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28 Feb 2013 (AFR) – City shortage, rural glut

(28 Feb 2013, AFR, p29, Simon Rabinovitch) ‘ “There is a huge real estate bubble in third- and fourth-tier cities in China. Sales of homes have slowed significantly, to the point that supply seriously exceeds demand.” Warnings about the Chinese property market are hardly new, but what made this comment more startling was the person … Continue reading

27 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Online brokers weigh value against add-ons

(27 Feb 2013, AFR, Special Report page S4, Gayle Bryant) ‘The online broking market is competitive and with price no longer being a key differentiator, brokers are providing additional and broader offerings to increase market share. Online traders appear already very satisfied with the services provided by their brokers.’ ‘A recent Investment Trends report found … Continue reading

26 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Chinese factory output slows: HSBC

(26 Feb 2013, AFR, p12, Angus Grigg) ‘China’s uneven economic performance looks to be continuing, after a weaker than expected manufacturing survey released on Monday raised concerns about the sustain­ability of the country’s recovery. The HSBC Flash PMI showed that growth in output from China’s factories fell to a four-month low in February, dragged down … Continue reading

26 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Stevens queries rise of high frequency trading

(26 Feb 2013, AFR, p10, Jacob Greber) ‘Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens – who shares responsibility for financial stability – has questioned the benefit to society of high frequency computer trading (HFT).’ ‘Mr Stevens said critics were right to worry about instantaneous trading systems amid concern they may be adding to stockmarket instability and enabling … Continue reading

25 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Fiscal cliff overshadows results

(25 Feb 2013, AFR, p22, Jane Searle) ‘Australian companies are expected to confirm a mixed earnings outlook in the final week of reporting season amid fresh concerns that US fiscal woes could hit market confidence. The interim reporting season is 73 per cent complete. QBE, David Jones, Woolworths and Westfield are among key companies still … Continue reading

25 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Home auction season kicks off on a high note

(25 Feb 2013, AFR, p4, Rebecca Thistleton) ‘Home auction clearance rates topped 70 per cent and best sales exceeded $5 million for both Melbourne and Sydney at the weekend, a big improvement on this time last year and a reflection of the better market mood. “Super Saturday” , regarded as the official launch of the auction … Continue reading

25 Feb 2013 (The Age) – Britain loses Moody’s AAA credit rating

(25 Feb 2013, The Age, BusinessDay, p6, AFR London) ‘BRITAIN’S opposition is tearing into the government over what it calls failed policies, after Moody’s stripped the country of its coveted triple-A credit rating. However, while analysts are calling the loss an embarrassment for Finance Minister George Osborne and his handling of Britain’s debt and deficit … Continue reading

25 Feb 2013 (The Age) – Signs of rebound in property

(25 Feb 2013, The Age, BusinessDay, p3, Nicole Llindsay) ‘BUYERS turned out in force over the weekend delivering a strong pass mark to the first test of the pre-Easter season. Agents and buyer advocates cited low interest rates and pent-up demand as some of the elements drawing buyers back into the market after two years … Continue reading

23 Feb 2013 (AFR) Flogging a dead parrot

[COMMENT: This article from the AFR has nothing to do with the share market; but as a devout Monty Python fan I need to make a note of it in a blog somewhere. It is a fantastic story of the development of the Python crew in their early days… A great read… enjoy…] (23 Feb … Continue reading

23 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Share rally to keep rolling, say experts

[COMMENT: Interesting headline on this article in the AFR today. Based on comments and opinions from fund managers. Don’t forget it is fund managers broadly who have historically either matched the index rate of return (including hugely negative returns in down markets), or they under-perform. It can be argued that our money is better off … Continue reading

23 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Optimism of a recovery flows for next year

(23 Feb 2013, AFR, p27, David Bassanese) ‘The key theme from the profit reporting season is that earnings – for the first time in a while – are at least living up to expectations. At sector levels, a waning of the mining profits boom is evident but there are hopeful signs lower interest rates are … Continue reading

19 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Share values beginning to snowball

(19 Feb 2013, p29, Philip Baker) ‘The Australian sharemarket might be 34 per cent from its record high, but some sectors are already there. The consumer staples sector chalked up a fresh record high yesterday of 9768.1, about 8 per cent above where it was in November 2007 when the benchmark S&P ASX 200 index … Continue reading

19 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Distressed sales level bottoming out

(13 Feb 2013, AFR, p43, Duncan Hughes) ‘More than 800 distressed commercial properties were put on sale last year, a slower rate of increase than the previous year in a sector bottoming out after a slump during the global financial crisis, according to analysis. The record total had little impact on demand, with strong overseas … Continue reading

15 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Funds hit 30 per cent returns

[COMMENT: This is another one of those farcical news stories about the huge returns achieved by fund managers – which look great over the 3 month, and 1 year time periods; but which are criminal over the 5 year time frame and more. Make sure to see the summary table which shows the abysmal long … Continue reading

14 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Boom is back in Perth housing market

(14 Feb 2013, AFR, p45, Jonathan Barrett) ‘Buyers are bidding above asking prices. Agents are running out of brochures at open homes. Viewings are cancelled as early bids roll in. Perth’s property market is back. “The market is red hot out there,” said Gavin Hegney, of Hegney Property Group. “Interest rates are set for Sydney … Continue reading

14 Feb 2013 (AFR) – US home price rise spreading

(14 Feb 2013, AFR, p50, John Gittelsohn and Prashant Gopal) ‘Prices for single-family homes climbed in almost 88 per cent of US cities in the fourth quarter as the housing recovery broadened. The median sales price rose from a year earlier in 133 of 152 metropolitan areas measured, the National Association of Realtors said. In … Continue reading

