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    need2know: Red start for ASX as Wall St slides


    2019 - 01.21

    Local shares are poised to open lower, dragged by selling on Wall Street after a report on durable goods heightened concern about the surging greenback.
    Nanjing Night Net

    What you need to knowSPI futures down 41 points to 5929$A at US78.35 cents, 93.77 Japanese yen, 71.51 Euro cents and 52.70 British penceIn late trade, S&P 500 -1.2%, Dow -1.6%, Nasdaq -2.1%In Europe, Stoxx 50 -1.3%, FTSE 100 -0.4%, CAC 40 -1.3%, DAX -1.2%Spot gold up $US2.68 or 0.2% to $US1195.96Brent crude up $US1.30 or 2.4% to $US56.41Iron ore slips 0.1% to $US55.81 per tonne 

    Today’s Agenda

    Australian population data, finance and wealth data; Bank of England statement from March 24 meeting; UK retail sales; French 4th-Qtr GDP.

    Stocks to watch

    Canaccord has a ‘buy’ on Osprey Medical. It dropped its price taget to $1.50 a share from $1.70.

    Commonwealth Bank is ‘neutral’ on Kathmandhu Holdings with a $1.55 a share target.

    Deutsche Bank is retaining a ‘buy’ on BlueScope Steel and a price target of $6.32 a share.

    Shares trading ex dividend today: Australian Leaders Fund, Myer Holdings, Watermark Market Neutral Fund.

    Currencies

    The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the US currency against 10 major peers, slid less than 0.1% to 1185.54 after tumbling 2.2% last week, the biggest weekly decline since October 2011.

    The greenback has gained against 13 or its 16 major peers this quarter, adding 9.3% versus the euro, as traders speculated on the Fed raising borrowing costs this year. Policy makers last week pushed backs bets on a rise in interest rates any time soon, indicating they were in no rush for the first increase since 2006 and will monitor data for policy direction.

    Deutsche Bank’s CVIX index of implied volatility for nine major currency pairs was at 10.65 percentage points, up from 9 a month earlier and more than double its lowest in at least 14 years of 4.9 reached in July 2014. It’s 10-year average is 10.18.

    Commodities

    Gold’s six-day rally, its longest since August 2012, came after Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen sounded a cautious note last week on the US economy and potential interest rate increase.

    “This is a long overdue correction for gold and I think it’s going to continue to hit in the $US1200 level,” said Eli Tesfaye, senior market strategist for RJO Futures in Chicago. “The market is also eyeing Dr Yellen’s speech Friday.” Yellen is scheduled to speak on Friday at 1945 GMT.

    Zinc was last bid down 0.2% at $US2081 a tonne while lead was last bid 0.3% lower at $US1845. “Zinc and lead plunged to multi-month and multi-year lows recently though …. global supply is extremely tight. We expect to see significantly higher prices of both metals by year’s end,” said Commerzbank in a note.

    Nickel lost 1.9% to end at $US13,680 a tonne after LME inventories rose to a record high of 433,980 tonnes

    United States

    A selloff in biotechnology and chip companies dragged US stocks to a third day of declines, interrupting another run at a record for the Nasdaq Composite Index, after analysts cut ratings on computer suppliers.The Nasdaq headed for its longest slide since January after climbing to within 20 points of its dot-com-era record on Friday.

    The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index, which rallied 21% in 2015 through Friday, sank 3.2% as some of the quarter’s best performers retreated.

    Orders for durable goods unexpectedly dropped in February. The result reinforced a trend of mixed economic data after the Federal Reserve signaled it will monitor the economy to guide its decision on raising borrowing costs.

    “Some of the hot tech and biotech stocks – the higher- beta names – are taking a hit today,” Richard Sichel, chief investment officer at Philadelphia Trust Co, which oversees $US2 billion, said in a phone interview. “There’s a little profit taking, which feeds on itself, especially within stocks that have jumped the most recently. We also had durable goods orders that were weaker than expected, which is weighing on sentiment.”

    Europe

    European stock markets have pulled back as worries over Greece offset positive German data, analysts say, with focus also on the aviation sector as more details of the Alps plane crash emerged.

    German business confidence rose to its highest level in eight months in March, as optimism continues to grow about the outlook for Europe’s biggest economy, the Ifo economic institute said Wednesday. The Ifo institute’s closely-watched business climate index rose to 107.9 points this month, its highest level since July 2014, the think tank said in a statement.

