10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Top Gear Epic Road TripYoutube/Top GearClarkson (right) with ‘Top Gear’ co-host Richard Hammond.

Good Wednesday to you.

1. It’s going to be a bad day on the ASX. Not only have June SPI 200 futures fallen 47 points but the market has broken lower in recent days and then again overnight. Here’s the chart from Greg McKenna’s Go Markets Asian Trading Wrap yesterday.

AUS200 Daily Chart (Go markets, MT4)

2. The Aussie is lower, down 1.1% on the day at 0.7616, off a low of 0.7706. And there’s more falls to come, with calls for parity between the euro and the US dollar growing. Deutsche Bank joined Credit Suisse yesterday in downgrading its outlook for the euro to a cycle low of 85 cents. Because the US dollar is the other side of the AUDUSD exchange rate, if the USD is stronger, then the Aussie will fall – and then some. So expect to see the Aussie in the 60s in 2015/16.

3. On the data front today, all eyes will be on Westpac consumer confidence given the weakness in business confidence shown yesterday in the NAB’s report. Home loan data is also out along with the break-up in investment lending. China is expected to issue details of new loans, retail sales and industrial production.

4. Treasurer Hockey thinks it might be a good idea to allow Australians to access their superannuation to buy their first house. It’s actually a dumb idea and Greg McKenna counts all the ways it’s a dumb idea here, including driving housing prices up and killing the compound earnings part of super that sees it double roughly every seven or eight years.

5. Has Jeremy Clarkson finally been sacked? The Top Gear host has at the very least been suspended and his show pulled from airing this week after he was involved in a “fracas” with a producer. Clarkson is eternally in the sights of just about everyone who doesn’t get to syndicate his stuff, but even the Beeb has had him on “final warning” notice after a couple of insensitive gaffes last year. He’s so far kept quiet on this latest mess, but former TG presenter Chris Goffey told BBC Radio 5 that heated discussions on-set were frequent, so “it must have been something fairly serious”.

6. The cost of being seen with an iPhone. Techly has noticed the price of new and not-so-new iPhones snuck up this week – and not marginally. An iPhone 6 Plus, 16GB, is now $999, up from $869. The workable version (64GB) jumped from $1129 to $1299, which is the same hike as for the regular iPhone 6. Techly says the changes are only for the Australian market and reflect the performance of our dollar. But $1449 for your darling to flash around the latest 6 Plus is entering well into status symbol territory…

7. Salesforce is Down Under. The customer relationship management giant is on a world tour and dropped in to Melbourne this week, kindly inviting our own Sarah Kimmorley along for the ride. So far it’s announced a partnership with StartupAUS, a non-profit technology advocacy group, to help transform the Australian startup community and gave us some details about its new apps for the Apple Watch. And here’s an alarming stat – Salesforce says 90% of the world’s data was created in just the last 12 months. So with that in mind, here are six technology revolutions Salesforce predicts will change the future of business.

8. Hansel and Zoolander are back. The really, really ridiculously good-looking duo crashed the Valentino fashion show at Paris Fashion Week, threw some Blue Steel, stole Vine hero Jerome Jarre’s phone and gave a precious moment to Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour backstage. Yep, Zoolander 2 is coming.

9. The Lindt Cafe in Sydney will be open by the end of this week. Show them some support and drop in for a bevvie.

10. So, yeah, ecstasy is legal in Ireland. And ketamine, and crystal meth. Ireland’s 1977 Misuse of Drugs Act was found unconstitutional by the Irish Court of Appeal on Tuesday morning — meaning that the drugs currently prohibited in it are legal. And despite rushing through emergency legislation to fix the hole, another law about changing laws means the drugs won’t be illegal again until 12am Thursday at the latest.

BONUS ITEM: Yes, you might have seen a GoT trailer yesterday at the Apple Watch launch. But this one’s different and it’s got the dragon in it. The new series premieres in the US on April 12.


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