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30 Jan 2016 (AFR) – Back on the radar – A chink of light at the end of the emerging market tunnel

[COMMENT: What do the fund managers think? And where are they investing their funds? – Don’t forget, fund managers are responsible for investing OTHER PEOPLE’s money, and sometimes they get it wrong.] (20 January 2016, AFR, p23, by Tony Featherstone) ‘Valuations look tempting and believers argue Asia, in particular, has time on its side.’ ‘As … Continue reading

30 Jan 2016 (AFR) – Beware of monkey business, warns CLSA’s Feng Shui index

(30 January 2016, AFR, p13, by Anne Marie Roantree) ‘The Year of the Monkey will get off to a swinging start, with metals and water-related sectors tipped to do well, until the primate takes a tumble and runs amok, according to Hong Kong-based brokerage CLSA’s Feng Shui Index. The index, a tongue-in-cheek financial forecast for … Continue reading

30 Jan 2016 (AFR) – Bank of Japan cuts rates below zero, adding to global currency tension

(30 January 2016, AFR, p1, by Philip Baker) ‘In a desperate bid to invigorate it’s sluggish economy, the Bank of Japan took financial markets by surprise on Friday when it said it would push interest rates below zero, a move that will weaken the yen and add to global currency tensions.   Any commercial bank that now chooses to leave … Continue reading

30 Jan 2016 (AFR) – ASX climbs above 5000 on Bank of Japan decision

(30 January 2016, AFR, p42, by Vanessa Desloires) ‘The Australian sharemarket ended a turbulent month on a positive note with the index pushing above 5000 on a surprise move by the Bank of Japan to cut interest rates into negative territory.  The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 clawed back above 5000 to end near the week’s high at … Continue reading

30 Jan 2016 (AFR) – Deutsche Bank suffers record €6.8b loss, scraps all board bonuses

(30 January 2016, AFR, p12, by Arno Schuetze and Jonathan Gould) ‘Deutsche Bank has scrapped board bonuses this year after posting a record loss for 2015, with chief executive John Cryan urging investors to be patient with his revamp of Germany’s largest lender.’ Read more at AFR.com (might need AFR login access, or try: AFR.com/trial)

30 Jan 2016 (AFR) – WHO warns spread of Zika virus ‘explosive’, 4 million cases possible

(30 January 2016, AFR, p12, by Tom Miles and Stephanie Nebehay) ‘The Zika virus – linked to severe birth defects in thousands of babies in Brazil – is spreading “explosively” and could affect as many as four million people in the Americas, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday. Director-General Margaret Chan told members … Continue reading

29 Jan 2016 (AFR) – Italy, EU reach bad-loan deal as bank shares extend decline

(29 January 2016, AFR, p33, by Marine Strauss and Sonia Sirletti) ‘Italy and the European Commission have agreed on a plan to help banks offload bad debts, ending months of negotiations on how to ease the burden on the nation’s lenders while staying on the right side of European rules. Banks will be able to … Continue reading

29 Jan 2016 (AFR) – EU gives Greece warning to fix border ‘neglect’

(29 January 2016, AFR, p33, by Alastair Macdonald and Gabriela Baczynska) ‘The European Commission has warned Greece it could face more border controls with other states of the free-travel Schengen zone in May if it does not fix “serious deficiencies” in its management of the area’s external frontier.’ Read more at AFR.com (might need AFR … Continue reading

29 Jan 2016 (AFR,SMH) – Market turmoil ‘canary in the quantitative tightening’ coalmine, says Magellan

(29 January 2016, AFR, p29, Vanessa Desloires, Reporter, View more articles from Vanessa Desloires) ‘Recent falls in the equity, currency and commodity markets are the “canary in the coalmine” for what might happen to markets as central banks continue to unwind their asset-buying programs, Magellan’s Hamish Douglass says. ‘ Read more at SMH.com.au

29 Jan 2016 (AFR) – IMF, World Bank move to forestall oil-led defaults

(29 January 2016, AFR, p27, by Jack Farchy and Shawn Donnan) ‘Officials from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are heading to Azerbaijan to discuss a possible $US4 billion ($5.7 billion) emergency loan package in what risks becoming the first of a series of bailouts stemming from the tumbling oil price. The Baku … Continue reading

