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31 Dec 2015 (TheAge,SMH) – ASX hits two-month high as rally continues for ninth day

(31 December 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p20, Stephen Cauchi, Business reporter,  View more articles from Stephen Cauchi) ‘Australia’s shares lifted again on Wednesday to a two-month high as the Santa rally extended into its ninth session – the longest streak since late January. The benchmark ASX 200 index closed 1 per cent higher at 5319.9, while the broader All … Continue reading

31 Dec 2015 (TheAge) – Australian uranium in demand as China goes full steam for nuclear

(31 December 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p19, Stephen Cauchi,  Business reporter,  View more articles from Stephen Cauchi) ‘Despite reactor closures in Europe and the US, the global outlook for uranium looks bright, with Asia’s burgeoning nuclear energy industry fuelling demand for the radioactive metal.’ Read more at TheAge.com.au

30 Dec 2015 (TheAge,SMH) – The year market economists failed to see coming

(30 December 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p22, Malcolm Maiden, Columnist,  View more articles from Malcolm Maiden) ‘Most of the predictions market economists made a year ago turned out to be wrong.’ ‘Market seers did not cover themselves with glory in 2015.  In fact, Goldman Sachs says in a research note that US economic forecasters basically got … Continue reading

30 Dec 2015 (TheAge) – Saudi Arabia’s budget blowout sends petrol prices rocketing

(30 December 2015, TheAge, BusinessDay, p19, Brian Robins,  View more articles from Brian Robins) ‘Humbled by the slumping oil price, Saudi Arabia, long the world’s major oil producer, has been forced to take an axe to government spending by slashing a host of subsidies – including the price of oil. As a result, Saudis will be faced … Continue reading

29 Dec 2015 (AFR) – Your guide to shares in 2016…

(29 December 2015, AFR, p19, by: Jenny Wiggins, Sue Mitchell ,Yolanda Redrup ,Vesna Poljak ) ‘With 2015 a year to forget for the two bedrocks of the Australian equity market, investors are hopeful the worst is over – but nobody is getting carried away with optimism.  Australians have had to rethink what the local market … Continue reading

29 Dec 2015 (AFR) – The party is over for housing markets in 2016 – Party’s over but headache may last a bit

(29 December 2015, AFR, p10, by Su-Lin Tan) ‘The Australian housing market is on track for a bad hangover in 2016. After a year of partying at double-digit price growth, particularly for Sydney and Melbourne, the two main markets are set to cool, experts say. ‘ Read more at AFR.com (might need AFR login access, or try: AFR.com/trial)

29 Dec 2015 (TheAge) – Boxing Day sales will go online and won’t be on Boxing Day

(29 December 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p20, Patrick Hatch, Reporter for The Age, View more articles from Patrick Hatch) ‘Boxing Day shoppers will be more likely to spend the biggest retail event of the year at home, bagging bargains online in clearance sales that will increasingly start before December 26, retailers and analysts say. Australians spent a … Continue reading

28 Dec 2015 (TheAge,SMH) – Sweden makes swift moves towards cash-free economy

(28 December 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p22, Liz Alderman) ‘Parishioners text tithes to their churches. Homeless street vendors carry mobile credit-card readers. Even the Abba Museum, despite being a shrine to the 1970s pop group that wrote Money, Money, Money, considers cash so last-century that it does not accept bills and coins. Few places are tilting … Continue reading

28 Dec 2015 (TheAge,SMH) – Confident shoppers smash Boxing Day records

(28 December 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p19, Patrick Hatch, Reporter for The Age, View more articles from Patrick Hatch) ‘Shoppers threw open their wallets at Boxing Day sales across the country, breaking all records for the start of the summer clearance period and surpassing even the retailers’ expectations. The Australian Retailers Association’s executive director Russell … Continue reading

24 Dec 2015 (TheAge) -BBY demise hastened by Firestone investment, dubious practices uncovered

(24 December 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p23, Joyce Moullakis, Senior Reporter,  View more articles from Joyce Moullakis) ‘Liquidator KPMG’s report into BBY has unmasked the scale of compliance shortcomings and dubious practices at the failed stockbroking firm, noting that the firm’s investment in Firestone Energy was pivotal in denting its financial position and contributing to its demise.  BBY collapsed spectacularly … Continue reading

