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30 June 2015 (AFR) – Greece debt crisis: Greece reels in shock as banks shut for a week

(30 June 2015, AFR, p9, by Karolina Tagaris and Michele Kambas) ‘Greeks woke up to shuttered banks, closed cash machines and a climate of rumours and conspiracy theories on Monday as a breakdown in talks between Athens and its creditors pushed the austerity-battered country to the brink.’ Read more at AFR.com (might need AFR login … Continue reading

29 June 2015 (AFR) – European leaders brace for fallout as Grexit looms large

(29 June 2015, AFR, p20, by Karen Maley ) ‘Investors are bracing themselves for potential financial and political turbulence in the days and weeks ahead, as Greece lurches ever closer to a disastrous default that could push it out of the eurozone. European leaders seem to be resigning themselves already to the inevitability of a … Continue reading

29 June 2015 (AFR) – Greeks line up at banks and drain ATMs

(29 June 2015, AFR, p9, by Christos Ziotis) ‘Some Greek banks were beginning to limit cash transactions as hundreds of people lined up outside branches and drained cash machines after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called the referendum. Two senior Greek retail bank executives said as many as 500 of the country’s more than 7,000 ATMs had … Continue reading

29 June 2015 (AFR) – Perth property market ‘feels just like a recession’

(29 June 2015, AFR, p7, by Jonathan Barrett) ‘Perth is awash with vacant offices, while its stagnant housing market “feels just like a recession”, property experts have warned. Property Council of Australia executive director Joe Lenzo said the inner-city office vacancy rate was now about 16 per cent and would be about 20 per cent by year’s … Continue reading

29 June 2015 (AFR) – ‘Clear trend’ Sydney auctions are starting to cool

(29 June 2015, AFR, p7, by Matthew Cranston ) ‘Clearance rates at home auctions in Sydney and Melbourne are starting to cool, faster than the usual winter seasonal conditions dictate, and Sydney posted its lowest non-holiday strike rate for the year.  ‘ Read more at AFR.com (might need AFR login access)

29 June 2015 (AFR) – China cuts interest rates after sharemarket slide

(29 June 2015, AFR, p1, by Lisa Murray ) ‘China’s central bank has moved to avoid panic selling on the sharemarket, cutting interest rates and reducing banks’ capital requirements in its most aggressive action since 2008. The moves follow a 7.4 per cent slide in the Shanghai Composite Index on Friday, as investors dumped stock … Continue reading

27 June 2015 (AFR) – Population slowdown puts cloud over growth, housing

(27 June 2015, AFR, p1, by  Ben Potter, Michael Bleby) ‘A surge in deaths and a slowdown in births and immigration has produced the weakest population growth in eight years, placing a cloud over official growth forecasts and increasing the chances of an interest rate cut.’ <snipped…> ‘The Australian population grew at an annual rate of just … Continue reading

27 June 2015 (AFR) – Value investors nervous as ASX200 on the brink – fear correction

(27 June 2015, AFR, p28, by Philip Baker ) ‘While nothing to write home about, the performance of the local sharemarket this financial year has been respectable. And if there isn’t a 10 per cent fall or a technical correction in stocks between now and August, they will post the third-longest bull market since 1937. But that’s also … Continue reading

27 June 2015 (AFR) – Chinese stocks hit bear territory as bubble pops

(27 June 2015, AFR, p40, by Jens Meyer) ‘Chinese stocks took another beating on Friday, briefly pulling the Shanghai Composite into bear market territory amid growing signs that the nation’s longest-ever share rally has peaked.’ Read the full story at AFR.com (might need AFR login access)

26 June 2015 (AFR) – Two-speed economy reverses as WA falls behind

(26 June 2015, AFR, p12, by Jonathan Barrett) ‘Three years ago, NSW was the laggard and Western Australia the stand-out of the country’s two-speed economy – now their roles have reversed. The housing-led boom in Sydney comes complete with a stamp duty bonanza, construction job growth and new home fit-outs, which drives local spending. Meanwhile, Perth has a … Continue reading