29 Jan 2016 (AFR) – Resources sector delivers top stock picks for the bold; Credit Suisse’s top stock picks for the brave

[COMMENT: Now I ask you – How accurate and useful are reports like the one mentioned below? Do many investors make much money by taking any notice of them?] (29 January 2016, AFR, p26, by Simon Evans) ‘Six stocks are projected to deliver total returns of more than 120 per cent for 2016 in a … Continue reading

29 Jan 2016 (AFR) – Terms of trade slump mires budget outlook – Morrison already sweating MYEFO trade forecast

(29 January 2016, AFR, p3, by Jacob Greber) ‘Australia’s terms of trade look to be falling faster than the government forecast in its budget update just six weeks ago, raising the spectre of multi-billion dollar write-downs in projected revenue that would make it even harder for Treasurer Scott Morrison to balance the budget. Lower prices for iron ore, … Continue reading

28 Jan 2016 (AFR) – Sydney property hits wall; houses fall 3.1pc in December quarter, Domain says

(28 January 2016, AFR, p36, by Michael Bleby) ‘The Sydney property market’s dream run has come to an end, with house prices falling 3.1 per cent – the biggest decline in more than 20 years – in the December quarter. Prices of units also suffered, dropping 2.8 per cent from the September quarter, the latest Domain Group figures show.’ … Continue reading

28 Jan 2016 (AFR) – Credit market turmoil crimps bond sales in worst start since 2005

(28 January 2016, AFR, p29, by Aleksandra Gjorgievska and Sally Bakewell) ‘Bond sales by companies worldwide slowed to an 11-year low in January as investors shunned risk amid a meltdown in capital and commodities markets. About $US329 billion ($472 billion) of debt has been issued so far this month, the least for a January since 2005, when … Continue reading

28 Jan 2016 (AFR) – Pilbara property investors lose half as prices ‘hit the bottom’

[COMMENT: Who ever said ‘You can’t lose buying property!’, or ‘Property never goes backwards!‘ Well, do we have news for you. Some property can halve in value!] (28 January 2016, AFR, p9, by Julie-anne Sprague) ‘Property prices in the Pilbara town of Karratha have halved to their lowest level in 11 years as the mining … Continue reading

28 Jan 2016 (AFR) – Core inflation hits bottom of Reserve Bank of Australia’s target range

(28 January 2016, AFR, p1, by Jacob Greber) ‘Chances of a Reserve Bank of Australia official interest rate cut in the first quarter fell sharply amid the first tentative signs the sliding currency is pushing up the cost of imported goods. Headline consumer prices rose 0.4 per cent in the December quarter from the previous three months … Continue reading

28 Jan 2016 (TheAge) – Inflation slightly higher than expected in December quarter

(28 January 2016, The Age, BusinessDay, p22, Stephen Cauchi, Business reporter, View more articles from Stephen Cauchi) ‘Inflation has come in slightly higher than expected, with December quarter inflation of 0.4 per cent, or 1.7 per cent year-on-year. The consumer price index data, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, also showed underlying inflation coming in … Continue reading

28 Jan 2016 (TheAge) – Virtual money leads us down the road to ruin

(28 January 2016, The Age, p18, Mark Triffitt, opinion) ‘The world is waking up to the reality that in 2016 it is shackled to an increasingly incoherent and stagnating economic system. Just over a year ago, Australian taxpayers forked out $400 million to host the annual G20 summit of global political and business elites in … Continue reading

28 Jan 2016 (TheAge,SMH) – Apple earnings: When a $US18b profit isn’t good enough

(28 January 2016, The Age, p7, John McDuling, Associate Editor, Digital, View more articles from John McDuling) ‘Apple has another problem on its hands, and it’s got nothing to do with tax. The Cupertino, California-based giant just posted record quarterly iPhone sales (74.8 million units), record quarterly revenue ($US75.9 billion) and a record quarterly profit … Continue reading

27 Jan 2016 (TheAge,SMH) – Small investors in ETFs making a classic mistake chasing past returns

[COMMENT: This article is good advice that applies to more than just ETFs.] (27 January 2016, The Age, MONEY supplement, p2, John Collett, Personal finance editor, View more articles from John Collett) ‘Investors eyeing an ETF should base their decisions on the sector’s future, not its history’ ‘Small investor activity in exchange traded funds (ETFs) … Continue reading

