Good morning, on with the show:
1. A very interesting day in Asia yesterday. Rumours of an early election and the postponement of the sales tax increase drove the Nikkei and USDJPY higher. The Nikkei rallied 2.05% to 17,124. In Shanghai, stocks dipped 4 points as the resistance we highlighted yesterday weighed on sentiment a little. But Bloomberg reports that turnover of US$53.9 billion is the most since they started compiling such data in 2005, so there is still plenty of interest in the index just a week before the tie up with the Hang Seng exchange and the expected flood of foreign cash into the mainland exchange.
2. The Aussie is higher. But so is the euro and pound amidst a generalised US dollar dip. The Aussie, at 87 cents even, is up 0.92% on the day. Our cross-Tasman cousin the Kiwi is also up close to 1%, sitting at 78 cents. The Antipodeans have outperformed the euro which is up 0.45% to 1.2476 while GBP is up 0.49% to 1.5918. The yen went the other way and is at a 7-year low against the US dollar at 115.39 while AUDJPY is at 100.38 – its highest level in 18 months.
3. On the data front today, we have the Westpac consumer confidence release this morning at 10.30 AEDT and markets will be waiting to see if it confirms the ANZ weekly confidence survey and yesterday’s monster rise in the NAB business survey. We are still waiting on Chinese new loans data and then tonight the BoE will release its quarterly inflation report.
4. NAB wants to pay back its excessive fees. The bank’s boss Andrew Thorburn has flagged he’s keen to end the bad blood between NAB and 30,000 of its customers over a possible $40 million payout. The Herald Sun reports a hearing is set for November 18 before the Federal Court which could clear the way for a settlement – and also ramp up pressure on CBA, ANZ and Westpac to do the same. If cleared, NAB’s customers will get their cheques mid-next year.
5. We finally have a Miss World National Costume:
That’s Courtney Thorpe modeling the new design by Julie Sufi, of Belluccio, which is based on the Women’s Land Army. The original was based on the ANZAC women’s uniform but was canned for a) being, well, wrong and b) after rumblings from the RSL about appropriateness. It’s a poisoned chalice, designing the national costume, summed up in this classic quote from Miss World Australia national director Nadasha Zhang:
“Creating the Australian National Costume, is a tedious task, as the opinion of the general public needs to be taken into account when creating the piece.
6. Fat Duck Melbourne has all its diners. Last Monday night, 14,000 very happy people found out via email that they’d been allocated a seat at Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck when it relocates from England to Melbourne’s Crown Resorts for six months in 2015. Another 76,000 were told they’d missed out. Now the real fun begins as the reality of the $525 a head bill comes home to roost. No doubt there’s profit to be made – if Crown Resorts allows it, and there’s already plenty of desperate diners making offers on social media today in a bid for a blob of some snail porridge.
7. Redfoo won’t apologise. More so than any other, Australian media loves the smell of celebrity blood in the morning and today it’s X-Factor judge Redfoo who’s under the axe after the release of his “misogynistic” song “Literally I Can’t”. It’s basically several minutes of Foo and his mates telling sorority girls who won’t get drunk and reject their advances to “shut the f..k up”, so no surprise about the outcry, which now includes a Change.org petition to get him off X Factor. But Redfoo says it’s all a typical example of critics “purposely misinterpreting” artists’ work.
— Redfoo (@RedFoo) November 11, 2014
8. China has a stealth fighter. The J-31 Shenyang first appeared in a photo posted on the internet in September 2011 and has been fodder for aviation freaks ever since. It was seen as something of a joke at first, although there were serious concerns that it had been built off the back of stolen F-35 plans. Now, it’s real, and flying demonstrations in airshows, years before we’ll see US Joint Strike Fighter in action. The Aviationist says it might be stealthy, but you can see its smoke trail for miles.
9. Goldman Sachs releases The List. It’s the day every GS employee works for – the biennial announcement of who will be made partners. It’s one of the most coveted roles on Wall Strett and comes with a personal phone call between 5am and 9am from Goldman’s CEO Lloyd Blankfein or president Gary Cohn. A former partner told the Financial News in 2012: “Don’t tell my wife this, but being made partner was the greatest moment of my life.” Here’s all the other not-so-secret stuff you need to know about it.
10. Jack Ma doesn’t like being rich. Well, not all of it. He became China’s richest man after Alibaba’s IPO in September and has almost immediately learnt the downfall of being a multibillionaire. He told CNBC he thinks the responsibility is a “great pain” and the pressure gets to him, especially as people put high expectations on Alibaba’s stock price. He said he feels like people have started surrounding him because of his riches, not because of who is actually is. “I want people to see this is entrepreneur, this is a guy who is having fun of himself,” Ma says. “I want to be myself.”
BONUS ITEM: No Cats In Shark Suits On Roombas today, sorry. We plugged a live cross for the probe landing on a comet this morning, but there’s a wait until 3am tomorrow before it actually happens, so sorry about that. To tide space fans over, here’s a quite stunning time lapse of more than 80GB of photographs taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Enjoy:
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