Month: January 2019

  • need2know: Gloomy open on cards

    Local shares are poised to open lower after weaker than expected US growth data and a timing check on the Fed’s plan to lift US rates while the price of iron ore dove sharply.
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    What you need2know

    SPI futures down 43pts to 5784

    AUD at 80.17 US cents, 95.49 Japanese yen, 72.16 Euro cents and 51.97 British pence

    On Wall St, S&P 500 -0.4%, Dow -0.4%, Nasdaq -0.6%

    In Europe, Stoxx 50 -2.7%, FTSE -1.2%, CAC -2.6%, DAX -3.2%

    Iron ore slumped 4.6% to $US57.13 per tonne

    Spot gold down $US7 or 0.6% to $US1205.17 an ounce

    Brent crude up 91 US cents or 1.4% to $US65.55 a barrel

    What’s on today

    Australia export and import prices; private sector credit; Bank of Japan outlook report; US personal income, employment costs.

    Stocks in focus

    ASX: Goodman Group third-quarter update,  Mirvac third-quarter update, production reports are expected from Drillsearch, Grange Resources, Mineral Resources, OceanaGold, Origin Energy, Paladin Energy, Resolute Mining, Western Areas.

    RBC Capital Markets has a “sector perform” on Beach Energy and a price target of $1.25 a share.

    Goldman Sachs is keeping a “neutral” recommendation on alternative medicine company Blackmores and raised its 12-month price target by 8.6% to $53 a share.


    The US dollar has fallen, extending its longest streak of losses since August 2013, on speculation that signs of dimming economic growth will slow the Federal Reserve’s on its path to higher interest rates.

    The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the US currency against 10 major peers, dropped 0.5% to 1165.32 as of 4.01pm in New York. It dropped as much as 1% earlier and fell for a sixth straight day.

    The US dollar has gained 16% during the past 12 months, according to the Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Index, driven by projections the Fed will raise interest rates this year, while central banks around the global add to monetary stimulus.


    Iron ore’s week-long price rally has come to an abrupt end, with the commodity shedding more than 4 per cent on Wednesday. Iron ore at the Port of Qingdao fell $US2.75 to $US57.13.

    Oil prices have hit the highest this year after the first crude stock draw in five months at the US Cushing, Oklahoma hub suggested an oil glut may be starting to ease. US crude futures are poised to end April up nearly 23% and Brent almost 20% higher, the biggest monthly gains since May 2009 when the global economy was starting to rebound from the financial crisis.

    Spot gold fell to a session low of $US1201.13 after the Fed statement before bouncing back. In China, the second biggest gold consumer, premiums eased to about $US1 an ounce on Wednesday over the global benchmark, from $US2 to $US3 in the previous session.

    United States

    US stocks ended lower on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve cited weakness in the US economy and data showed US growth slowed more sharply than expected in the first quarter. But the Fed’s acknowledgement of weakness in some sectors of the economy makes it more likely it will not be ready to raise until at least September, which kept stocks from falling further.

    Twitter fell 8.9% to $US38.49, a day after the company cut its full-year forecast due to weak demand for its new direct response advertising.

    Wynn Resorts shed 16.6% to $US108.77 after the casino operator reported weaker-than-expected first-quarter profit.

    Salesforcem jumped 11.6% to $US74.65 after a Bloomberg report that it is working with financial advisers to help field takeover offers after being approached by a potential acquirer.


    Europe’s main stock markets have closed lower. In London, miners lit up the fallers board as investors fretted over heavy falls for copper prices. Antofagasta shares fell 2.2%, BHP Billiton shed 1.6% and Rio Tinto dropped 2.2%.

    British bank Barclays saw its share price slide 1.70 per cent to 256.95 pence on the back of a grim results statement.The scandal-hit lender warned that fines linked to its alleged role in foreign exchange market rigging could top £2.0 billion after posting plunging first-quarter net profits.