    “Despite the latest German Ifo business climate data beating expectations, this good news couldn’t inspire much growth in the DAX, or the rest of the eurozone, with the region appearing to be hampered by the euro taking back some of yesterday’s losses against the dollar alongside more worries about Greece’s financial situation,” said Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex trading group.

    What happened yesterday

    The big four banks’ shares continue to rise, up almost 1% on Wednesday despite minimal gains in the wider market.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    ASX poised for losses as global markets slide


    2019 - 01.21

    The Australian sharemarket looks set for a rough start on Thursday following heavy falls on Wall Street and in Europe.
    Nanjing Night Net

    After adding very little on Wednesday, SPI futures are down 43 points, indicating the benchmark S&P/ASX200 will start down.

    It comes as Wall Street suffered its third straight losing session, with the S&P 500 down 1.3 per cent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 1.6 per cent and the Nasdaq tanking 2.2 per cent.

    Part of the reason for the poor performance has been attributed to some disappointing US economic data. US durable goods orders slumped 1.4 per cent in February, expectations had been for a small rise.

    This adds to a string a weak data in the US of late, which may cause the US Federal Reserve to rethink when it begins to raise interest rates.

    European shares also struggled overnight. Germany’s DAX dropped 1.2 per cent, France’s CAC lost 1.3 per cent,  London’s FTSE100 fell 0.4 per cent and the Eurostoxx 50 slumped 1.3 per cent.

    The Australian dollar slipped 0.4 per cent against its US counterpart to US78.44¢. Against the euro, the Aussie slipped 0.9 per cent to 71.48 euro cents.

    “Realistically, the main event in the Australian market today commences at 2:30pm AEDT when Australia take on India in the second semi-final of cricket world cup, at the SCG,” NAB global co-head of FX strategy Ray Attrill said.

    “A match that stops the nation? Perhaps, and certainly there is nothing by way of domestic data or market events to provide any distraction, either in Australia, New Zealand or up in Asia for that matter.”

    Oil enjoyed a strong surge overnight, with Brent crude jumping 2.3 per cent to $US56.38 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate lifted 3.4 per cent to $US49.12 per barrel. Gold inched higher to $US1195.85 an ounce.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Ice use danger


    2019 - 01.21

    RELATED:Crime statistics show Bendigo’s drug burden
    Nanjing Night Net

    FRONTLINE health workers arefacing violence and aggression from ice-affected patients at the region’s health services.

    There were nine reports of violent or aggressive behaviour exhibited towards health workers and security staff at psychiatric treatment facilitythe Alexander Bayne Centrein February.

    Bendigo Health acting director of nursing psychiatric servicesTim Lenten said there was a sharp rise in the severity of incidents that month.

    “There has been a range of physical injuries that have resulted in time off for nurses and security,” he said.

    “It has had an impact on sick leave which we then have to backfill to cover shifts.”

    MrLenten said about 60 per cent of patients to the Alexander Bayne Centre were affected by drugs or alcohol.

    “Patients with substance disorders and addiction or are intoxicated would account for about 25 per cent and those who have substance disorders which coincides with mental illness would be at least another 33 per cent,” he said.

    Staff involved in violent incidents were offered graduated returns to work as well as counselling to ensure they felt safe working in their units, he said.

    “We take itseriously and we’re reviewing our policies to better address aggressive incidents and serve our patients as well,” Mr Lenten said.

    He stressed that most patients to the centre were calm and respectful of staff.

    Ambulance Victoria Loddon group manager Ross Barkla said paramedics also encountered violence and aggression from ice-affected patients.

    “The drug ice is like no other in the way that it can quickly send people out of control.There is a high potential for people affected by ice to be aggressive and violent towards those trying to help them,” he said.

    Mr Barkla said the number of assaults and violence towards paramedics were “unacceptable”.Ambulance Victoria reported there were 314 incidents in 2013/2014.

    “No paramedic in the Bendigo area, or, in fact, anywhere in Victoria, comes to work expecting to be harmed,” Mr Barkla said.

    He gave his approval tothe Victorian government’s newice action plan.

    “Paramedics regularly see both the direct and indirect the impacts of ice in regional communities like Bendigo and we welcome the government plans to tackle the ice problem,” he said.

    Source: Bendigo Advertiser

    My Kitchen Rules 2015 Episode 32 recap: Can Jane and Emma ‘Shake ‘n’ Bake’ the bearded blokes?


