Squiz Today / 07 February 2018
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 7 February
“It was good they decided not to try and self-evacuate from the vehicle with water levels rising rapidly.”
Said a Queensland emergency worker of three British backpackers who woke yesterday morning to find their Scooby-Doo-style ‘Mystery Machine’ campervan surrounded by floodwaters. They were parked next to a crocodile warning sign. Zoinks!
AUSSIE STOCK MARKET HAMMERED AGAIN
The Australian Stock Exchange yesterday had its worst day since September 2015 with shares down 3.2%, representing a staggering $56 billion loss in value. That’s twice the losses recorded on Monday. And analysts are keen to see what today brings with the US market seesawing overnight.
WHAT’S GOING ON?
Three quick points (because five would probably be pushing the friendship…):
• The Aussie share market (and others around the world) is following the US.
• American stocks have had a rough couple of days after jobs data released on Friday showed wages growth was stronger than expected.
• That means the US market is adjusting their assumptions on what that means for inflation, interest rates and the cost of borrowing.
And as they say, when America sneezes, the world catches a cold.
SO ARE WE STOCKED UP ON ASPRO AND TISSUES?
No need to be so dramatic.
• Markets are coming off all-time high levels.
• One analysis shows the impact of the last couple of days takes some big company’s share values back to where they were in November last year.
• Pundits say it’s important to separate what’s happening in the share market from the condition of the broader economy. And generally speaking, the Australian economy is doing pretty well.
So put your nasal spray away - for the time being anyway.
SQUIZ THE REST
PLEASE TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE ECONOMY…
It’s turning out to be that kind of week…
• The Reserve Bank board met yesterday and decided to keep interest rates on hold at 1.5%. They’re worried about low wages growth and household spending.
• And check this out for a smooth segue… the Bureau of Stats data on retail sales for December showed they were down 0.5% for the month (but remember November was a stonker with the new iPhone release). That's disappointing when Christmas shopping and sales are meant to deliver good results for December.
• But the Reserve Bank said strong jobs growth and a positive outlook for business and investment means we’re doing ok.
AND HOW’S PARLIAMENT GOING THIS WEEK?
You have the strangest interests… but seeing as you asked:
• Bill Shorten has ruled out Labor’s support for the Coalition’s proposed Foreign Interference Laws because he says the protections for journalists aren’t strong enough. Team Turnbull said earlier this week it has some work to do on refining the bill.
• New Liberal Senator (and former Army General) Jim Molan was sworn in on Monday and has quickly found himself the centre of attention. That’s because last week he shared a right-wing anti-Islamic social media post (which he's now removed). But the Greens yesterday took it further and questioned his conduct in Iraq.
• PM Malcolm Turnbull wants everyone to focus on his plan for business tax cuts. That’s been hard work this week, particularly when Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce’s relationship with a former staffer is splashed all over the front page of the News Corp papers today…
TAIWAN EARTHQUAKE TRAPS HOTEL GUESTS
A powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake has hit the Taiwanese city of Hualien overnight. No casualties have been reported, but roads and buildings have been damaged. And reports say authorities are working to free people trapped in a partially collapsed hotel. Taiwan sits on a tectonic plate junction and is regularly hit with quakes.
ASSANGE DENIED A WALK
WikiLeaker Julian Assange has been denied an arrest-free walk if he was to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. His team wanted a court to revoke a UK arrest warrant given he’s no longer wanted for questioning in Sweden. While the US hasn’t said, it’s thought he could be extradited there to face the music over his role in the publishing of their classified documents.
KOKODA TRACK BLOCKED
Traditional land owners are protesting the WWII icon’s joint management under a Papua New Guinea/Australian government program. Land owners say they feel “economically suppressed, oppressed and exploited” because promised payments and health and education programs haven’t happened. With the trekking season due to start in March, the governments are being pushed to do some quick negotiating.
HUGH GRANT SETTLES PHONE HACKING CASE
Actor Hugh Grant has settled his long-running phone hacking dispute with UK newspaper, the Mirror. While the amount he has settled on is undisclosed, it's understood to be in the hundreds-of-thousands and will be donated to campaigners, Hacked Off. The payment came with an apology and an admission that editors "condoned, encouraged or actively turned a blind eye" to phone hacking. Grant has been a leading voice against the illegal intrusion into the lives of people in the public eye. He can now get back to being fabulously foppish and perennially perturbed.
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm (AEDT) - Irene Natividad, President of the Global Summit of Women, to address the National Press Club on 'Are We There Yet? A Global Look at Women's Journey to Leadership' - Canberra
ABS Data Releases - Selected Living Cost Indexes, December; Livestock and Meat, December
Anniversary of Victoria's Black Saturday bushfires (2009)
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