25 June 2015 (AFR) – Rents and values under pressure as Perth office market pops

(25 June 2015, AFR, p34, by Duncan Hughes) ‘Perth prime commercial rents are collapsing from the nation’s most expensive to cheapest as the mining bust continues to drive down demand, according to BIS Shrapnel research.’ Read more at AFr.com (might need AFR login access)

25 June 2015 (AFR) – US car sales in a healthy position

(25 June 2015, AFR, p25, Financial Times) ‘If you are searching for the beleaguered American consumer, try car dealers’ forecourts. US auto sales, which have been steadily ticking higher for a few years, reached an annualised rate of 17.7m in May — a level not seen for a decade. ‘ Read the full story at … Continue reading

25 June 2015 (AFR) – Capital investment strike threatens retirements, OECD warns

(25 June 2015, AFR, p4, by Jacob Greber ) ‘A deepening global corporate investment strike threatens to obliterate the promises governments have made to citizens about jobs, economic growth and retirement incomes, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned. In a groundbreaking study of more than 10,000 companies around the globe – representing … Continue reading

24 June 2015 (AFR) – All that glisters is not growth – Where will economic growth come from?

(24 June 2014, AFR, p32, by Philip Baker ) ‘It all looks so good. The Nasdaq is at a fresh record high. The Russell 2000 Index, a key measure of small cap stocks on Wall Street, is also at a fresh record high. And the S&P 500, along with the Dow Jones, are not that … Continue reading

24 June 2015 (AFR) – Price slide the time to buy [NOT] – SEEK plunge an opportunity for investors

[COMMENT: How often now have some of use warned to be very wary of news stories like this one. The printed paper headline on this article read “Price slide the time to buy”, but there is no reference to this apparent advice in the online article. That might very well be because it is to … Continue reading

24 June 2015 (AFR) – Beware July 1, When 56 becomes the new 55

[COMMENT: Now this article is not that relevant to business influences in the share markets; but it might catch some SMSF and retirees off guard a little. Read carefully.] (24 June 2015, AFR, p24, by Bryan Ashenden) ‘One of the complications in choosing to run your own self-managed super fund is the need to ensure … Continue reading

23 June 2015 (AFR) – ASIC on alert for end of year trading – under pressures amid end of year volatility

[COMMENT: Now this is an interesting eye-opener for those retail investors who might see some strange movement in share prices in the last few days (or minutes) of trading of the financial year. Watch closely on Monday and Tuesday – the last 2 days of the 2014-2015 financial year.] (23 June 2015, AFR, p48, by … Continue reading

23 June 2015 (AFR) – Third of homes sold at twice their purchase price in major cities

(23 June 2015, AFR, p7, by Su-Lin Tan ) ‘A third of all second-hand homes sold in the first three months of the year went for twice their purchase price while 10 per cent sold at a loss, a quarterly report by property research group, Corelogic RP Data has found.  Properties held for a longer term sold better with sellers raking in an average … Continue reading

23 June 2015 (AFR) – Sydney’s apartment boom chases transport links and spreads across metro area

(23 June 2015, AFR, p3, by Michael Bleby ) ‘Sydney’s apartment boom is spreading across the metropolitan area, with suburbs doing the heavy lifting when it comes to new approvals. The quadrupling of new apartment approvals in the outer-ring northern districts this financial year showed the boom was prioritising suburbs with the transport links to support it.’ Read … Continue reading

23 June 2015 (TheAge) – Housing juggernaut difficult to slow – bubble yields billions in profits

(23 June 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p28, Elizabeth Knight, Business columnist) ‘We might be in the middle of a property bubble but convincing home owners and speculators of the risks won’t be easy, not after the first three months of this year, during which they booked profits of $13.8 billion. Those who sold property during that period made an … Continue reading

