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29 Oct 2016 (AFR) – ASX suffers worst week since June – Investors dump yield stocks in torrid week for ASX

(29 October 2016, AFR, p27, by Jessica Sier) ‘Investors dumped high-yield defensive stocks this week and punished a spate of companies that delivered disappointing earnings updates, delivering the sharemarket its largest weekly drop since June. Consumer staples and healthcare stocks weighed the heaviest, with materials the lone bright spot, as commodity prices continued to firm.’ … Continue reading

29 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Short-term outlook has oil and bank stocks pushing the sharemarket lower

(29 October 2016, AFR, p26, by Philip Baker) ‘So far this calendar year the local sharemarket has pretty much gone nowhere. After 10 interesting months, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index closed at 5283.8 on Friday, around 12 points below where it closed on the last day of trading in 2015.’ ‘Clearly there’s not much to … Continue reading

29 Oct 2016 (AFR) – RBA’s housing humiliation

(29 October 2016, AFR, p25, by Christopher Joye) ‘The Reserve Bank of Australia’s humiliation over its housing calls must be starting to hurt. ‘ ‘The index it was relying on to justify repeated claims housing conditions were cooling—and that its August and May rate cuts would not reignite another round of aggressive price growth—has reported … Continue reading

28 Oct 2016 (AFR) – The test for investors who might need more maths skills

[COMMENT: A great article about investing, gambling and behavioural and cognitive biases.] (28 October 2016, AFR, p31, by Tracy Alloway) ‘ “You’re invited to a talk by a hedge fund manager who was a partner at a fund that famously flopped about 20 years ago. You turn up, hoping to hear some valuable insights, or at … Continue reading

28 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Curse of the witching hour haunts currency traders

[COMMENT: This is a very interesting article about the impact on currency trading of the different time zones around the world, and the things that happen when it’s night time around the world and some traders are sleeping.] (28 October 2016, AFR, p28, by Netty Ismail, Bloomberg) ‘In the global currency market, the darkest hour comes … Continue reading

27 Oct 2016 (AFR) – CFOAM, supplier to Virgin Galactic, rockets on ASX debut

(27 October 2016, AFR, p24, by Simon Evans) ‘A company that makes a high-tech carbon material used by the United States Navy, aerospace firm Northrop Grumman and the commercial spaceflight arm of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group soared on its ASX debut. CFOAM, which makes the high-strength carbon at a plant in West Virginia in … Continue reading

27 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Inflation spike dims RBA rate cut chances

(27 October 2016, AFR, p1,4, by Jacob Greber) ‘Prospects of another Reserve Bank of Australia interest rate cut are receding after a spike in headline inflation spurred hopes the worst of the nation’s post-boom disinflationary cycle is passing. While core inflation remains too low for the Reserve Bank, markets are…’ Read more at AFR.com (might need … Continue reading

27 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Fortescue’s rally isn’t over, UBS says

(27 October 2016, AFR, p31, by Vanessa Desloires) ‘The bottom of the mining sector has given way to green shoots in the downtrodden parts of the economy and there is plenty of race to run for resources stocks. Consensus is growing that the bottom of the mining downturn has passed – a view shared by Fortescue … Continue reading

27 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Second wind: Sydney, Melbourne house prices at new highs in September, Domain says

(27 October 2016, AFR, p4, by Michael Bleby) ‘Median house prices in Melbourne and Sydney rose to new highs in the September quarter on low interest rates, migration and strong local economies, Domain Group figures show. The recovery that pushed Sydney’s median price 2.7 per cent higher, back above its previous record to $1,068,303, is … Continue reading

27 Oct 2016 (TheAge) – Iron ore rally driven by solid demand, not speculation

(27 October 2016, The Age, BusinessDay, p27, Jessica Sier) ‘Solid Chinese fundamentals not speculative buyers are behind this week’s sharp jump in the iron ore price, which leapt to 11-week highs on Tuesday. In March, when iron ore last jumped as sharply, futures contracts showed more than a billion tonnes of iron ore was turned over, well above … Continue reading

