10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Top Gear Jeremy ClarksonPeter Macdiarmid/Getty ImagesClarkson (right), May (center), and Hammond atop an armoured vehicle.

1. Good news – the Aussie dollar is at a six-year low and quietly crashing. No, really. RBA assistant governor Christopher Kent noted yesterday that the 20 per cent TWI fall so far from the 2013 high had been “helpful” to the economy and the currency depreciation was “starting to play a role in helping the economy adjust”.

2. The ASX found support yesterday and the consolidation of the recovery off the low is important in helping influence the tone in trade today. On a technical basis, traders are clearly watching the lows for this year. Greg McKenna’s Go Markets chart in his Asian Trading Wrap shows some important technical levels to watch and with a trading target of 5,740, 5,744 yesterday satisfies that within a usual tolerance. That means a break of 5,740/45 would be a huge signal for another dip.

3. On the data front today, look out for Australian employment at 11.30am AEDT. The market is looking for another 15,000 new jobs to be created and the unemployment to dip to 6.3%.

4. That’s unlikely to be any comfort for one Australian suburb with 27 per cent unemployment. Broadmeadows on the outskirts of Melbourne is leading a pack of industrial Aussie suburbs where unemployment is pushing almost twice the national average – a 12-and-a-half year high. Across Australia, regions with unemployment of 10 per cent or more of the workforce rose to 13.3 per cent of all areas in the third quarter, up from 10.9 per cent a year earlier.

5. Australian teenager Jake Bilardi may have been killed carrying out a suicide attack. Unconfirmed reports from ISIS claim the troubled student from Craigieburn was killed during fighting in Iraq’s Anbar province. Bilardi has been described as a “gifted student” from the Melbourne suburb who became reclusive after losing his mum to cancer in 2012.

6. Cheer up, there are still good things happening in the world. Here’s a kid who beat Roger Federer with a delightful lob overnight:

7. Jeremy Clarkson updates. 1. The Top Gear host allegedly punched an assistant producer because there was no food ready at the end of a long day. 2. The BBC will cancel the rest of the Top Gear season. 3. He’s been trolling the BBC on Twitter. 4. There’s 500,000 signatures calling for his reinstatement. 5. He might not come back even if the BBC wants him to.

8. IPOs had a great year in Australia. All up, 74 floats raised $26 billion in equity, returning an average of 17% to those lucky enough to be allocated shares. The biggest was Medibank Private which raised $5.679 billion for the Federal Government. The health insurance company’s $2 shares were up 7% on listing day and they closed yesterday at $2.43. And there’s a healthy pipeline building for 2015…

9. Mortgage killing your disposable income? Move to Canberra, where earning the average salary and paying the average mortgage will leave you with $3,271 a month to play with, according to money blog Mozo. Australia’s tightest city is, not surprisingly, Sydney, which leaves families with a measly monthly latte budget of $1,895. You’ll be comfy in Perth and Hobart too, but the capital gets a double tick from savings nerds for also having nothing to spend that disposable income on. Here’s the breakdown:

10. World’s worst losers. Hang your head, Zimbabwe Herald. After his nation was dumped out of the World Cup by a sharp boundary catch taken by Irish pace bowler John Mooney, the Herald’s senior sports editor Robson Sharuko came out swinging. Mooney has battled with alcoholism and depression in the past, which was good enough fodder for Sharuko to question his honesty about whether he touched the boundary line while taking the catch.

“…it was very unlikely that, in the defining moment of such a big game, he could be trusted to have the honesty, let alone the decency, to concede that his foot touched the boundary

It’s a low point, in both the game and journalism, and one that will be quickly snuffed out today, starting with the Zimbabwean captain himself:

BONUS ITEM: Book-lovers, this one’s for you. When Hugh Selbourne died, he left behind an incredible collection of first editions, including On The Origin of Species. If you’ve got $140-odd thousand to spare, it could be yours when it’s auctioned off on March 25.

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