10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

That sinking feeling. Picture: 20th Century Fox/Paramount

Good morning. To the markets.

1. The Aussie dollar is on the cusp of making history. It has backed off its 0.7382 high a little this morning, but it’s still on a nine-day roll. It’s had only five other longer winning streaks since it floated in December 1983. The Kiwi had another good day but the Canadian dollar lost a bit of ground after oil’s mini-crash. The euro and yen are largely unchanged but the pound is firmer.

2. There was a big fall in crude oil – about 4%. That and comments from a couple of US Fed speakers affirming US rates will rise by the end of the year put a little more pressure on the ASX. The December SPI 200 futures fell 13 points overnight to 5,211, so expect a mildly negative day of trade today after yesterday’s across the board loss of 0.9%. Iron ore reversed some of its recent gains on the Dalian exchange as well, but copper held firm. Look for a retest lower in the next couple of days. On the data front today we get the single best economic indicator for Australia with the release of the NAB Business Survey. David Scutt has a great preview here in the run-up to that release at 11.30am ADST. And at 1pm, China will release the September trade data which is going to be huge. Huge.

3. Dell bought EMC. For $65 billion, making it the tech industry’s biggest mergers ever. Along with a bunch of “business virtualisation” software, Dell will get $50 billion in debt and according to Meg Whitman, CEO of HPE, will be paying roughly $2.5 billion a year in interest alone. (She told that to HP employees to try to make them feel better because HP failed to buy EMC last year.) Here’s how the merger stacks up in the tech acquisition stakes:

4. Conspiracy of the day. There’s a crazy one going around that the Rothschilds sank the Titanic to set up the Federal Reserve. Among those who perished were Benjamin Guggenheim, Isa Strauss and David Astor, whom together would be worth some $11 billion in today’s money. According to the tinfoil-hatters, they all opposed the opening of the Federal Reserve and had to die. And there’s a great link to J.P. Morgan, who had a hand in creating the Fed, and basically owned the Titanic.

5. Bottoms up. Drinks International magazine has released it fifth annual World’s 50 Best Bars list. London’s Artesian topped the list for the fourth time, but if you’re looking for a world class drink this afternoon Down Under, there’s a couple of top 10 options on offer. A well-known Sydney watering hole snared sixth place, while Melbourne’s Black Pearl came in at number 10.

6. Milk money. It’s official – Chinese interests now control the milk run from 25 farms in Tasmanian’s north-west. They make up the nation’s oldest and largest dairy conglomerate – the Van Diemen’s Land Company (VDL) – and The Australian reports this morning that Chinese businessman Herman Shao-ming Hu and Kenny Zhang are about to buy 35% of it each for $220 million. (*Was actually controlled by Kiwis anyway.)

7. Angus Deaton, a 69-year old Scottish-American professor of economics at Princeton University, is this year’s winner of the Nobel prize for Economics. Here’s why.

8. Fourteen years ago, US aerospace company Lockheed Martin began work on the fifth generation of fighter jets. The project has blown out well beyond eye-watering levels in terms of delays and cost, but we’re within a year of seeing them in combat. Australia’s committed to buying 100 at $US80 million apiece and here’s what we’ll be getting – from sapphire windows to internal cannons and a ridiculously hi-tech carrier launch system. We have some frustratingly short slo-mo GIFs of the F-35C landing on a carrier, if you’re into that sort of thing:

9. Ever had that feeling you aced the interview? Followed by that feeling, as the days stretched on afterward, that you probably shouldn’t have said that thing you said? Don’t fret just yet – if you can recognise a few of these 14 signs, your dream offer might still be on the way.

10. You’ve probably never heard of ‘CaptainSparklez’, but your kid has. He’s one of a host of YouTubers with legions of fans watching them play Minecraft. And the next time you’re trying to drag your kids away from bloody YouTube to watch some good old-fashioned violent cartoons for once, think about this $4.5 million home they helped CaptainSparklez buy – just by playing Minecraft.

BONUS ITEM: The guy on the right is a massive fan of Jared Leto, and has dressed up as Leto’s version of the Joker for New York Comic Con. What he doesn’t know is the guy in the baboon mask next to him is… Jared Leto.


Have a great day.

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