    2019 - 01.21

    Rob and Dave’s advantage comes from the phrase “Shake ‘n’ Bake”, which they plan to repeat so many times during the cook-off that Jane and Emma will hurl themselves out a window. Photo: Channel 7It’s a titanic battle on My Kitchen Rules as we finally discover the answer to the age-old question: who is better at food, people with beards or people who are without beards? Yes, it’s bewhiskered blokes Rob and Dave versus vivacious vixens Jane and Emma in a sudden death cook-off, though it should be stressed that the episode will not actually result in the deaths of any contestants: only the deaths of their dreams. It will be a night of narrow squeaks and frantic, sweaty finishes.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Rob thinks he and Dave have a big advantage because they’ve cooked in the kitchen before. Rob is utterly deluded. Their actual advantage comes from the phrase “Shake ‘n’ Bake”, which they plan to repeat so many times during the cook-off that Jane and Emma will hurl themselves out a window.

    “Time management has always been our downfall,” says Jane, possibly because more than 80 per cent of her cooking time each episode is spent making idiotic comments about Emma being in love with Steve.

    On the beardy side of the wall, Rob and Dave reflect philosophically on how quickly time passes. They both agree that it passes pretty quickly. Life is a puzzle, Rob and Dave agree. Up on the balcony Drasko and Bianca opine on the competing teams, while Rose pretends to be interested in what they’re saying. Rob and Dave become overexcited by the smell of their tomato sauce. Adam thinks Jane and Emma need to focus on their entrée – as a professional tennis player he learnt this lesson years ago.

    Manu says Jane and Emma have to make sure the salad is perfectly dressed and the prawns are perfectly cooked, but in fact they just need to do better than Rob and Dave – Manu is either lying or doesn’t understand the show. Emma declares that the danger in cooking prawns is overcooking them – also untrue, as the danger in cooking prawns is actually having them lay eggs in your brain.

    Meanwhile Rob is browning off his medallions. We’ve all been there, fellas.

    “Ten minutes to go! Show us your passion!” yells Manu, for whom English is a second language, so we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant to say something that meant something. At this stage Jane and Emma suddenly realise that they have to put food on plates in this round. This comes as quite a shock.

    Judging time, and the six wise monkeys taste the various crustaceans that have been hurled at their mouths. Liz declares that Rob and Dave’s lobster has been poached beautifully, and reports them to Fisheries enforcement officers. Pete is excited by the first dish because the lobsters are unvaccinated. But Jane and Emma’s prawns also go down well, although Shaz preferred the lobster ravioli, but she’s not a judge and should just shut up.

    It’s main time, and Jane and Emma commence pulling out their shanks, while Dave begins pocketing his fish. Jane is making a pea pesto, in line with her self-claimed identity as history’s greatest monster.

    Dave’s pockets are done. Rob compliments him with the phrase “all over that like a fat kid on a Chiko roll”, and is immediately sent to a four-week sensitivity training seminar. Meanwhile Jane explains to Will and Steve how to make donuts, in one of the dullest exchanges human conversation has ever known.

    . Bianca continues to worry about Rob and Dave. Viewers continue to wonder why we have to keep listening to Bianca. As Rob and Dave race against the clock, Emma has separated her pasta. “I can’t stuff this up,” she says, vastly underestimating herself. Both teams are running out of time, as MKR becomes a chilling metaphor for the ephemerality of life.

    In the nick of time, both dishes are plated up. Jane and Emma are slightly disappointed that their main looks like a bowl of cat sick, but Liz “low standards” Egan doesn’t mind that at all. The lamb ragu is the kind of food Colin likes – so finally we know. Disastrously, though, Rob and Dave have overcooked their fish. Except for Pete’s, which he claims is cooked well – but then his tastebuds have been warped by activated almonds and mastodon steak.

    Dessert time, and Jane and Emma’s Italian donuts are pitted against Rob and Dave’s mini-pavlovas with raspberries and passionfruit and probably a few stray beard hairs. As Emma fiddles with her oil, Jane wisely intones, “You can’t rush crème anglais”, a truth that all of civilisation’s greatest leaders have known in their hearts. So focused is she on her non-rushed crème anglais that she can’t come over to help Emma, who is wrestling with one of the fundamental questions of existence: how do you fry a donut? She doesn’t know. I wouldn’t have thought it was that hard – those kids at Krispy Kreme seem to manage OK. We spend so much time watching Jane and Emma’s struggles that you might think Rob and Dave are doing fine, but if there’s one lesson MKR has taught us, it is “NEVER assume that Rob and Dave are doing fine”.

