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10 Feb 2012 – Austock sells off brokerage

(10 Feb 2012, AFR, p46, Brad Hatch) ‘Intersuisse Holdings has agreed to buy Austock Group’s stockbroking arm, Austock Securities, for “nominal consideration”. The deal will see Austock Group turn its attention to funds management.’ ‘Intersuisse, a mid-sized broker that specialises in resource and energy stocks, is 46 per cent owned by Singapore-based Phillip Brokerage. The … Continue reading

9 Feb 2012 – The bubble’s getting bigger in Never Neverland

(9 Feb 2012, AFR, p27, Stephen Wyatt) Commodities bubble grows and grows ‘Even though Greece continues to miss deadline after deadline, the markets believe Greece will get a deal done soon with the European Union. It better. The euro has rallied and commodities have rallied as well.’ ‘Commodity markets just want to go higher, anyway. … Continue reading

9 Feb 2012 – Bulk carriers sink into the red as cargoes take a dive

(9 Feb 2012, TheAge, BusinessDay, p5, Gareth Hutchens) ‘A KEY indicator of global trade and economic growth, the Baltic Dry Index, has dropped to a 25-year low, plumbing depths lower than those seen in the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis.’ ‘The shipping index tracks the cost of hiring ”bulk haulage” vessels used to … Continue reading

7 Feb 2012 – Shocks on way from electronics makers

(7 Feb 2012, AFR, p18, Mariko Yasu, Tokyo, from Bloomberg) Sony, Panasonic Forecast Deeper Losses as Samsung Dominates ‘Japan’s biggest makers of phones, televisions and chips say they’ll lose about $17 billion this year, about three-quarters of what Samsung Electronics Co. will spend on research to lengthen the lead over its competitors.’ ‘Sony Corp. more … Continue reading

3 Feb 2012 – Workload cranks up for contractors

(3 Feb 2012, AFR, p26, Anna Raissis) ‘The number of new contracts awarded to major contractors over the past 12 months has been slower than market watchers had hoped after fears of another financial crisis threatened to delay projects.’ ‘But some analysts say this is beginning to turn around, the flow of new awards has … Continue reading

3 Feb 2012 – Global Strategists Abandon Bearish Forecasts

(3 Feb 2012, AFR, p25, Michael Patterson and Inyoung Hwang, from Bloomberg) Global Strategists Are Abandoning Bearish Views ‘Strategists at the biggest banks are capitulating on their bearish forecasts after the best start to a year for global stocks since 1994 and gains of more than 7 percent in emerging-market currencies.’ ‘Just two weeks after … Continue reading

3 Feb 2012 – Production puts US on road to recovery

(3 Feb 2012, AFR, p21, Shobhana Chandra, New York, from Bloomberg) Manufacturing in U.S. Bolsters Global Expansion: Economy ‘The Institute for Supply Management’s index climbed to 54.1, from 53.1 in December, the Tempe, Arizona-based group’s report showed today. Figures greater than 50 signal expansion. Other reports showed U.S. construction spending increased at the fastest pace … Continue reading

2 Feb 2012 – Intervention cools China’s property market

(2 Feb 2012, AFR, p16, Robert Guy, Shanghai) ‘The new year has heralded little joy for Chinese home owners as the average price of property in 100 major cities fell for a fifth consecutive month in January. The chill sweeping the real estate market comes as Chinese media reported the banking regulator had asked the … Continue reading

2 Feb 2012 – China riding out drop in export demand

(2 Feb 2012, AFR, p16, Robert Guy, Shanghai) ‘China’s factories appear to be withstanding the slump in global demand for Chinese exports, and a second straight increase in the government’s official measure of manufacturing activity has allayed fears of a hard ­landing in the world’s second-largest economy.’ ‘While the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) produced by … Continue reading

2 Feb 2012 – PM plays down job losses as economy’s ‘growing pains’

[COMMENT:- The PM says that we our economy is suffering from growing pains. And that is why manufacturing industry is retrenching, and the banks are laying off?…. Can you believe it?] (2 Feb 2012, The Age, p1, Tim Colebatch) ‘PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has given a firm pledge to bring down a budget surplus in … Continue reading

2 Feb 2012 – Manufacturing expands again

(2 Feb 2012, AFR, p14, Adrian Rollins) ‘The manufacturing industry has defied the strong dollar and expanded for a second consecutive month, in a sign that companies are adapting to a tougher competitive environment.’ ‘The Australian Industry Group-PwC performance of manufacturing index rose 1.4 points last month to 51.6 points – its highest reading in … Continue reading

2 Feb 2012 – Decline in capital city house prices greatest in a decade

(2 Feb 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p3, Simon Johanson) ‘THE sharp drop in house prices last year was the largest since officials began collating an average index of capital city prices a decade ago.’ ‘Prices slid 4.8 per cent, the biggest calendar-year drop since March 2002, when the Australian Bureau of Statistics began its weighted … Continue reading

1 Feb 2012 – Property market levels out, but city still slipping

[COMMENT: Informative article, copmlete with a bar chart of price performance.] (1 Feb 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, Simon Johanson and Tim Colebatch) ‘AUSTRALIA’S year-long decline in house prices may be levelling out. Capital city home values fell in every quarter last year but the rate of decline was slowing, the latest figures from property analysts … Continue reading

1 Feb 2012 – Office market goes beyond recovery

(1 Feb 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p9, Philip Hopkins) ‘SALES across Australia’s major central business district office markets have broadly recovered from the global financial crisis, with record activity last year, but Melbourne was less buoyant.’ ‘Deals have steadily increased since the lull of 2008, with $5.6 billion of sales of more than $10 million … Continue reading

1 Feb 2012 – Japan jobs fall but output rises

(1 Feb 2012, AFR, Eleanor Warnock and Keiko Ujikane, Tokyo, from Bloomberg) Japan Production Rebound at Risk as Azumi Warns on Yen Strength: Economy ‘Japan’s industrial production rose more than forecast in December as automakers rebounded from flooding in Thailand that disrupted their supply chains.’ ‘Sustained gains may be more challenging as an unresolved Greek … Continue reading