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29 Sept 2012 (AFR) – Calm quarter before next storm

[COMMENT: Should we really be anticipating more profit warnings in the current AGM season?] (29 Sept 2012, AFR, p24, Mercedes Ruehl) ASX finishes best quarter in three years ‘The Australian sharemarket finished the September quarter on a positive note, strengthened by overseas stimulus and high expectations of a local interest rate cut.’  <snipped…> ‘However, the market … Continue reading

29 Sept 2012 (AFR, Guardian) – UK deficit largest ever for a quarter

(28 Sept 2012, AFR, p14, Heather Stewart, London and The Guardian) Britain in the red by record £20.8bn ‘George Osborne’s goal of building an economy that can pay its way in the world looks more distant than ever as official statistics showed Britain ran up the largest current account deficit on record in the second … Continue reading

29 Sept 2012 (AFR) – China workers bemoan ore prices

[COMMENT: Some interesting comments in this article about Chinese economic stimulus being “over-done”.] (29 Sept 2012, AFR, p10, Lisa Murray and Angus Grigg Shanghai) ‘The human faces of China’s steel making troubles can be seen as workers file out of Baosteel’s Luojing mill, which is being closed. Some may blame what they think are Australia’s … Continue reading

28 Sept 2012 (AFR, Bloomberg) – Confidence at new low amid Spanish turmoil

(28 Sept 2012, AFR, p31, By Scott Hamilton and Bloomberg) Euro-Area Economic Confidence Unexpectedly Declined in September ‘Economic confidence in the euro area unexpectedly fell in September as leaders strived to rein in the debt crisis in the single-currency bloc and the economy’s slump deepened.’ ‘An index of executive and consumer sentiment in the 17- … Continue reading

28 Sept 2012 (AFR) – Suisse fined for error orders

(28 Sept 2012, AFR, p19, Patrick Durkin and Joanna Heath) ‘The corporate regulator has fined Credit Suisse $52,000 for an erroneous algorithm which sent incorrect orders into the market for two hours and spiked the share price of a small explorer by more than 83 per cent.’ ‘The fine is the second large penalty issued … Continue reading

28 Sept 2012 (AFR & New York Times) – Global reaction to high-speed trading

(28 Sept 2012, AFR, p19, By NATHANIEL POPPER and New York Times) Beyond Wall St., Curbs on High-Speed Trades Proceed ‘After years of emulating the flashy United States stock markets, countries around the globe are now using America as a model for what they don’t want to look like.’ ‘Industry leaders and regulators in several … Continue reading

28 Sept 2012 (AFR) – Home price surge puts rate cut in doubt

(28 Sept 2012, AFR, p9, Ben Hurley and Joanna Heath) ‘A surge in home values has weakened the case for interest rate cuts when the Reserve Bank of Australia meets next week but some agents caution the recovery has yet to become established and still lower rates are needed.’ ‘Exclusive figures from RP Data-Rismark show … Continue reading

28 Sept 2012 (TheAge) – Spain triggers market tremors

(28 Sept 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p4,Gareth Hutchens Max Mason Euro Crisis) ‘AFTER a few weeks of relative calm, Europe’s inability to rein in its debt crisis sparked fresh fears on global markets yesterday. Anti-austerity violence spread through Spanish and Greek cities, and Spain’s borrowing costs surged back above 6 per cent. Markets in Europe … Continue reading

27 Sept 2012 (AFR) – In Ireland, a 70pc (house price) discount

(27 Sept 2012, AFR, p54, Neil Callanan, Bloomberg) Irish Bank Offers Properties for 70% Less Than 2007 Value ‘Royal Bank of Scotland Plc’s Irish unit offered to sell properties, including 640 apartments and a hotel, for about 70 percent less than their value at the market’s 2007 peak, according to the broker managing the sale.’ … Continue reading

27 Sept 2012 (AFR) – US (homes) price rise beats forecast

(27 Sept 2012, AFR, p52, Michelle Jamrisko, and Bloomberg) U.S. Home Prices Rose More Than Forecast in Year to July ‘Home prices in the U.S. climbed more than forecast in July from a year earlier, adding to signs that housing will spur economic growth. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities increased 1.2 … Continue reading

