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29 Apr 2017 (AFR) – US stocks slip on growth data; Nasdaq rises for sixth straight month

(29 April 2017, AFR online) ‘Stocks edged lower on Wall Street on Friday (Saturday AEST) after data showing the US economy grew at its weakest pace in three years in the first quarter gave traders a reason to cash recent gains. Major indexes closed up for April, however, with the Nasdaq up for six consecutive months, … Continue reading

29 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Corporate earnings buoys ASX despite disappointing Trump tax

(29 April 2017, AFR, p27, by: Jessica Sier, Myriam Robin) ‘Generally strong company earnings kept the ASX chugging higher this week, though global disappointment at the unclear tax proposals from the US administration weighed on global market sentiment.  There was solid buying support for the big four banks, as investors factor in an increase in … Continue reading

29 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Sydney house price slump confirms boom over

(29 April 2017, AFR, p25, by Christopher Joye) ‘So Sydney house prices have fallen in April for the first time on a month-on-month basis since December 2015, validating last week’s call that the easy-money fuelled Aussie housing boom is grinding to a halt. According to CoreLogic’s daily hedonic index—the only measure that tracks price movements on a … Continue reading

28 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Selling fast: Housing fever spreads into the suburbs and regions

(28 April 2017, AFR, p9, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘Housing fever has spread to the more affordable outer suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Hobart as well as nearby regional cities as buyers battle record prices in the capital cities and fewer properties for sale. New CoreLogic figures show houses and apartments in the outer suburbs and … Continue reading

27 Apr 2017 (AFR) – David Einhorn on Tesla, Amazon: ‘We expect this bubble to pop’

(27 April 2017, AFR, p28, by Karen Maley) ‘Billionaire US hedge fund manager David Einhorn has warned that “we have seen this before”, as the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite breached 6000 for the first time overnight, 17 years after it first hit 5000 at the height of the dotcom era. The Nasdaq has surged around 12 … Continue reading

27 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Energy costs lift inflation into zone – Inflation steps up in first quarter, not enough for rate hike

(27 April 2017, AFR, p1, by Jacob Greber) ‘Surging energy costs are pushing the headline inflation rate up faster than wages, imposing a real income squeeze on households just as they scramble to digest record mortgage debt. In tentative evidence that a near three-year run of disinflation may be easing, official figures showed annual growth … Continue reading

27 Apr 2017 (TheAge) – Inflation up in March quarter, but below expectations as ‘pain spend’ bites

(27 April 2017, The Age, p8, Mathew Dunckley, Patrick Commins) ‘Those balancing household budgets will not like the latest economic data. Inflation figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday show the consumer price index, the key measure of inflation, rose 0.5 per cent in the March quarter – and driving that increase were … Continue reading

27 Apr 2017 (CNBC) – US earnings season: Halfway through earnings season, and the market likes what it sees

(27 April 2017, CNBC online, Bob Pisani) ‘Stocks have rallied this week on a combination of lower geopolitical worries (French election), long-awaited tax cuts now in play and — perhaps most importantly — earnings guidance that has generally been better than anticipated. I am talking about full-year earnings guidance, not just first-quarter earnings reports. That … Continue reading

27 Apr 2017 (abs-cbn) – Nasdaq breaches 6,000 mark for first time ever

(27 April 2017, ABS-CBN online, Yashaswini Swamynathan, Reuters, Posted at Apr 26 2017 12:53 AM) ‘The Nasdaq breached the 6,000 mark for the first time ever on Tuesday, spurred by a raft of strong corporate earnings and President Donald Trump’s promise of a major tax reform plan. The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose as much as 0.4 … Continue reading

26 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Star active fund managers fall on hard times – Active fundies struggle as passive index huggers deliver

[COMMENT: I cannot help but comment on this, as regular readers will know – I don’t invest in managed funds based on past experience and ongoing news and research like this news story.] (26 April 2017, AFR, p1, by James Frost) ‘Australia’s most successful and well-known stock pickers are under pressure as active managers fail to … Continue reading