26 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Mirvac settlement defaults higher than historical average

(26 October 2016, AFR, p33, by Su-Lin Tan) ‘Leading diversified property group, Mirvac has noted a rise in the default rate for the settlement of off-the-plan residential sales, above its historic average of 1 per cent, but stressed that all defaulted lots have so far been successfully resold. The group, at a first quarter update, … Continue reading

26 Oct 2016 (AFR) – High-yield ETF caught by dividend cuts after upping stake in resources giants

(26 October 2016, AFR, p31, by Vesna Poljak) ‘Investors wrong-footed by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto’s dividend cuts last year were not the only ones ruing their timing. One of the most popular niche exchange traded funds in the market, the Vanguard Australian Shares High Yield ETF,  had large exposure to the mining giants only for the … Continue reading

26 Oct 2016 (AFR) – BWX share price ride not over yet

(26 October 2016, AFR, p30, by Joe Magyer) ‘… We had a total of 11 Sukin products in our bathroom. Turns out that, while my brain has been wandering in the shower, Sukin has carved out an impressive and growing presence not just in our home but in the broader “masstige” Australian market. Sukin is … Continue reading

26 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Will the high rise sector crash the rest of the property market?

(26 October 2016, AFR, p30, by Richard Wakelin) ‘Pretty much every respected economic organisation is now worried that the residential multi-unit sector is headed for serious trouble. In recent days the Reserve Bank and Deloitte Access Economics have flagged that the pipeline of new stock planned for our major capitals over the next couple of … Continue reading

26 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Record high house prices not all bad news – Beware a falling housing market that reduces household wealth

(26 October 2016, AFR, p23, by Philip Baker) ‘For those who want to fret about the high cost of entering the housing market, go ahead. But it’s nothing new. It’s always been tough to buy a house.  Finding one you can afford, in a location you want to live in, getting the finance and buying … Continue reading

26 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Jim Rogers says Trump may win, economic turmoil is close, and don’t buy bonds

(26 October 2016, AFR, p15, by Matthew Cranston) ‘Jim Rogers, one-time hedge fund partner of George Soros, expects Donald Trump could still win the US election tipping global markets into turmoil and sending investors into agriculture and US dollars for safety. Speaking at a private event in Sydney, Mr Rogers, who founded the Quantum Fund in the ’70s with Mr Soros, said … Continue reading

26 Oct 2016 (AFR) – China releases extra housing data to confirm slowdown

(26 October 2016, AFR, p14, by Lisa Murray) ‘It’s rare in China for a government department to release more information than required. So analysts took note when the National Bureau of Statistics added two weeks of data to its September update on the property market last Friday. The message from the government was clear. Fears of a … Continue reading

26 Oct 2016 (TheAge) – Investment: the simple reason traders lose money . . . they’re human

(26 October 2016, The Age, MONEY supplement, p2, Marcus Padley) ‘If you read some of the books on trading, such as Way of the Turtle, Profiting in Bull and Bear Markets, or The New Market Wizards, the suggestion is that 60-90 per cent of traders lose money, depending on their level of leverage and the product they are … Continue reading

26 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Queensland budget receives a $1b boost from surge in coal prices

(26 October 2016, AFR, p8, by Mark Ludlow) ‘Queensland’s budget bottom line is set to receive a billion-dollar boost courtesy of a surge in world coal prices, as the former boom state shows signs of broader economic recovery. Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt on Tuesday confirmed the cash-strapped Labor government will receive a significant boost after the … Continue reading

26 Oct 2016 (TheAge,SMH) – There’s a bear out there – US Presidential election – PART THREE: As risky as terrorism

(26 October 2016, The Age, p13, How the US election will change Australia – A three-part series by Peter Hartcher.) ‘The choice, the chief economist told the board, was between a “paradigm shift” and “endless mediocrity”. The peak body for Australia’s industry superannuation funds, managing a quarter of a trillion dollars for 5 million investors, … Continue reading

25 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Liquidity question haunts ETFs (as review looms)

(25 October 2016, AFR, p25, The Lex Column) ‘Exchange traded funds are far from being the elephant in the room. Rather than ignoring these ever more popular securities, the Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly preparing to launch an in-depth review of them. Given their growing importance, this is welcome. A big worry is that liquidity … Continue reading

25 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Weekend hacks show the dangers of your devices – Following Netflix, Twitter and Reddit hacks how safe are our household devices?

