Squiz Today / 04 July 2017
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 4 July
‘A Little Bit of Britain’ - a shop in Christchurch NZ that imports products from the UK - have become international media stars over their right to sell Weetabix breakfast cereal in Kiwiland. Weetabix (preferred by Brits) are not to be confused with Weet-Bix, made by Sanitarium. The cereal giant aren't happy and have had the shop's 300 boxes of Weetabix stopped at the border by NZ Customs. Who knew the brekkie bricks could inspire such passion for #freedom?
HOUSE PRICES MAKE A “SAFE LANDING”
Treasurer Scott Morrison said a clamp down on investor lending has helped the housing market make a “safe landing”. Data out yesterday showed home prices were up a bit in June, but at a much lower rate than in previous months. A slowdown was also evident in construction with the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting building approvals falling 5.6% in May (albeit off a high base of apartment approvals, particularly last year). "I'm encouraged by the fact that we are seeing more owner occupiers, first home buyers coming back into the market. We want to see that happen," he said.
IT DOESN'T FEEL LIKE HOUSES ARE CHEAPER...
And you'd be right. CoreLogic house price data for June showed the capital city index was up 1.8% for the month - including a 2.2% rise in Sydney and a 1.8% increase in Melbourne – two key markets. It follows price drops in May in the two biggest capitals, but significant increases in the preceding months and patchy results across the country.
SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
The Reserve Bank is meeting today to consider interest rates – the hot tip is they will remain on hold at 1.5% for the 11th consecutive month. While we are feeling low (ie lower than wanted economic growth, low inflation, low wages growth, low unemployment and low consumer confidence), it’s probably going to stay that way for a while. Retail sales data for May is also out today and will be carefully analysed for signs about how us average Joes are feeling about life via the opening of our wallets. We bought some new warm socks for the cold mornings here at Squiz HQ. Sure, it’s not very glamorous but it all counts, right?
SQUIZ THE REST
BORDER FORCE CHIEF ON LEAVE FOLLOWING INVESTIGATION
It was revealed last night that Border Force Chief Roman Quaedvlieg has been on personal leave since June following an investigation. The Courier Mail this morning reports it has to do with a personal relationship with a young female staffer but lots of people spent a lot of time yesterday saying “no comment”. He is a highly decorated former police officer who was said to have been in contention for the NSW Police Commissioners job when it came up recently.
INTERNATIONAL STANDOFFS REVEAL UNDERLYING TENSIONS
China has flared up after a US warship (the USS Stethem) sailed close to Triton Island – a disputed part of the South China Sea. Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump have spoken but the best China could muster when asked about the state of the relationship was that there were some ‘”negative factors”. Which sounds like something someone says when they want to dump a boyfriend they never really liked but can't because of his large... economy. It's yuuuge.
Meanwhile, in the Middle East… Qatar has been given 48 hours to agree to a list of demands made by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The small, oil-and-gas-rich nation has been accused of supporting extremist Islamic activities, a charge it denies. They also want Qatar to shut broadcaster Al Jazeera, close a Turkish military base and cease diplomatic ties with Iran. One to watch this week.
MEDIA COMPANIES STAYING AFLOAT… JUST
Fairfax lost 10% off its share price yesterday after private equity mobs TPG and Hellman & Friedman looked over their books and decided against launching a takeover bid. Ouch. CEO Greg Hywood said the company was on track to separate real estate business Domain from Fairfax Media by the end of the year to ensure shareholders get access to the true value of the successful platform, unencumbered by the newspaper business’s woes.
Meanwhile in TV land … How much does it cost to run a TV station? $30 million for two months. That’s how much Ten has been given by its three richy-rich investors Bruce Gordon, Lachlan Murdoch and James Packer to run the whole shebang until the end of August. The trio are the ones who pulled their $250 million loan at the end of the year which sparked the crisis in the first place. The money will ensure the eleventy-millionth episode of Masterchef remains on-air while administrators look for a buyer.
KYRGIOS OUT OF WIMBLEDON
We shouldn’t be too surprised, he said he was only about 65% fit. Nick Kyrgios aggravated a hip injury in a recent fall and lasted less than an hour on the court on the first round of the tournament overnight. Not a great day for the Aussies – John Millman was beaten by Rafael Nadal, Andrew Whittington went down, and Ash Barty was beaten in the women’s. The shock of the day was Stan Wawrinka (fifth seed) was beaten by Daniil Medvedev.
“WOMEN SHOULD FIND THEMSELVES A TOYBOY IF THEY WANT TO START A FAMILY, HARVARD STUDY SHOWS”
We love headlines like this. Like, sure. Never mind the bloke you're with and quite like – dumped! Anyway, this big study (20,000 cycles of fertility treatment were looked over) found that women with younger partners did better in the fertility stakes than ladies with partners of the same age or older. Cue this article on how to be an approachable older woman. You’re welcome.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Reserve Bank Board Meeting
ABS Data Releases - Retail Sales, May; Agriculture Data on Water Use, Land Management and Commodity Values
A Current Affair journalist Ben McCormack's child pornography charges scheduled for mention in Court, Sydney
Paul McCartney Australian tour tickets on sale - details here
US Independence Day
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