait, Macroeconomics chief forecaster Stephen Anthony, also a former Treasury economist, has some advice for the Treasurer on how to fix it:
Any savings shortfall can be funded by winding back superannuation concessions.
Cheers for that, Stephen.
2. The big news out of Asia saw Shanghai stocks up solidly after the announcement that the long-awaited tie-up between it and the Hong Kong exchange would start next week. Key is that the connection is likely to open up Shanghai to further fund flows and likely push shares higher in the weeks and months ahead as investors previously unable to access Shanghai can now buy shares on the exchange.
3. In the end, the composite index rose 2.31% to 2,474 and there is every chance now it can break this three-year high and run all the way to 3,000 on a purely technical basis. Another potential benefit to traders is the inflation data in China yesterday painting a picture of a slowing economy in need of stimulus, which is likely coming. Elsewhere, the Hang Seng rose a more subdued 0.83% while the Nikkei in Tokyo was under pressure from the stronger yen as analysts bet that maybe a reversal is in the offing. At the close, the Nikkei was down 0.59%. On the ASX overnight, futures traders took the market up 14 points after yesterday’s fall of 0.45% on the physical. At 7.40am the SPI 200 Dec contract is at 5,554 bid and a long way from last month’s lows.
4. On the data front, it doesn’t get much bigger than this morning’s NAB Business Survey as a guide to the health of the economy and as such, the Aussie dollar’s future direction (it dipped back toward 0.86 cents this morning at 0.8614). House prices are also out and Chinese New Loan data has been rescheduled for today. In Japan, it’s consumer confidence, eco survey watchers and machines tool orders.
5. It’s Remembrance Day. At 11am on November 11, 1918, the guns of the Great War finally fell silent, with a death toll of 10 million military personnel, including 61,513 Australians. Armistice Day. This year also marks 100 years since the start of Britain’s engagement in WWI and to recognise it, the Tower of London has been paying a moving tribute to the fallen, with volunteers planting 888,246 ceramic, hand-made red poppies in the moat around the site – one for each of the British and Commonwealth servicemen and women who died during World War I. It’s stunning, and the final poppy will be placed today.
6. Who owns the suitcase stuffed with $702,000? Me, said several people dragged into the Supreme Court in Sydney yesterday. The case was found at Sydney’s Hilton Hotel in 2011 after police were tipped off by a guest. The man caught with the cash was former cage fighter Sean Carolan. Carolan said it belonged to a gambler, Owen Hanson Jnr, who claimed it was to be invested in Carolan’s proposed laser fat reduction clinics. And Melbourne rock promoter Andrew McManus says it’s his, but owed to Hanson for his deposit on American band ZZ Top to tour the country. So, still no answer.
7. The war for Ten. The Ten Network’s major shareholders appear to be split on potential bids from US cable giants Discovery Communications and Time Warner for Australia’s third commercial network. The biggest shareholder, Bruce Gordon of WIN Corporation who owns 14.9%, doesn’t want to sell his bit, but Lachlan Murdoch and James Packer are keeping their options open, and Gina Rinehart’s view is unclear. Adding to the intrigue is a report in The Australian this morning that says former Ten CEO Grant Blackley is involved in a potential private equity bid from Hellman & Friedman. Ten is known to have held talks with Fairfax about a merger, and Foxtel is in the mix as part of the Discovery Communications stream of talks. Pass the popcorn, it’s prime time.
8. Wondering why you’re not making enough money? It’s probably because you’re ugly. Some no doubt well-meaning researchers have found you’re more likely to get hired if you look well-groomed, that good-looking people make about 12% more money than less appealing folks, and that attractive real-estate brokers bring in more money than their less attractive peers. It’s called the “beauty premium” and, well, there doesn’t seem to be a lot you can do about it.
9. And what it’s like to have more money. For starters, you can be like Microsoft founder Paul Allen and buy tanks and submarines. But you already know that, so maybe Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank shark Mark Cuban can tell us what’s surprising about being a billionaire? “Nothing,” he told Rolling Stone. “It’s f…..g amazing and off the charts.” Damn.
10. The dangers of hotel wifi. An intriguing report from Russian security house Kaspersky has found a trend across Asian luxury hotels of spying on top execs using their wifi services. Kaspersky won’t name the companies targeted, nor the destinations they’re getting hit in, but is working with the hotels and police to root it out. The report says the attackers seem to know their victims’ precise itinerary. Basically, if you’re ever asked to download an update to software such as Adobe, Google Toolbar or Microsoft Messsenger in order to access hotel wifi, don’t.
BONUS ITEM: Some sport for a bonus today, due to this howler from Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Christoph Kramer. It earned his team a 1-0 loss, but on the plus side for Kramer, it’s being dubbed as the “greatest own goal of all-time”.
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