25 Apr 2017 (TheAge) – European equities rally on French election hopes as political risk fades

(25 April 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p20, Vesna Poljak) ‘European equities staged a euphoric rally and the euro surged to a five-month as Emmanuel Macron emerged the clear frontrunner in the French presidential race ahead of the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. France’s benchmark CAC 40 Index and the regional blue-chip Euro Stoxx 50 Index rose more than 4 per cent and … Continue reading

25 Apr 2017 (TheAge) – French election results a political earthquake that could affirm status quo

(25 April 2017, The Age, p14, Nick Miller) ‘Henin-Beaumont, France: Trust the French to make things complicated. The result in the first round of the presidential election is a political earthquake, that will most likely result in a win for the most status-quo candidate. It is a triumph for the far right, that will probably expose … Continue reading

25 Apr 2017 (TheAge) – Fears of second Watersun collapse after building sites are abandoned

(25 April 2017, The Age, p13, Aisha Dow) ‘A major apartment builder in Melbourne has suddenly stopped operating, vacating its offices and abandoning building sites, in an impending second collapse linked to Watersun Homes. The Victorian arm of Watersun Homes, WSH Group, was recently placed into voluntary administration with $20 million in debts.’ Read more … Continue reading

25 Apr 2017 (TheAge) – French election results: Emmanuel Macron wins first-round vote

(25 April 2017, The Age, p6, Nick Miller) ‘Emmanuel Macron, the 39-year-old former banker who quit the Socialists for a remarkable tilt for France’s presidency, has won the country’s first-round vote, finishing just ahead of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. The French Interior Ministry’s final figures for the vote showed Macron winning 23.75 per cent … Continue reading

24 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Still a need for caution in stronger US market

(24 April 2017, AFR, p20, by Olivia Engel) ‘The latest bout of geopolitical worries has created a sense of unease in the US equities market over the past fortnight, despite the generally good news coming from the current corporate earnings season. But it’s not only nerves about North Korea fuelling the unease. The sharemarket in … Continue reading

24 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Global growth back on track despite political upheaval

(24 April 2017, AFR, p19, by Shawn Donnan, Gemma Tetlow and Sam Fleming) ‘Brexit and Donald Trump were supposed to bring doom, gloom and trade wars to the global economy, if not famine and populism-fuelled pestilence. But time heals many a prediction. And so instead this weekend’s spring meetings of the world’s finance chiefs in … Continue reading

24 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Theresa May’s Tories on course for sweeping election victory

(24 April 2017, AFR, p11, by Kate Holton) ‘Britain’s Theresa May appeared on course to win a crushing election victory in June after opinion polls put support for her ruling Conservative party at around 50 per cent, double that of the opposition Labour party. May’s decision to call a June 8 election stunned her political … Continue reading

24 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Swelling crowds at Sydney Property Expo buoy agent sentiment

(24 April 2017, AFR, p3, by Su-Lin Tan) ‘The appetite for residential property remains strong among Chinese buyers if the crowds at a weekend property expo were any guide. The Sydney Property Expo, now three times larger than its past two stagings, targeted local Asian buyers looking to invest in off-the-plan projects.’ Read more at (might … Continue reading

24 Apr 2017 (AFR) – UBS is ‘calling the top’ of the property boom

(24 April 2017, AFR, p1, by Matthew Cranston) ‘The booming housing market could finally be about to turn as auction clearance rates fell back over the weekend and analysts from investment bank UBS “calling the top”. Clearance rates in the biggest housing markets of Sydney and Melbourne fell back into the mid-70 per cent range over … Continue reading

24 Apr 2017 (TheAge) – Trump’s tax plan rekindles reflation trade – Trump still gathering steameffect

(24 ZApril 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p23, Jessica Sier) ‘Investors who give up on the “reflation trade” too soon risk missing out on the fruits of a more efficient US economy and a flood of new business opportunity, say experts.  US breakevens – an indicator that measures the market’s inflation expectations – have dropped to their lowest … Continue reading