27 Jan 2016 (AFR) – Bond yields, commodity prices paint more bearish picture than economists

(27 January 2016, AFR, p29, by Vesna Poljak, Philip Baker) ‘Global financial conditions are tightening and the bearish signals coming from energy prices and the bond market have painted a troubling picture for global growth in 2016. The bond market is indicating a higher risk of recession in the United States than economists see. The yields … Continue reading

27 Jan 2016 (AFR) – 10pc salary bump for finance geeks as job market heats up

(27 January 2016, AFR, p12, by Agnes King) ‘Finance departments are rebuilding after five years of heavy redundancies, with January producing a higher than normal surge in hiring activity, according to big recruiters. The new year has seen a flurry of resignations, with finance professionals job hopping for a 10 to 15 per cent salary … Continue reading

25 Jan 2016 (AFR) – Confident retail brands invest in bricks and mortar

(25 January 2016, AFR, p33, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘Dick Smith may have collapsed and Woolworths may have pulled the plug on Masters, but at the hipster end of town, food and fashion retailers will invest tens of millions of dollars in 2016 to expand their store networks and refit stores. Popular Melbourne-based schnitzel chain The Schnitz … Continue reading

25 Jan 2016 (AFR) – Australia ‘one big quality company’ says Hasan Tevfik; Credit Suisse’s Tevfik defies bears with faith in quality amid chaos

(25 January 2016, AFR, p21, by Vesna Poljak, Philip Baker ) ‘The strategist best known for charting the rise of the “selfies” as a force in the Australian sharemarket is predicting that the nation’s top companies face a reinvention test in 2016. However, Hasan Tevfik, is far from bearish. While fund managers are highly aware … Continue reading

25 Jan 2016 (TheAge,SMH) – Renewables sector on verge of revival: EY

(25 January 2016, The Age, BusinessDay, p19, Angela Macdonald-Smith, Energy Reporter, View more articles from Angela Macdonald-Smith) ‘The renewable energy sector is on the cusp of a $10 billion revival as infrastructure players from around the world get ready to pour funds into new wind farms and solar projects, according to professional services firm EY. … Continue reading

25 Jan 2016 (TheAge) – The great Australian superannuation swindle

(25 January 2016, The Age, p16, opinion, Josh Bornstein) ‘So you think super is good for the workers? Well, it’s certainly great for the financial services industry.’ ‘The competition to manage your superannuation is big business. So too is not paying superannuation to workers. Either way, an enormous number of employees are duped and dudded … Continue reading

23 Jan 2016 (Reuters) – Oil rips 10 percent higher as bears race to cash in on crash

(22 January 2016, 10:42pm GMT – 23 January 2016, EST, Reuters) ‘Oil prices surged 10 percent on Friday, one of the biggest daily rallies ever, as bearish traders who had taken out record short positions scrambled to close them, betting the market’s long rout may finally be over. The onset of a massive snowstorm on … Continue reading

23 Jan 2016 (AFR) – Don’t panic: the signs are not what they seem – The problem of misreading the signs on China’s economy

(23 January 2016, AFR, p17, by James Laurenceson) ‘China’s leaders aren’t exactly hands-off when it comes to information flows.’ ‘Since the Shanghai sharemarket burst last June, there’s been a striking divergence in positions taken on the direction of China’s economy. In the first few weeks of 2016 this divergence has only grown. It’s those who … Continue reading

23 Jan 2016 (AFR) – Norway to world: we’re sitting out the big wealth fund sell-off – Central bank resists assets sell-off

(23 January 2016, AFR, p12, by Saleha Mohsin and Mikael Holter) ‘The world’s biggest wealth fund won’t be joining its counterparts in a sell-off that’s hurting already depressed markets. In fact, officials who supervise the $US780 billion ($1125 billion) fund haven’t even discussed the possibility of shifting strategy, according to Egil Matsen, who this week … Continue reading

23 Jan 2016 (AFR) – North Sea to become an oil rig graveyard as explorers pull out

(23 January 2016, AFR, p11, by Angelina Rascouet and Mikael Holter) ‘The pace of drilling in the North Sea, the centre of British oil production for the past 40 years, has sunk to a record low as crashing energy prices force explorers to abandon costly projects. Just 63 per cent of oil and gas rigs in the … Continue reading