23 June 2015 (TheAge) – Australian housing market facing ‘bloodbath’ collapse: economists

(23 June 2015, The Age, p7, Heath Aston, Political reporter) ‘The Australian real estate market is in the grip of the biggest housing bubble in the nation’s history and Melbourne will be at the epicentre of an historic “bloodbath” when it bursts, according to two housing economists.’ ‘A bloodbath in the housing market, however, appears … Continue reading

22 June 2015 (AFR) – A third of Australia is in recession, PwC finds

(22 June 2015, AFR, p5,  by Jacob Greber ) ‘More than one-third of Australia is in recession, with a shrinking handful of locations generating most of its wealth, according to research that highlights the need for businesses and governments to make tough investment and spending decisions. The groundbreaking work by accounting giant PwC shows that…’ … Continue reading

22 June 2015 (TheAge) – Small business tax incentives drive boom time for car dealerships

(22 June 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p27, Alexandra Cain) ‘Business owners are taking advantage of tax incentives to purchase vehicles before the end of the financial year. If you run a car yard, chances are you’re experiencing the best trading conditions for some time. It’s all thanks to tax incentives that are sending small business … Continue reading

22 June 2105 (TheAge) – IOOF scandal sparks calls for royal commission

(22 June 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p21, Adele Ferguson and Sarah Danckert) ‘Calls for a royal commission into the finance sector have been renewed following revelations IOOF is facing allegations of misconduct, insider trading, front running, cheating by senior staff and has misrepresented performance numbers on its funds. IOOF’s top brass, including managing director Chris Kelaher, face … Continue reading

20 June 2015 (AFR) – China stocks correct, BlackRock says bubble to burst

(20 June 2015, AFR, p13, and similar article online, by Bloomberg News) ‘Chinese stocks tumbled, capping their worst week since the global financial crisis in 2008, amid mounting concern that the nation’s longest bull market has propelled valuations to unsustainable levels. The Shanghai Composite Index sank 6.4 per cent to 4478.36 at the close on … Continue reading

20 June 2015 (AFR) – Market players warn US not strong enough for rate rises

(20 June 2015, AFR, p34, by Karen Maley ) ‘Is the US central bank like an invalid desperate to prove that it is able to finally quit the sick bed, even though doctors warn that the effort could cause a relapse? That’s the view of many market players, including the legendary bond investor Bill Gross, who…’ … Continue reading

20 June 2015 (AFR) – Greece: should it stay or should it go now?

(20 June 2015, AFR, p14, James Chessell) ‘Fatigue and frustration are prompting more policymakers to call time on Greece. How worried should the world be about the prospect of Greece quitting the euro? James Chessell writes. BHP Billiton does not own any mines in Greece. Nor does the Melbourne-based mining house consider Greece a particularly … Continue reading

19 June 2015 (AFR) – Iron ore price hits a wall of steel

[Compare this to a related but seemingly contrary article: https://robertbrain.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/19-june-2015-afr-iron-ore-rebound-brings-muted-joy-for-miners/ (19 June 2015, AFR, p25, by Vanessa Desloires ) ‘The iron ore price fell for the fourth straight day, down 2.2 per cent overnight on Thursday, showing signs that its recent rally is weakening as Chinese steel prices fall to record lows on weak demand.  The benchmark iron ore price for … Continue reading

19 June 2015 (AFR) – Iron ore rebound brings muted joy for miners

[Compare this to a related but seemingly contrary article:  https://robertbrain.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/19-june-2015-afr-iron-ore-price-hits-a-wall-of-steel/ ] (19 June 2015, AFR, p23, by Neil Hume) ‘As iron ore prices plummeted…’ ‘Since April the price of benchmark iron ore for immediate delivery into China has rallied by about a third from $US46 a tonne to $US65 this month.  The bounce has left … Continue reading

19 June 2015 (TheAge, SMH) – Buy a flat, get a Porsche as China developers rush to sell

(19 June 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p30, Bloomberg) China’s home prices rise in May for first time in 13 months ‘China’s debt-riddled developers are turning to incentives like luxury cars as they rush to shed an inventory of unsold homes about seven times the size of Manhattan. Hopson Development Holdings in May offered a free Porsche … Continue reading