Good morning! It’s Friday, the World Cup is underway. Let’s get started…
1. What’s the Portuguese for “Oops?”? Brazil, the team whose odds of winning the World Cup are so short that they look like an ECB interest rate, managed to score an own goal in the opening minutes of their tournament opener against Croatia. But it got fixed faster than a fat-finger trade, with the Brazilians winning 3-1. As you were.
2. The real worry is iron ore. The price on the September futures contracts fell more than $2 overnight just above $90.50. This will directly affect Australia: it will drag on the stock prices of the mining companies which will, in turn, drag on the overall share market because the mining companies are so big. In turn again, this affects the overall economy, including the budget bottom line, because iron becoming less profitable means less tax to collect. There is no arguing with what’s happening in this chart:
3. Stocks fall too. Traders love their football but everyone will need to be paying a bit of attention today. The US market fell overnight, with the Dow down 0.6%, the S&P 500 down 0.7%, and the Nasdaq down 0.8%. There’s some concern about the new insurgency in Iraq, and when you add this to the iron ore price fall, it could be a rough day on the Australian market. The ASX futures are down 31 points to 5400.
4. Bad jobs number. The Australian economy shed 4,800 jobs in May, a shock drop, well below the 10,000 jobs expected. There’s an important silver lining: full-time jobs are increasings while part-time positions are falling. So overall it was a relatively flat outcome, and didn’t move the markets much. (Trivia point: nearest the pin in terms of forecast was trader David Scutt, who predicted a loss of 5,000 jobs for the month in a big non-consensus call when almost everyone was looking for an increase. Tap-in for birdie; golf clap.)
5. Aussie farmers aren’t happy with Jamie Oliver. Well, specifically, with the amount of money Woolworths are paying for the campaign starring the Brit celeb chef. Actually, not “paying” as such, but according to the SMH, charging farmers for the cost of running “Jamie’s Garden”. The farmers are revolting, and Woolworths has been accused by AusVeg of retaliating by cancelling a ”critically important” meeting with 40 international buyers.
6. Who needs archaeologists? Leave it to mobs of boozed up guys to find fully intact mastodon skulls, we say. It worked for a bachelor party in a New Mexico state park earlier this week when they stumbled across what one paleontologist says is “the most complete mastodon skull with attached tusks has seen in 20 years”. The men were praised for not touching it and “calling the right people”, i.e. – not selling it.
7. Tropical North Queensland’s controversial “mega-resort” looks stunning. And it really is mega – 7500 hotel rooms, eight hotels, two – yes, two – casinos, an artificial island, golf course, shops, aquarium and theatres. So mega in fact, that it arguably goes against everything the region promotes, such as World Heritage listed natural attractions and laidback lifestyle.
Here’s the concept art for one of the casinos:
8. Bill Murray is on a roll. Lately, he’s doled out advice at bachelor parties and doing karaoke with complete strangers. This week, he dropped this ultimate photobomb, crashing a couple’s engagement photos.
— Ashley Donald (@AEDonald) June 11, 2014
9. There’s no college entrance exam in the world quite like China’s. Called “gaokao”, it wrapped up this week and offers some 6.5 million spots for around 10 million hopefuls. The two-day test has been linked to rising suicide rates and crazy pressure on high school students to prep thoroughly. One school at Hengshui has students study from 5:30am to 9:50pm, gives them one day off a month and monitors kids for laziness with cameras in every room. Here’s some stunning pics from this year’s exam.
BONUS ITEM: Just some footage of 30 dolphins surfing the same wave. Happy Friday.
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