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30 July 2012 (AFR) – When the Games ended, balloons burst

[COMMENT: A fantasticly interesting observation decribed in this article below. When the London Olympics finish in a few days time, will commodity and equity markets crash? Will histroy repeat itself?] (30 July, 2012, AFR, p29, Stephen Wyatt) The Beijing Games were the calm before the storm ‘Four years ago the Beijing Olympics, starting on August … Continue reading

30 July 2012 (AFR) – Facebook and kin in loss of face

[COMMENT: Is it wise to invest in IPOs? There is some research around that says that about half of all IPOs are under water for the first few months… That is, a loss of funds for the retail investor (but perhaps profits for the initial traders who bought the stock and dumped quickly on small … Continue reading

30 July 2012 (The Age) – The bubble of Spain’s recent ‘golden age’ seems about ready to burst

[COMMENT: A great background story with details about how Spain got into the financial mess it’s currently in – lavish overspending.] (30 July 2012, The Age, p7, Nick Meo, Valencia) ‘The large cities spent billions on lavish buildings in the good times, but debt now threatens jobs and the future for many.’ ‘ON THE way … Continue reading

28 July 2012 (AFR) – A-REITs climb out of woes

(28 July 2012, AFR, p33, Ainslie Chandler) ‘Premium shopping centre landlords are expected to post the strongest earnings growth among Australian real estate investment trusts this reporting season, while residential developers will languish amid soft demand and weak consumer confidence.’ ‘The falling cost of debt is likely to be a boon for the trust sector … Continue reading

28 July 2012 (AFR) – Brokers and financial advisers earn ‘distrust’ tag: survey

[COMMENT: Is the wider view of the stock broking industry really as bad as made out in this article?] (28 July 2012, AFR, p18, Joyce Moullakis) ‘When it comes to being distrusted, stockbrokers and financial advisers aren’t in quite the same league as used car salesmen. But they’re not far off.’ ‘Distrust is among the … Continue reading

28 July 2012 (AFR excl) – Why Australians are abandoning stockbrokers

[COMMENT: It is widely understood that stock brokers are suffering in the current trend of share market investors to shun the markets and look for safer investments that won’t lose their money. The article below includes reflections, comments and research. The printed article included a great bar chart which is not published online, so I … Continue reading

27 July 2012 (The Age) – Canberra handout buoys Target, Kmart

(27 July 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p3, Eli Greenblat) ‘THE best sales performance for merchandise and apparel stores Target and Kmart in years has provided further evidence that the federal government’s cash splash to compensate households for the carbon tax has found its way into clothing, shoes, toys and housewares.’ The release of Wesfarmers’ full-year … Continue reading

26 July 2012 (AFR) – Sentiment worsens in property sector

[COMMENT: Article incldues a bar chart of declining industry sentiment in recent years.] (26 July 2012, AFR, p46, Zoe Fielding) ‘Confidence has deteriorated in the property and construction industry with expectations of forward work schedules and staffing levels having fallen in the past quarter, a survey by the Property Council of Australia has found.’ ‘The … Continue reading

26 July 2012 (AFR) – Bond yield falls bring investors into uncharted territory

(26 July 2012, AFR, p31, Jason Murphy) ‘\Bond yields are at record levels all over the globe but experts warn they could narrow further still as fears drive investors to extremes.’ ‘US 10-year bond yields hit a 200-year low of 1.39 per cent late yesterday, as the hunger for a safe haven intensified.’ Read more … Continue reading

26 July 2012 (Bloomberg) – European Stocks Rally as Draghi Pledges to Preserve Euro

(26 July 2012, Bloomberg, Sarah Jones) ‘European stocks climbed the most in almost a month, halting a four-day selloff, after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said policy makers will do whatever it takes to preserve the euro.’ ‘Banco Santander SA (SAN) surged 11 percent and UniCredit SpA jumped 9.2 percent, leading a rally in … Continue reading