23 Dec 2015 (AFR) – Casino boss Stanley Ho rolls dice on $120m Gold Coast apartments

(23 December 2015, AFR, p10, by Matthew Cranston) ‘Hong Kong billionaire Stanley Ho will proceed with a $120 million apartment development on a golf course at the Gold Coast he has owned for 20 years, in acknowledgment of the city’s huge tourism potential and rebounding property market.’ Read more at AFR.com (might need AFR login access, or try: AFR.com/trial)

22 Dec 2015 (AFR) – Apple shares crash into bear market

(22 December 2015, AFR, p30, by Matt Krantz) ‘Apple diehards who keep saying the stock “will come back” are going into hibernation. Shares of the gadget maker closed down another 2.7 per cent Friday to $US106.03 – knocking the stock down 21 per cent from its recent high of $US134.54. The breathtaking decline not only … Continue reading

22 Dec 2015 (AFR) – Brazil’s new finance minister spurs instant rout

(22 December 2015, AFR, p29, by Raymond Colitt and Anna Edgerton) ‘Nelson Barbosa could, of course, turn out to be the man who fixes Brazil’s finances, tames soaring inflation and revives the sinking economy, but investors sure aren’t betting on it. As word spread across Sao Paulo trading floors Friday that Barbosa would be the … Continue reading

22 Dec 2015 (AFR) – Move over BHP – Bellamy’s, Blackmores, Bega and Costa: the new breed of stocks to watch in 2016

[COMMENT: All investors take note! This very interesting story tells us something important about the market index, and it’s failings.] (22 December 2015, AFR, p28, by Philip Baker) ‘There’s been a changing of the guard for investors in 2015 that looks likely to extend into 2016. Instead of the banks, Telstra and resource companies, which … Continue reading

22 Dec 2015 (AFR) – A year to forget in a decade of shareholder destruction

[COMMENT: How can we not comment on this new story. The Australian market is nwo roughly where it was a decade ago. Anyone with an index tracking investment now has a capital value that is little different to what it was 10 years ago. Some investors might be able to  put their heads in the … Continue reading

22 Dec 2015 (AFR) – West Australian government gets iron ore price forecasts consistently wrong

(22 December 2015, AFR, p7, by Julie-anne Sprague, Tess Ingram) ‘West Australian Treasurer Mike Nahan summed up the perils of managing the state’s finances by lamenting that it was hard to run a government “when you get pushed into relying on iron ore royalties”. A “perfect storm” of falling iron ore prices, softer economy and … Continue reading

22 Dec 2015 (AFR) – WA debt spirals towards unprecedented $39b

(22 December 2015, AFR, p1, by Jonathan Barrett) ‘The former boom state of Western Australia is forecast to record a $3.1 billion operating deficit this financial year, and climb to unprecedented net debt levels, rising to $39 billion in three years’ time.’ Read more at AFR.com (might need AFR login access, or try: AFR.com/trial)

21 Dec 2015 (AFR,FTimes) – Withdrawals hit US corporate bond funds

(21 December 2015, AFR, p19, Eric Platt in New York, Financial Times) ‘Investment grade bond funds in the US have been hit with a record wave of redemptions, a week after two high-yield funds announced they would shutter and another barred withdrawals as the credit market showed further cracks. Investors withdrew $5.1bn from US mutual … Continue reading

21 Dec 2015 (AFR) – JPMorgan admits it didn’t tell customers about conflicts

(21 December 2015, AFR, p11, by Matt Robinson and Neil Weinberg) ‘JPMorgan Chase will pay more than $US300 million ($422 million) to settle allegations it didn’t inform clients properly about numerous conflicts of interest in how it managed customers’ money over a half decade. The largest US bank by assets didn’t tell customers it reaped profit by putting their money … Continue reading

19 Dec 2015 (AFR) – ASX bounces off year-lows, thanks to Fed – sparks hopes of Santa Rally

(19 December 2015, AFR, p41, by Stephen Cauchi) ‘Australian shares endured a volatile week of trading, plumbing lows last seen in 2013 before rebounding to a weekly gain as the US Federal Reserve delivered on its interest rate increase. The benchmark ASX200 index lifted 0.1 per cent on Friday and 1.5 per cent for the … Continue reading