    The yield on 10-year German bunds climbed to a six-week high as rates surged on debt from the Netherlands to Spain and Italy. Germany got bids of €3.649 billion at a five-year note auction, short of its €4 billion target. Adding to the supply pressure, Italy auctioned €8.25 billion of debt on Wednesday, while Portugal began selling 10- and 30-year bonds via banks.

    What happened yesterday

    The local sharemarket fell sharply as investors sold off bank stocks, the $A surged higher and Goldman Sachs warned that the nation’s credit rating was at risk. The S&P/ASX 200 Index shed 109.9 points, or 1.85pc, to 5838.6.

  • Jarryd Hayne admits he still has a huge mountain ahead at San Francisco 49ers

    Playbook clues: learning the 49ers moves is Jarryd Hayne’s biggest obstacle. Picture: Getty Images​JarrydHaynehas spoken for the first time since joining the San Francisco 49ers earlier this month, admitting he still has a”huge mountain ahead”.
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    Speaking in front a large media gathering inside the club’s locker rooms at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara,Haynerevealed he had no concerns about his physicality and athleticism, admitting learning theplaybookwas still his major concern.

    “Physically it’s not a concern,”Haynesaid.

    “It’s just theplaybookand knowing where to be at the right time, whether to pass protect and running in gaps, or what not. Obviously the routes are a key factor as well. They are my main concerns.

    “Physically, I feel fine. We got to train as a squad for two weeks leading up to being on the field with the coaches. I felt fine and comfortable. But when we’re out there and plays are getting called and studying, that’s going to be the biggest hurdle for me.”

    Hayne, who walked out on a multimillion-dollar deal with the ParramattaEels to pursue his American dream, said he enjoyed being out of the limelight.

    The 27-year-old was the face of the Eels and one of the most recognised NRL players in the country. However, being an unknown in the United States suits him.

    New digs: Jarryd Hayne in the 49ers locker room. Picture: Michael Chammas

    “I really enjoy not being in the spotlight like I am in Australia and working from the bottom again,”Haynesaid.

    “That’s one of the biggest influences of me coming over, that new challenge and believing I can test myself and not being afraid of it. There’s still this huge mountain ahead of me and I’ve got a long way to go.”

    Haynehas bulked up since leaving the NRL, but compared to some of the players in the 49ers locker room, he looks like ahalfback compared to a prop in rugby league.

    The former Eels superstar said he was surprised at the size difference between the players in the two sports.

    “Some are [the same] but then there are differences,” he said.

    “The D-line (defensive) and O-line (offensive) are probably the biggest differences in how big they are. I didn’t realise how big they are. I didn’t realise how agile and how quick some of them are. To see big Joe Staley shooting out of left tackle,for such a big unit they really domove. When you’re behind the scenes you see a lot of things you wouldn’t see just watching a normal game.”

    Hayne, who had an established relationship with running backReggieBush, has alsodeveloped a strong rapport with superstar quarterback ColinKaepernick.

    “I think everyone has been great,” he said.

    “I think everyone is there for some advice. Kap’s been awesome. I think he and the quarterbacks know how tricky theplaybookis. For me it’s just getting it down-pat so obviously the coaches feel confident in me going out there and doing it.”

    WhileHaynehas four more months to prove he has what it takes to be on the final 53-man roster, he wouldn’t declare any loftyexpectations he has placed on himself.

    “We’re only three weeks in,” he said.

    “I’m just taking it day by day and taking baby steps at the moment. It’s such a newthing so I’m just taking my time and making sure I’m getting what the coaches are teaching me right and worrying about that.”

  • Herald Breakfast – April 30, 2015

    Morning Shot: Rain clouds brewing, the view from Watt Street. Picture: SuppliedTraffic: Damaged road at East Maitland,Raymond Terrace RdbetweenMetford RdandTenambit St. Gillieston Heights to Cliftleigh,Cessnock Rd (Main St)betweenRussell StandAvery Lane, the road is still closed at this location and is being reassessed regularly, however it is likely to remain closed until atleast Tuesday 5 May.
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    Trains: Hunter line:Trains have resumed running to the normal timetable between Hamilton and Telarah/Scone – Buses continue to replace trains between Maitland and Dungog . Passengers are advised to allow plenty of additional travel time, listen to announcements and check indicator boards.