25 July 2012 (AFR) – 10 Italian cities at risk

(25 July 2012, p11, Nick Squires, Rome, The Telegraph) Ten Italian cities at risk of bankruptcy, schools may not reopen ‘Italy’s financial outlook darkened on Monday amid warnings that 10 cities are at risk of bankruptcy and schools may not be able to open in the autumn because of drastic spending cuts.’ ‘The cities at … Continue reading

25 July 2012 (AFR) – Germany’s AAA status under threat

(25 July 2012, AFR, p11, Jamie Dunkley, London, The Telegraph) Germany’s AAA rating under threat after Moody’s cuts outlook ‘Germany’s prized AAA credit rating was put under threat on Monday night after a day of turmoil across the global markets.’ ‘Moody’s warned the outlook for the ratings of Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands is negative … Continue reading

25 July 2012 (AFR) – Spain and Greece back in crisis mode

(25 July 2012, AFR, p11,Larry Elliott, economics editor,, Raphael Minder, Madrid) Spain in crisis talks with Germany over €300bn bailout ‘Luis de Guindos to meet Germany’s Wolfgang Schäuble over spiralling bond yields in eurozone’s fourth biggest economy.’ ‘Germany‘s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, will meet his Spanish counterpart, Luis de Guindos, for crisis talks on … Continue reading

24 July 2012 (The Age) – Research funded for small companies

(24 July 2012, The Age, Businessday, p3,Madeleine Heffernan) ‘THE stock exchange operator will start paying for investor research on small and mid-cap companies – stocks often ignored by mainstream analysts – to boost trading activity for these customers.’ ‘The Australian Securities Exchange will pay stockbrokers, investment banks and research houses to publish information about companies … Continue reading

23 July 2012 (The Age) – Where are the regulators during bank scandals?

(23 July 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p8, Joe Nocera and New York Times) ‘IS IT my imagination, or does every week bring news of another financial scandal?’ ‘First up: Peregrine Financial Group. This long-running fraud…’ <snipped> ‘Next up: HSBC. Who knew that the British bank was the favoured institution of money launderers everywhere? As it … Continue reading

23 July 2012 (The Age) – Weary investors braced for gloomy profits season

(23 July 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p3, Gareth Hutchens) ‘SHAREHOLDERS are braced for a poor profit reporting season this year after one of the worst 12 months for Australian companies since the global financial crisis.’ ‘Deteriorating business conditions, including hefty retrenchments, weak consumer sentiment, household deleveraging and a high dollar are among the reasons why … Continue reading

23 July 2012 (The Age) – Industry gradually crumbling

(23 July 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p1, Adele Ferguson) ‘AUSTRALIA’S building industry is in survival mode, with official statistics revealing that at least two companies a day are going to the wall as labour costs continue to rise, profit margins flatline and banks play hardball on funding.’ ‘The latest statistics on liquidations and voluntary administrations … Continue reading

21 July 2012 (AFR) – Share funds under pressure

[COMMENT: When will the fund managers heed the warnings from us technical analysts / chartists, and avoid the stocks with share prices in down trends? It might fix a lot of their problems.. 😉  We can say that the customers are voting with their feet.] (21 July 2012, AFR, p25, Sally Patten) ‘Australian equity funds … Continue reading

21 July 2012 (AFR) – Front-running just more secrets and lies

[COMMENT: This is a great story about some of the things that are alleged to take place behind the scenes in teh stock markets of the world, to the detriment of all us retail investors and traders. This story is a must-read.] (21 July 2012, AFR, p16, Anna Bernasek) [NOTE: This article published in AFR … Continue reading

21 July 2012 (AFR, Telegraph, NY TImes) – Spain risks market shut-out

(21 July, 2012, AFR, p15, Ambvrose Evans-Pritchard and The Telegraph, New York Times) Spanish debt crisis returns as Germany nears bailout fatigue ‘Spanish borrowing costs have surged to euro-era highs despite draconian fiscal cuts and backing from the German parliament for the country’s €100bn (£78bn) bank rescue package.’ ‘Yields on five-year bonds jumped to a … Continue reading

