10 things you need to know this morning in Australia

Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket, which last night almost managed to land on a platform at sea – before falling over. Photo: Getty.

Good morning! Let’s start the day.

1. The ANZAC marketing disaster for Woolworths. The supermarket giant last night pulled down a website intended to pay tribute to ANZAC heroes ahead of the Gallipoli centenary. The site allowed people to place the slogan “Fresh in our memories” over images – the idea was that people would use dead soldiers – but it was quickly hijacked with people using it to dress up famous Australian moments:

“We regret that our branding on the picture generator has caused offense, this was clearly never our intention,” Woolworths said in a statement. But how did this happen? It’s like McDonald’s running “I’m lovin’ ANZACs” ads, or Nike going with “They just did it”. Unbelievable.

2. It’s China GDP day. We get the latest growth number from the world’s second-largest economy today, with 7.0% expected through the year to March. Anything either side of that number should reverberate around the markets. There’s also industrial production and retail sales from China so there’ll be plenty for markets to pore over. BI’s new global markets and economics reporter based in Sydney, David Scutt, has a full preview here.

3. Iron ore is still rallying. We noted yesterday that iron ore prices suddenly reversed their slide after comments from treasurer Joe Hockey, who said there appeared to be “no floor” to the price slide and that the government was having to contemplate $35 a tonne prices. Well, it’s been rallying ever since, and prices are back above $50. The ANZ economics team says in its Morning Focus: “reports are China’s iron ore industry is responding to lower prices and closing down production. An industry survey estimates that in the last month 10% of iron ore mines in China have closed.”

4. On the US market overnight, stocks were up slightly but nothing to write home about. So it’s likely to be a quiet day on the ASX until we get the China GDP data.

5. In company earnings, America’s largest bank JP Morgan surprised the market by beating expectations. It’s significant not just because it beat specific analysts’ expectations for the company but also because overall the market’s expecting a drop in profits this season.

6. Beer is pretty cheap in Australia. Deutsche Bank has been looking at comparative living costs in different cities and we’ve pulled together this chart based on their findings on beer. Melbourne is a little towards the top but Sydney looks like value. (These are USD prices and for a pint.)

A buy signal. More here.

7. Trouble for Macau, and maybe for James Packer. As part of Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive, visitors to the Chinese gambling hub from the mainland are going to be capped at 21 million each year, and the resort will be made more family friendly. This is potentially troublesome for Melco Crown, James Packer’s joint venture on the island, although the new casino Packer has under construction there is specifically aimed at families, having secured deal with Warner Bros and DC Comics for having their characters around the precinct. But the days of roaring growth in Macau casinos from mainland visitors are over.

8. So close, Elon Musk. SpaceX’s daring project to launch a rocket and then land it back on a platform in the ocean came undone at the last moment. The SpaceX and Tesla boss Elon Musk tweeted that the problem was “too much lateral movement”. In other words, it fell over. The cargo of a capsule for the ISS was delivered successfully. More here.

9. What Peter Thiel looks for in people. “A lot of what you’re looking for are these almost Zen-like opposites,” billionaire PayPal founder and early Facebook investor said in a recent interview. “You want people who are both really stubborn and really open-minded.”

10. Rihanna denies doing coke at Coachella. Here’s the comment she left on a Vine that went viral in which she appeared to be snorting. To quote:

“N — a your lame arse got some f — g nerve!!! Any fool could see that’s a joint that I’m basing with cigarette! Who snorts tobacco??!! FOH witcho ‘never been to a rodeo so someone squeezing their nose means they’re doing coke’ lookin a–!!”


Have a great day, in which hopefully you’re not on the end of a spray like that. I’m on Twitter.

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