    Newcastle line:The 6:45am Hamilton to Central train has been cancelled from Broadmeadow to Morisset due to mechanical issues at Broadmeadow. The train will depart from Morisset at 7:30am. As a result, the 6:42am Gosford to Hamilton train will be cancelled from Morisset to Hamilton. Passengers are able to catch the 7:50am Morisset to Hamilton services as an alternative. Passengers should allow additional travel time, listen to station announcements and check indicator boards.

    Weather: Showers expected across the region Newcastle (20 degrees), Maitland (21 degrees), Scone(20 degrees).

    Beachwatch:We can expect similar beach conditions to Wednesdaywith mainly onshore winds, a few showers and lumpy waves. The wind may have a bit of west in it early but it will quickly head south-east to east with the swell from the south-east around half to one metre.The water temperature is 19 degrees.

    Morning Shot: Rainclouds brewing, the view from Watt Street. Picture: Supplied

    Morning Shot: Rain clouds brewing, the view from Watt Street. Picture: Supplied

    Oh, what a ceiling: ZAARA Street, Newcastle, resident Brian McDermott was at home on the Tuesday morning of the Newcastle storm when a neighbour got on the phone to tell him about his roof.

    Four options to save Wallsend from flooding: AFTER seven years of debate and false starts, a plan to save Wallsend from the next big flood is a step closer.

    Rare jersey goes under the hammer:FORMER Knights captain and life member Mark Sargent is parting with one of his prized possessions as part of his fund-raising campaign for the NSW Cancer Council.

  • Australia takes the UK’s crown as top nation for world-class young universities

    The University of Technology in Sydney was 21st in the Times Higher Education survey. Photo: Andrew Worssam The University of Technology in Sydney was 21st in the Times Higher Education survey. Photo: Andrew Worssam
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    Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts took out a top spot in 28 subjects. Photo: Gretchen Ertl

    The University of Technology in Sydney was 21st in the Times Higher Education survey. Photo: Andrew Worssam

    The University of Technology in Sydney was 21st in the Times Higher Education survey. Photo: Andrew Worssam

    Australian universities ride high in QS World University Rankings

    Australia has the most universities in the world’s top 100 educational institutions under 50 years old, according to the Times Higher Education survey.

    “Australia is now the world’s number one nation when it comes to the new generation of world-class universities,” said the Times Higher Education editor Phil Baty following the release of the research on Thursday.

    The results of the annual study reveal that of the 16 Australian universities in the top 100, the top three are in NSW. The University of Technology in Sydney took out the top ranking in the country at No.21 in the world, while The University of Newcastle and the University of Wollongong came in at 30 and 31 respectively.

    UTS Vice Chancellor Attila Brungs said the result was an achievement in such a competitive landscape.

    “We should be very proud of the quality, impact and rapid progress of so many of the younger universities across Australia”.

    The list is designed as a predictor of which universities could challenge the academic dominance of institutions such as Harvard and Oxford in the decades to come. The UK finished with 15 in the top 100 this year, while Germany and the US had seven each. 

    The rankings cap off a good week for tertiary education across the country, with Australia’s older universities performing strongly in another survey, the QS world rankings, released on Wednesday. 

    Three Australian universities sat comfortably in the top 10 for specific discipline areas.  

    The Australian National University (ANU) came seventh in politics, forestry and agriculture and 10th in development studies. The University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney both scored highly in education, taking out fifth and ninth spots.

    Nonetheless, there is still a significant gap between Australia’s sandstone universities and their UK and US counterparts. Cambridge is in the top 10 in the world in 31 different subjects while Harvard holds down a top 10 spot in 28 disciplines. 

    QS’ head of research Ben Sowter said Australia was making good ground. 

    “The world-class performance of several Australian institutions reflects their high-impact research and outstanding reputation among an industry leading sample of global academic experts and graduate employers”. 

