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28 July 2011 – Investors retreating to safer places as US debt row shows no sign of ending

(The Age, BusinessDay, 28 July 2011; p2, Malcolm Maiden) “THE general theory of investing in uncertain times calls for a retreat to safer places when train wrecks are approaching, and with two exceptions that is what has been happening this week, as the Obama administration and the Republicans who control the lower house in the … Continue reading

28 July 2011 – Thoughts turn to the unthinkable: a downgrade

(28 July 2011, AFR, p13, Julie Cresswell, New York) “Economists and analysts are trying to gauge the costs to the United States economy and consumers if the US loses its solid-gold credit rating. “Some economists say the effects of lowering the federal government’s credit rating to AA from AAA could be measured in the billions … Continue reading

19 July 2011 – Global woes shake corporate confidence

(AFR, 19 July 2011, p5, Adrian Rollins) “Confidence among senior company executives has dived, driven down by the uncertainty surrounding the economy. “The net balance of optimists versus pessimists among chief financial officers in major listed companies plummeted from 54 per cent to 4 per cent in the past three months, according to a Deloitte … Continue reading

18 July – Eight banks fail EU stress test

(18 July, 2011, AFR, p12, Julie Werdigier, London) “About two dozen European banks are under official pressure to bolster ther reserves as the results of financial stress tests created more scepticism over the region’s will to deal with its festering financial crisis.”

15 July 2011 – West’s troubles hit Singapore growth

(AFR, 15 July 2011, p20, Shamim Adam, Singapore) “Singapore’s economy shrank for the first time in three quarters as manufacturing slumped, adding to evidence that the slowdowns in Europe and the US are curbing growth in Asia. The island’s currency weakened from a record.”

15 July 2011 – Greece deteriorates further

(AFR, 15 July 2011, p19, Helena Smith, Athens) “The International Monetary Fund has highlighted Greece’s woes in a detailed report that finds its economy will contract more than previously predicted, leading to an increase in government debts to more than 170 percent of national income.”

15 July 2011 – DJs sets off retailer dive

(The Age, 15 July 2011, BusinessDay, p1, Eli Greenblat) “AN ADMISSION by chief executive Paul Zahra that David Jones was mired in its worst fourth-quarter sales period in more than 20 years prompted panic selling yesterday across all retail stocks. The investor exodus quickly spread to other retail-exposed sectors. Shares in David Jones plunged 19 … Continue reading

14 July 2011 – Consumers paralysed by fear, doubt

(AFR, 14 July 2011, p3, Adrian Rollins) “Consumer confidence has suffered its biggest drop since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, amid uncertainty about the impact of the carbon tax, Europe’s worsening debt problems and elevated interest rates.”

14 July 2011 – DJs sales smashed as consumer confidence dives

(The Age, 14 July 2011, p3, Eli Greenblat, Peter Martin) “DEPARTMENT store David Jones has taken a battering amid falling consumer sentiment, warning of a dramatic slump in profits. “In a shock announcement to the stock exchange, the nation’s second-biggest department store said its profits could slide by as much as 12 per cent for … Continue reading

14 July 2011 – Profit shock as sales dive

(The Age, 14 July 2011, BusinessDay, p1, Eli Greenblat) “DISASTROUS consumer confidence levels and a disappointing July clearance sale have tipped the hand of David Jones, forcing the nation’s second-biggest department store to issue a shock profit downgrade last night. “Shares in David Jones are expected to fall sharply this morning when trading resumes, with … Continue reading

Share market seminars in Inverloch

Robert will be presenting his two popular sharemarket seminars in Inverloch (South Gippsland, Victoria) in late July. Sessions on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 July (and repeated on Monday-Tuesday 1-2 August) The “Share Market 101” session is a 6-hour crash course into the workings of the sharemarket – how it works, who are the players, … Continue reading

ATAA National Conference – update

Planning for the national conference is going well. Advertising brochures have been printed, and are on their way. The exclusive Early-Bird Meet-the-Speaker workshops are filling fast – Dr Brett Steenbarger’s session is full (15 people), and the others are more than half way full. Adelaide is a great location for a conference. We can speand … Continue reading

13 July 2011 – Portugal slump to deepen

(AFR, 13 July 2011, p24. Joao Lima) “Portugal’s economy will shrink more than forecast this year and contract in 2012 as austerity measures that were required for an international bailout take hold, its central bank said.”