(25 October 2016, AFR, p22, by Jessica Sier) ‘Sometimes I long for the days when our home appliances couldn’t be exploited to take down the global internet. Half a million devices were hacked on Friday, mostly internet-connected cameras and DVD players, and were programmed to pummel websites such as Twitter, Amazon, Soundcloud, Reddit, Spotify and Netflix … Continue reading

24 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Dust from US presidential election battle obscures real risk to markets

(24 October 2016, AFR, p24, by Karen Maley) ‘With little over a fortnight to go until the US presidential election, investors appear happy to sit on their hands, marking time until the final outcome is announced. Although the polls suggest that Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, is set to lose by a sizeable margin, investors … Continue reading

24 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Connected gadgets blamed as internet recovers from attack

(24 October 2016, AFR, p10, by Nate Lanxon, Jeremy Kahn and Joshua Brustein) ‘Vulnerable internet-connected devices such as cameras and digital video recorders may be to blame for the attack that took down some of the world’s most popular websites on Friday. Malware that targets the “internet of things,” a new breed of small gadgets that … Continue reading

24 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Key CPI data looms as world inflation reaches ‘inflection point’

(24 October 2016, AFR, p5, by Patrick Commins) ‘The outlook for global inflation is on the turn, but economists are more worried that consumer price index figures this week might force the Reserve Bank of Australia into cutting rates again. Over the past week headline inflation rates in the United States and United Kingdom jumped to their highest in … Continue reading

24 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Springing back: Auction clearance rate hits year-high of 80.2pc

(24 Oct 2016, AFR, p3, by: Michael Bleby, Su-Lin Tan) ‘Auction clearances rose to their highest this year, pushed by a Sydney market in which the rate jumped on lower stock levels. The national average rate clearance rose to 80.2 per cent, up from 76. 2 per cent last week, CoreLogic’s preliminary numbers showed. In … Continue reading

22 Oct 2016 (NYTimes) – Internet Attack Spreads, Disrupting Major Websites

[COMMENT: Now this is the sort of thing that could disrupt business on a wide-spread scale. Something to consider going forward.] (22 October 2016, New York Times website, Nicole Perlroth) ‘SAN FRANCISCO — Major websites were inaccessible to people across wide swaths of the United States on Friday after a company that manages crucial parts … Continue reading

22 Oct 2016 (AFR) – NAB cracks down on property lending to ‘reduce risk’ – 600 towns and suburbs on lending blacklist

(22 October 2016, AFR, p1, by Duncan Hughes) ‘National Australia Bank has compiled a confidential borrowers’ blacklist of more than 600 towns and suburbs where it has capped lending to property buyers because of growing risks in the housing market. Buyers in any of the 120 postcodes across the nation will need a deposit of … Continue reading

21 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Four ways to make money from hedge funds

(21 October 2016, AFR, p30, by Philip Baker) ‘Investors know record low interest rates are really causing havoc with returns when hedge funds –which are supposed to smash the ball out of the park in any sort of market – keep shutting down. Sydney-based macro fund MST Capital is just the latest global hedge fund … Continue reading

21 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Transition challenges in focus as China income growth slows

(21 October 2016, AFR, p16, Reuters) ‘Consumption is driving China’s economic growth, but a further slowdown in income growth in the third quarter highlights the challenges to the country’s transition away from manufacturing and heavy industry. Per-capita disposable income in China rose 6.3 per cent year-on-year in the January to September period, to 17,735 yuan … Continue reading