27 Sept 2012 (AFR) – Top 100’s home building at 15-year low

[COMMENT: Article includes a tabular list of the top Home Builders.] (27 Sept 2012, AFR, p45, Ben Hurley) ‘The country’s largest 100 home builders produced the lowest number of houses in 15 years last financial year but clawed some market share from competitors. Recession-like conditions in the building industry wiped 11 per cent off the … Continue reading

27 Sept 2012 (AFR) – Stock maniplators ordered to pay $US4m fine

(27 Sept 2012, AFR, p21, Whitney Kisling, New York, and Bloomberg) SEC Says New York Firm Allowed High-Speed Stock Manipulation ‘A New York-based brokerage allowed overseas clients to run a scheme aimed at distorting stock prices by rapidly canceling orders, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.’ Read more at

27 Sept 2012 (AFR) – Singapore output falls

(27 Sept 2012, AFR, p20, Bloomberg and Straits Times) Manufacturing falls, recession fears rise ‘Manufacturing output dropped last month – confounding the experts and leaving the country facing the prospect of another recession.’ Read more at  and also see article from

26 Sept 2012 (TheAge) – Investor jitters put brakes on recovery

(26 Sept 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p13, Simon Johanson) ‘INVESTOR uncertainty has flattened the beginnings of a commercial property market recovery and is stalling rents in most Australian capitals, a report says.’ ‘With the exception of Brisbane and Perth, rents in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra have stalled and cap rates – how quickly the … Continue reading

26 Sept 2012 (The Age) – CBD office space vacancies on rise

(26 Sept 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p13, Philip Hopkins) ‘THE vacancy rate in the Melbourne CBD office market has risen, and leasing activity is down, but tenants are still seeking prime grade office space, according to new Knight Frank research.’ Read more at

26 Sept 2012 (The Age) – Red flags ‘a worry’

(26 Sept 2012, The Age, BusinessDay, p5, Gareth Hutchens) ‘THERE has been a worrying increase in the number of auditors’ reports warning of the possibility that companies listed on the stock exchange could fail in the next 12 months.  The news comes as Tasmanian company Gunns goes into voluntary administration less than a year after … Continue reading

25 Sept 2012 (AFR) – Highest tower set to rise

(25 Sept 2012, AFR, p46, Bonnie Cao, and Bloomberg, Kingdom Tower financing complete ‘Shanghai: Financing for the kilometre-high Kingdom Tower is complete, Talal Al Maiman, chief executive officer and managing director of Kingdom Real Estate Development Co., said in an interview in Shanghai on Friday.’ Read more at

25 Sept 2012 (AFR) – Skyscraper will beat record – by a mile

(25 Sept 2012, AFR, p46, Bonnie Cao, and Bloomberg) Mile-High Towers Possible by 2025 in Race to Top ‘A mile-high skyscraper, almost double the height of today’s tallest building, may become a reality by 2025 as developing countries splurge cash in an ego- fueled race to construct the world’s highest tower.’ ‘ “If you have … Continue reading

25 Sept 2012 (AFR) – High frequency traders under scrutiny

(25 Sept 2012, AFR, p21, Pauline Skypala, Financial Times) ‘Technological change is as disruptive in financial markets as in any other. It creates new business models and threatens the profitability of established players, just as in the high street.’ ‘The rise of high frequency trading, powered by computer algorithms, is a case in point. Over … Continue reading

24 Sept 2012 (AFR) – Freight costs argue with price and equities rallies

[COMMENT: Here’s some interesting news about the Baltic Dry Index…] (24 Sept 2012, AFR, p29, Stephen Wyatt) ‘Commodities have disappointed after central banks around the world aggressively moved to kick-start global growth. But there is a glimmer of hope that the resources boom is not dead and buried. That glimmer is coming from the freight … Continue reading