13 July 2011 – Italy quells short selling as share prices tumble

(AFR, 13 July 2011, p23, Lorenzo Totaro) “Italy’s market regulator moved to curb short selling after the country’s benchmark share index fell the most in almost five months and bonds tumbled on investor concern the nation may be the next crisis victim.”

13 July 2011 – Credit risk climbs

(AFR, 13 July 2011, p23, Will Robinson) “A gauge of US corporate credit risk climbed by the most in three months as concern mounted that Europe’s debt crisis would spread to Italy and other countries…”

13 July 2011 – Urgent action necessary in Europe

(AFR, 13 July 2011, p23, Glenn Mumford) “Adding Italy to the list of “at risk” sovereign debtors has ensured a heightened sense of urgency to resolving what is becoming a major global headache.” “Greece has always been something of a low priority for most Europeans. When we start talking Italy, we’re talking an economic heavyweight…”

8 July 2011 – Hedge funds bet on debt crisis expanding

(AFR, 8 July 2011, p26, Katherine Burton and Saijel Kishan) “Portugal, Spain and Italy may be the next countries affected by the Eurpoean sovereign debt crisis. “Hedge funds that trade bonds and loans are increasing bets Europe’s sovereign debt crisis will spread to Portugal, Spain and Italy, even after Greece won a temporary reprieve with … Continue reading

8 July 2011 – Finding a job gets a whole lot harder [Jobs growth slows to a relative crawl]

(The Age, 8 July 2011, p2, Tim Colebatch, Economics Editor) “AUSTRALIA’S previously buoyant jobs growth has hit the wall in 2011, with only 38,000 jobs created in the first six months of the year, compared with 188,000 in the second half of 2010. The Bureau of Statistics estimates that jobs growth slowed to almost a … Continue reading

7 July 2011 – Factory orders hint at US recovery

(AFR, 7 July, 2011, p17, Alex Kowalski, Washington) “Orders placed with US factories rose 0.8 per cent in May, less than forecast but nevertheless indicating manufacturing may rebound from a slowdown in economic growth in the first half of 2011.”

7 July 2011 – Euro crisis deepens as Portugal junked

(The Age, BusinessDay, 7 July 2011, p8, Tom Bawden, Helen Pidd, Berlin) “A DANGEROUS new phase in the euro-zone crisis has opened up after ratings agency Moody’s downgraded Portugal’s debt to junk status and said it would need a second bailout. As the currency area’s big banks met in Paris to refine their plans for … Continue reading

4 July 2011 – Economic gloom and doom appears to be a case of mind over matter

(The Age, Business Day, 4 July 2011, p6, Ross Gittins) “ANOTHER week, another batch of bad news, adding to the general impression things aren’t going at all well in the economy. But the gloomy talk doesn’t fit with the objective indicators. Will we snap out of it, or could we talk ourselves into genuine poor … Continue reading

4 July 2011 – Greece saved from default

(AFR, 4 July 2011, p11, Stephen Castle, Brussels) “The IMF is expected this week to back European finance ministers, who yesterday staved off an imminent Greek default by agreeing to release a vital instalment of financial aid to Athens while delaying a deal on a second large rescue for Greece, possibly until September.”

4 July 2011 – US factory data breaks run of gloomy news

(AFR, 4 July 2011, p11, Ben Potter, Washington) “American financial markets start the short July 4 week with positive momentum after Greece survivedthe latest chapter in its debt crisis and better than expected manufacturing data persuaded traders the worst of the stalling recovery could be over.”

2 July 2011 – The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index posted…

(AFR, 2 July 2011, p30, Joanne Heath) “…its biggest weekly gain in almost three months on Friday, despite falling on the day.This came a day after finishing in positive territory for the second consecutive financial year. The 7.1 per cent gain over the 2011 financial year beat the average annual return of the past 30 … Continue reading