14 Feb 2013 (AFR) – No housing recovery: Boral, Stockland

(14 Feb 2013, AFR, p30, Michael Hobbs) ‘Australia’s economically critical residential construction industry is set to remain stuck in low gear if results from building-materials provider Boral and housing developer Stockland are anything to go by. Australia’s biggest building materials supplier announced a $52.2 million net profit for the half year to December 31, down … Continue reading

13 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Raging bull market may hit 5000

[COMMENT: There is currently much debate about whether the Australian share market can continue to move above the 5000 level (on either/both the Top 200 index, and the All Ordinaries) and continue the stellar bull market that started several months ago, or whether we are about to see a retracement (and if so, how far?). … Continue reading

13 Feb 2013 (The Age ) – China powers on to snatch trade mantle from the United States

(13 Feb 2013, The Age, BusinessDay, p16, Garry White) ‘CHINA has leapfrogged the US to become the world’s biggest trading nation, bringing an end to the US’s postwar dominance of global commerce. The total value of US exports and imports last year was $US3.82 trillion, the US Commerce Department has revealed. China’s customs administration has … Continue reading

13 Feb 2013 (The Age) – Truth in the balance

[COMMENT: Reporting on the performance of superannuation funds over the last year, including a performance table. Check out the 7 year performance figures ranging from 1.2 percent per annum up to 5.9, with an average for the listed funds of 3.7 percent per annum. Fantastic eh? – NOT!] (13 Feb 2013, The Age, Money supplement, … Continue reading

12 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Turnaround near for online share trading

(12 Feb 2013, AFR, p25, Jake Mitchell) ‘The number of online share traders in Australia reached its lowest level since the global financial crisis in the second half of last year, as retail investors grew weary of increased volatility and a fragile world economy.’ ‘The “Investment trends 2012 second half Australia online broking” report showed … Continue reading

11 Feb 2013 (AFR) – China’s big challenge is still to come

(11 Feb 2013, AFR, p14, Yu Yongding) ‘In 2011, to rein in a housing bubble and inflation, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) raised the reserve requirement five times and benchmark interest rates on deposits and loans twice.’ ‘While this vigorous liquidity tightening eventually mitigated inflationary pressure, it put the brakes on economic growth. In … Continue reading

7 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Land prices on the slide

(7 Feb 2013, AFR. p45, Rebecca Thistleton) ‘The median land price across Melbourne’s seven outer growth areas has fallen almost 16 per cent since the December 2010 peak, from $225,750 to $190,000 in December 2012. The $35,750 fall in net land prices reflects a softening in Melbourne house prices since the 2010 peak, which has … Continue reading

7 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Weak job ads point to shaky outlook

(7 Feb 2013, AFR, p31, David Bassanese) ‘Downbeat readings on building approvals and retail sales this week are a timely reminder all is not well with the non-mining sectors despite the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to leave interest rates on hold this month.’ ‘Nominal retail spending fell 0.2 per cent in December, its third successive … Continue reading

7 Feb 2013 (The Age) – Christmas not so merry for retailers

(7 Feb 2013, The Age, BusinessDay, p4, Eli Greenblat) ‘RETAIL spending posted its third consecutive monthly drop in December, while in trend sales have retreated for the first time since 2000, heightening fears for the nation’s retailers that Christmas was a washout.’ ‘Figures released by the Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday revealed national retail sales … Continue reading

6 Feb 2013 (The Age) – Fewer owners default on mortgage

(6 Feb 2013, The Age, BusinessDay, p3, Simon Johanson) ‘INVESTORS are not as good a bet for banks as ordinary home owners.’ ‘Borrowers with investment property loans were 1.5 times more likely to fall into severe delinquency – more than 90 days overdue on repayments – than those with owner-occupier mortgages, the latest Fitch Ratings … Continue reading

6 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Mortgage delinquencies on the mend

(6 Feb 2013, AFR, p39, Rebecca Thistleton) ‘Mortgage delinquency numbers have fallen around Australia, in sharp contrast to the 2012 March quarter, thanks to lower interest rates and steady employment levels.’ ‘The latest Australian Mortgage Delinquencies report from Fitch Ratings shows the September 2012 national mortgage delinquency rate fell from 1.6 per cent in March … Continue reading

6 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Shades of tech wreck darken rally’s back alley

(6 Feb 2013, AFR, p28, Philip Baker) ‘Here’s one reason why you should be worried. The last time this amount of money was pouring into the sharemarket the Nasdaq was just shy of 5000 and about to fall in a heap. It was February 2000 and a record $US53.7 billion had just flowed into the coffers … Continue reading

6 Feb 2013 (AFR) – Jagged line not smooth sailing

(6 Feb 2013, AFR, p27, Vesna Poljak) ‘Mixed signals from the United States economy have left market experts questioning whether the recovery is as smooth as believed and whether the sharemarket reaction, including in Australia, has been overdone.’ ‘After delivering better than expected jobs data on Friday, which sent Wall Street surging, Monday’s weak factory … Continue reading

6 Feb 2013 (AFR) – More investors plan to buy shares directly

[COMMENT: This is a great article, spelling out details supporting the notion that more and more investors are now taking more control of their investments by investing in shares themselves, and bypassing the so-called traditional service and advice intermediaries.] (6 Feb 2013, AFR, p23, Duncan Hughes) ‘Five times more investors plan to buy Australian shares … Continue reading