    Times editor Phil Baty agreed.

    “While its Group of Eight old guard continue to shine in the traditional World University Rankings, Australia also has a thriving community of young, dynamic universities  making a global impact, too.”

    “The universities in this unique and pioneering ranking are disrupting the old order. Some of the institutions have achieved in a matter of decades what some institutions have taken centuries to do.”

    Want to know how your University ranks overall? Filter through the QS interactive below. 


  • Daniel Kelsall jailed for at least 30 years for murdering Morgan Huxley

    Daniel Kelsall: jailed for a minimum 30 years. Photo: Brendan Esposito
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    Daniel Kelsall: jailed for a minimum 30 years. Photo: Brendan Esposito

    Oliver Huxley, Morgan Huxley’s brother, arrives at court. Photo: Kate Geraghty

    Deidree Huxley, right, the mother of murdered man Morgan Huxley, with a family friend at Darlinghurst court in Sydney. Photo: Kate Geraghty

    Daniel Kelsall: jailed for a minimum 30 years. Photo: Brendan Esposito

    Daniel Kelsall: jailed for a minimum 30 years. Photo: Brendan Esposito

    When a psychologist asked Daniel Kelsall to define the word “terminate”, he responded: “To kill. To completely extinguish the life source”.

    It was an answer that surprised Dr Susan Pulman, who said most people, even violent criminals, usually responded with “to end” or “to stop”.

    As Kelsall sat in jail talking to Dr Pulman before being sentenced for the murder of Morgan Huxley, his behaviour was at odds with someone who was facing the prospect of a life sentence: he was upbeat, polite, and appeared to be enjoying the attention.

    That strange manner was apparent as the 22-year-old calmly sat in the NSW Supreme Court on Wednesday, subtly smirking as he was described as a “monster” and a “vile thing” by Mr Huxley’s relatives.

    Justice Robert Allan Hulme sentenced Kelsall to at least 30 years’ jail for the murder and indecent assault of Mr Huxley, with a maximum term of 40 years and three months.

    Mr Huxley was lying in bed in his Neutral Bay apartment when Kelsall snuck in through an unlocked door, groped him and stabbed him more than 20 times early on September 8, 2013.

    Justice Hulme read parts of Dr Pulman’s report to the court, giving insight into Kelsall’s strange behaviour and disturbed mind.

    Despite growing up in a loving and supportive environment with his adoptive parents, Kelsall was a cold and emotionless person, who once said he enjoyed inflicting pain.

    The court heard that more than a year before the murder, Kelsall reported having violent thoughts of killing a stranger with a knife on his way home from work for the “thrill of it”.

    “Given he is a young man of superior intelligence, with a known history of emotional detachment, it’s my opinion that he remains dangerous,” Justice Hulme said, reading from the psychologist’s report.

    It was most likely that Kelsall had a personality disorder, with “psychopathic traits”, but no mental condition that excused his crime in any way, the court heard.

    Justice Hulme found that Kelsall was armed with a knife when he followed Mr Huxley home from the Oaks Hotel in the early hours of that morning, and he had the intention to cause serious harm.

    “This is a most chilling case of murder, whether the offender killed for the thrill of it … or as a result of a fantasy or obsession, I’m unable to say,” Justice Hulme said.

    “He is not remorseful and continues to deny his guilt.

    “It was utterly senseless and needless. It must have been the doing of a very disturbed individual.”

    Earlier, the Huxley family described their anguish, sitting less than two metres from Kelsall.

    With heavy shoulders and an ashen face, Mr Huxley’s brother Oliver said he was plagued by visions of Morgan’s death.

    “I see Morgan waking up … and trying to stop the dark figure … on top of him.

    “I see Morgan’s strong arms trying to fend off what he can’t see. I see Morgan covered in blood, trying to breathe.”

    Mr Huxley’s sister Tiffany said their family no longer celebrated birthdays or Christmas.

    “Morgan’s murder has snuffed out so much light in my life that I sometimes wonder what the point is.”

    Kelsall will be 50 when he is eligible for parole.