21 July 2012 (AFR) – Alarm bells ring again

[COMMENT: A great short insight into some of the underlying troubles with the euro countries…] (21 July 2012, AFR, p15, from The Washington Post) Why Spain’s 7 percent bond yields have the world on edge (again!) ‘Is it time to start worrying about Europe once more? On Thursday, Spain found itself struggling to borrow money … Continue reading

20 July 2012 (The Age) – Noni B fashions a profit rise in shopping’s drab days

(20 July 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p3, Eli Greenblat) ‘WOMEN’S fashion retailer Noni B is expecting a significant lift in full-year profit despite tough trading conditions.’ ‘It is the latest retailer to update the market on its trading performance. Upmarket fashion and housewares group Country Road has revealed a drop of more than 6 per … Continue reading

20 July 2012 (The Age) – Shoppers loosen purse strings

(20 July 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p3,Clancy Yeates and Chris Zappone) ‘GROWTH in consumer spending hit a four-year high of 10.1 per cent in the year to June 30, according to figures from Commonwealth Bank.’ ‘Spending at its debit and credit card terminals also shows a 2.5 per cent rise last month.’ ‘Despite weak conditions … Continue reading

19 July 2012 (AFR) – China home prices shake off slumber

(19 July 2012, AFR, p17, Lisa Murray, Shanghai) ‘China’s housing market, one of the biggest drags on growth in the second quarter, may be rebounding. Prices for new homes rose in more than 36 per cent of major cities last month.’ ‘Out of 70 cities tracked by the government, 25 registered house price increases in … Continue reading

17 July 2012 (The Australian) – House price rise indicates US recovery is on the road

(17 July 2012, The Australian, p27, James Frost) ‘INSPIRED by a run of stronger US economic data, local investment professionals are putting the finishing touches to strategies to build exposure to a powerful recovery in US property.’ ‘After a number of false starts, US property watchers have been emboldened by a series of releases pointing … Continue reading

17 July 2012 (TheAge) – Local share funds hit hard by global fears

[COMMENT: Managed funds? Are they worth investing in? Do they really give favourable returns over a “sensible” time frame?] (17 July 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p3, Eric Johnston) ‘GLOBAL market jitters in the past year derailed the performance of Australian share funds, which produced the worst returns since the global financial crisis.’ ‘The median Australian … Continue reading

15 July 2012 (ABC Inside Business) – Ignore Broker Forecasts

[COMMENT: Fantastic comments this morning on Alan Kohler’s Inside Business program on the ABC. The story basically says to ignore broker target prices. Or, understand that the forward estimates are perhaps somebody’s educated guess as the possible share price in 12 months time (in my view that’s a guess).] View the 2 minute video of … Continue reading

14 July 2012 (AFR) – Barclays backlash

(14 July 2012, AFR, p15, Harry Wilson, London, The Telegraph) Leicester to pull millions from Barclays over Libor scandal ‘Barclays is facing growing protests over its attempts to rig Libor with some customers withdrawing money in response to the bank’s admission that it tried to manipulate the world’s key borrowing rate.’ ‘Leicester City Council has … Continue reading

14 July 2012 (AFR) – HSBC faces control issues

(14 July 2012, AFR, p15, Landon Thomas, London, and New York Times) HSBC Reveals Problems With Internal Controls ‘LONDON — HSBC, the largest financial institution in Europe, has become the latest British bank to reveal major internal-control problems, saying that senior officials would apologize to United States lawmakers next week for not cracking down soon … Continue reading

14 July (AFR) – ‘Dog’ stocks boost illegal trading

[COMMENT: A report from an academic in Sydney regarding the low-liquidity stocks, and some suggestions of excessive “insider trading”…] (14 July 2012, AFR, p5, John Kehoe) ‘Insider trading is worse in Australia than in most other developed countries because of too many small stocks listed on the stock exchange, a University of NSW academic has … Continue reading