19 Dec 2015 (AFR) – Argentine peso plummets nearly 30pc after controls lifted

(19 December 2015, AFR, p13, by Hugh Bronstein) ‘Argentina’s peso plunged 29.8 per cent at the start of trade on Thursday, after the country’s new government floated the currency as part of a slew of free-market reforms aimed at revitalising the stagnant economy. It was the biggest one-day devaluation in decades and initial currency market … Continue reading

18 Dec 2015 (AFR) – Manufacturing, retail boost NZ economy – New Zealand economy grew more than forecast in third quarter

(18 December 2015, AFR, p30, by Tracy Withers) ‘New Zealand’s economy grew more than economists forecast in the third quarter, buoyed by manufacturing and retail spending, which offset a drop in milk production. Gross domestic product grew 0.9 per cent from the second quarter, when it rose a revised 0.3 per cent, Statistics New Zealand … Continue reading

18 Dec 2015 (AFR) – Easy money era coming to an end – US Fed targets higher interest rates in 2016 than traders see coming

(18 Dec 2015, AFR, p1, by Vesna Poljak) ‘The first US interest hike in almost a decade triggered a rally on the Australian stock exchange and buoyed other markets around the world, but investors are betting on the US Federal Reserve not carrying through on a plan to raise rates another four times next year. … Continue reading

18 Dec 2015 (TheAge,SMH) – It was more than just a few rogue planners at CBA, review finds

[COMMENT: What does this news story actually mean? That some financial advisors cannot be trusted? How many are in this category? Surely not a majority?] (18 December 2015, The Age, BusinessDay, p28, Adele Ferguson, Business columnist,  View more articles from Adele Ferguson) ‘After wading through more than 68 pages of a confusing and heavily jargoned … Continue reading

17 Dec 2015 (AFR) – The great Greek bank robbery

(17 December 2015, AFR, p39, by Yanis Varoufakis, opinion letter) ‘Since 2008, bank bailouts have entailed a significant transfer of private losses to taxpayers in Europe and the United States. The latest Greek bank bailout constitutes a cautionary tale about how politics – in this case, Europe’s – is geared towards maximising public losses for … Continue reading

17 Dec 2015 (AFR) – Sorry investors, there really is no such thing as Father Christmas

[COMMENT: Now here’s something interesting. Some statistics about market ups and downs over the years at about Christmas time.] (17 December 2015, AFR, p26, by Philip Baker) ‘Any investor out there hoping for a Santa Claus rally really should know better. Everybody knows there’s no such thing as Father Christmas. And – so the saying … Continue reading

16 Dec 2015 (AFR) – Sydney hotels surge to best performance in 20 years

(16 December 2015, AFR, p33, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘Sydney hoteliers have had their best November in 20 years, with occupancy rates rising to 91 per cent and room rates up almost eight per cent to $235 a night, according analysts STR Global.’ Read more at AFR.com (might need AFR login access, or try: AFR.com/trial)

16 Dec 2015 (AFR) – Apartment crunch tipped for two cities – Melbourne, Brisbane apartments tipped for ‘rising vacancy and reduced rents’

(16 December 2015, AFR, p33, by Robert Harley) ‘The largest apartment boom in the nation’s history will lead to a hangover in central Melbourne and Brisbane from next year according to the latest report from CommBank Property Insights.’ Read more at AFR.com (might need AFR login access, or try: AFR.com/trial)

16 Dec 2015 (AFR) – Junk bond rout fear spreads

(16 December 2015, AFR, p29, by John Kehoe) ‘Investors on Wall Street and beyond are bracing for the collapse of more junk bond funds as the US Federal Reserve begins raising interest rates and the sinking oil price takes down debt-laden energy firms. The shutdown of the third risky high-yield credit fund in the past … Continue reading

16 Dec 2015 (AFR) – ‘Tis the season for shorts and earlies – BHP Billiton share price may have bottomed out

(16 December 2015, AFR, p26, by Philip Baker) ‘The calender will show there are another 16 days left in this month of December, but for most traders there’s really only three sessions remaining in 2015. What will they do, and what positions will they start to square up? Starting next Monday there will be just two … Continue reading