22 Apr 2017 (AFR online) – Wall Street awaits French presidential election results

(22 April 2017, AFR online) ‘US stocks dipped on Friday as investors were cautious ahead of the first round of the closely contested French presidential election, though the S&P 500 managed to notch its first weekly gain in three. The first round of France’s presidential election may be too close to call when polls close on … Continue reading

22 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Heavyweights drive ASX higher as Duet soars 10 per cent on takeover approval

(22 April 2017, AFR, p27, by: Myriam Robin, Jessica Sier) ‘Australia’s benchmark index followed offshore leads solidly higher on Friday, but it wasn’t enough to reverse losses in the earlier part of the week. The benchmark S&PASX200 soared at the open and held onto its gains to add 0.6 per cent to 5854.1 on Friday, narrowing its weekly … Continue reading

21 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Valuations near ‘dot-com bubble’ levels may halt the bull market

(21 April 2017, AFR, p32, by Philip Baker) ‘Those tenacious sharemarket bulls still have the 6000-point mark squarely in their sights despite the major S&P ASX200 index falling back to 5800 points this week.’ <snipped…> ‘But expensive valuation measures suggest the march to the next milestone might be more of a slow slog than the … Continue reading

21 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Donald Trump trade fizzles out

(21 April 2017, AFR, p31, by John Kehoe) ‘The Trump reflation trade is fizzling out as the President’s oft-touted plans for sweeping tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure investment hang in limbo. On Wall Street, stocks are retreating, government bond yields have fallen to lows last recorded during the November election month, and Goldman Sachs has abandoned its … Continue reading

21 Apr 2017 (AFR, FinTimes) – EU chiefs begin to sideline UK companies chasing big contracts

(21 April 2017, AFR, p29, by Alex Barker) ‘Brussels is starting systematically to shut out British groups from multibillion-euro contracts and urging companies to decamp to the remaining EU-27 members as it prepares for Brexit. In an internal memo seen by the Financial Times, top European Commission officials have told staff to avoid “unnecessary additional … Continue reading

21 Apr 2017 (TheAge,AFR) – Investors dump retail stocks as Amazon looms

(21 April 2017, AFR, p20, Jessica Sier) ‘Confirmation that e-commerce giant Amazon will enter the Australian market over the next few years has caused the share prices of Australian retailers to slide.  On Thursday, despite a broadly positive sentiment across the sharemarket, investors turfed Harvey Norman and Myer, which fell 3.4 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively. Electronics … Continue reading

21 Apr 2017 (TheAge) – Amazon in Australia: what it means for you as a shopper

(21 April 2017, The Age, p6, Megan Levy) ‘The expansion of US online giant Amazon in Australia will most likely be a game-changer in the country’s retail landscape, transforming the way we shop and threatening the supremacy of established local retailers. “We are going to destroy the retail environment in Australia,” an Amazon executive behind … Continue reading

20 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Tokyo’s skyline set to see 45 new skyscrapers by 2020 Olympics

(20 April 2017, AFR, p39, by Gareth Allan and Katsuyo Kuwako) ‘Tokyo’s skyline is set to welcome 45 new skyscrapers by the time city hosts the Olympics in 2020, as a surge of buildings planned in the early years of Abenomics near completion. Japan’s capital will see nearly 50 per cent more new high-rise space … Continue reading

20 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Demand for commercial loans surges – up 25 per cent

(20 April 2017, AFR, p32, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘The number of commercial mortgages applications to acquire offices, warehouses, shops and development sites surged almost 26 per cent in the first quarter of the year compared with a year ago, according to new figures from credit data provider Equifax. The figures, which build on a 22.5 … Continue reading

20 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Rates to rise alongside house prices, creating more affordability problems

(20 April 2017, AFR, p31, by Matthew Cranston) ‘ Australia biggest property firms and investors expect house price capital growth to charge ahead despite their expectations that retail interest rates will continue to rise – a sign that would usually see house prices start to cool. The latest property industry survey compiled by ANZ and … Continue reading