24 Sept 2012 (AFR) – UK public debt hits record

ALSO SEE this article: Deficit, national debt and government borrowing – how has it changed since 1946? (24 Sept 2012, AFR, p11, Josephine Moulds, London and The Guardian) UK government borrowing rises to record August high ‘Blow for George Osborne as latest figures mean deficit has widened 22% so far this year – compared with … Continue reading

22 Sept 2012 (AFR) – CBA PERLS are equity dressed up as debt

[COMMENT: One of my Share Market GEMs says to: “Only invest in something that you understand”. This story in the AFR below explains why some of the available investments need to be studied carefully before investing. The article includes a great chart of financial returns over 4 years, comparing CBA share price returns to CBA … Continue reading

22 Sept 2012 (AFR) – Investor optimism defies downgrades

[COMMENT: Investor confidence, business confidence, consumer confidence… they are all interesting measures, and signposts for the road ahead?] (22 Sept 2012, AFR, p23, Philip Baker) ‘Sharemarket investors are an optimistic lot but this week a disconnect emerged between them and economists who continue to downgrade their outlook for China and the rest of the world.’ … Continue reading

22 Sept 2012 (AFR) – Asian buyers buoy Gold Coast

[COMMENT: Interesting detail about (Gold Coast) property sales, including some statistics on the 40% fall in property values…] (22 Sept 2012, AFR, p4, Matthew Cranston) ‘A Malaysian businessman has bought $13 million worth of apartments in Soul Tower at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, adding to growing investment in the city from Asia.’ ‘Soul’s … Continue reading

21 Sept 2012 (AFR) – ASX move sheds light on dark art of book-builds

[COMMENT: A great insight into the closed-door operations in share market floats and capital raisings – referred to as “book builds”.] (21 Sept 2012, AFR, p40, Stephen Shore) ‘Earlier this year, retail investors were shocked to learn they would only get a fraction of the deeply discounted stock QBE Insurance was giving away as it … Continue reading

21 Sept 2012 (AFR) – Japan’s exports fall again

(21 Sept 2012, AFR, p31, Andy Sharp, Tokyo and Bloomberg) Japan’s Exports Slide for a Third Month on China-EU Slowdown ‘Japan’s exports fell 5.8 percent in August from a year earlier, the third straight decline, on weakness in demand from the European Union and China.’ ‘Imports slid 5.4 percent, leaving a trade deficit of 754.1 … Continue reading

20 Sept 2012 (TheAge) – Billionaires flock to New York tower

[COMMENT: Expensive spend on property, towers, etc tends to happen towards the end of a property bubble. So what’s happening in this case?] (20 Sept 2012, The Age, p11, New York Times) ‘ONE57, a 306-metre tower under construction in midtown Manhattan, will hold the title of New York’s tallest building with residences. But, without fanfare … Continue reading

19 Sept 2012 (AFR) – REITs rebuild their reputations

(19 Sept 2012, AFR, p23, David Potts) ‘It took five years but real estate investment trusts (REITs) have come in from the cold and are easily outperforming the rest of the sharemarket. Funds that invest in REITs are posting annual returns of up to 35 per cent including distributions.’ ‘Shopping centre landlords are doing especially … Continue reading

16 Sept 2012 (Financial Times) – Fresh Capes for irrational exuberance indicator

(18 Sept 2012, AFR, from Financial Times, 16 Sept, John Authers) ‘Robert Shiller made his name by warning against irrational exuberance. That phrase was used by Alan Greenspan in a speech that briefly threatened to knock the 1990s bull market off course, and by Mr Shiller himself for a book that warned that the internet … Continue reading

14 Sept 2012 (various) – Fed Reserve, QE3, bolsters global markets

(14 Sept 2012) The Federal Reserve has bolstered markets around the world. See various news stories: ABC News – Market buoyed by Fed stimulus decision. The Age – Bernanke’s sugar hit for the markets. New York Times – Fed Action Spurs Broad Rally; S.&P. Rises 1.6%. The (UK) Telegraph – FTSE 100 surges on US … Continue reading