    Dave is happy with what he’s achieved so far: a thin smear of red liquid at the bottom of a saucepan. The mini-pavlovas are, to the shock of onlookers, quite small. “They’ve taken mini to a whole new level,” says Kat, who hates life more and more every day. Meanwhile Jane is stirring custard and sprinkling sugar on donuts AT THE SAME TIME – it’s like she’s some kind of crazy person with two functioning arms or something.

    Judging time, and Liz is impressed with the fruit flavours of Rob and Dave’s dessert, although this is less due to their culinary skill, and more to do with the fact that fruits taste like themselves. The pavlova might be too soft, but then again that might be an outdated attitude to masculinity. On the other hand, the donuts are perfect.

    So with a better main and a better dessert, Jane and Emma have clearly won, but I guess the charade of announcing the scores has to be gone through. And it is. And Jane and Emma win and live to giggle inanely about Steve another day. Deeply depressed, Rob and Dave are forced to give up their food dream and pursue their second love: establishing a global network of beard-topiary franchises. But not before they say “Shake ‘n’ Bake” one last time, to remind us of how little we’ll miss them.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Jeremy Clarkson was a by-product of the system which made him


    2019 - 01.21

    Clarkson’s contract will no be renewed: BBCClarkson’s road to ruinClarkson’s worth to Top GearClarkson hints at sackingClarkson’s costly steak
    Nanjing Night Net

    Three larrikin blokes, standing in the backyard, talking about cars. Few television premises seem so universally relatable, and consequently few television programs have been as successful as Top Gear.

    But for much of Top Gear’s life, one larrikin bloke stood taller and louder than the other two: Jeremy Clarkson, the 54-year-old star of the show, who has finally fallen victim to his own misbehaviour and been stood down.

    Depending on who you listen to, he will be cast now as either a racist and homophobe who deserved to lose his job after a decade of embarrassing gaffes, or a white, male victim of political correctness gone mad.

    In truth he is neither. In the final accounting, he is simply a fool whose inability to keep his language, and ultimately his behaviour, in check cost him his job. It happens every day. In all industries, not just TV.

    As television programs go, Top Gear is almost flawless, with Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May translating the dialect of motor vehicle mechanics into a sort of television Esperanto.

    As a high-profile celebrity, however, Clarkson has fallen well short of the mark.

    There is no need to repeat his list of sins here, they have been reported ad nauseum. If you don’t know them, Google will easily fill in the gaps.

    But a quick summary of them would be this: unless you’re white, male and straight, then Clarkson has a tendency to be a bit free with his words when it comes to ethnicity, gender or sexuality.

    In person, he’s a charming man. And he doesn’t speak with malice. But few people enjoy being the butt of a joke, particularly crass ones.

    And as with many such “scandals” it is not Top Gear’s core constituency who are overly upset, but rather the community at large, and the media, through whose prism the community is so often left to interpret events.

    Like many a TV host who has gone down before him, very little seemed to be asked of Clarkson. And curtailing one’s tendency to oafish language isn’t a big trade off for a salary counted in the many, many millions.

    Which brings us to the inevitable truth: Clarkson is a by-product of the system which made him.

    The television industry, like much of the broader “showbiz” world, has always struggled to manage the egos of those placed on pedestals within it.

    Appalling behaviour is never genuinely discouraged because ordinary mortals in positions of power are surrounded by enablers, cowed into silence by a collective fear of losing their own importance-by-proxy.

    It doesn’t excuse him. Nor does it shift the blame. There can be no question, Clarkson alone stands as the architect of his own downfall.

    But in the broader context, he is a cog in a powerful commercial machine.

    The more larrikin his antics, it seemed, the more successful he became. The more outlandish the stunts and spectacles, the more successful Top Gear became.

    As it stands now, Top Gear is not just one of the BBC’s most successful programs, it is one of the most lucrative for the broadcaster’s content sales arm, BBC Worldwide.

    They sell the program itself, the format (which allows local versions to be made), licences for official merchandise including DVDs and even stage live events around the world tied to the Top Gear brand.

    All have poured gold into the BBC’s pots.

    In that sense, the BBC has been betting on Clarkson’s good behaviour for a long time, too afraid to sack him lest they destroy their golden goose, hoping perhaps that if he could be pulled into line internally, the chorus of disapproval might dissipate.

    And in the end, like many such bets, it proved a dud.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.