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25 June 2017 – Taking a break for a while

25 June 2017 – Taking a break.

22 June 2017 (AFR,SMH) – ASX sheds $27 billion as global investors sell out

(22 June 2017, AFR, p15, Myriam Robin, SMH) ‘Selling by foreign investors exacerbated the biggest single-day fall in the benchmark S&P/ASX200 since Donald Trump’s election last November, with $27 billion, or 1.6 per cent, wiped off the value of the local market on Wednesday. The vicious sell-off took the index convincingly below the 5700 mark and erased all its gains this … Continue reading

21 June 2017 (TheAge) – Australian farm production tipped to near $60 billion in 2017-18

(21 June 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p24, Darren Gray) ‘The value of Australian farm exports is forecast to reach $48 billion next financial year, thanks to surging cotton and dairy exports, and solid rises in the value of beef, wool and wine shipped overseas. The figure, down only marginally on 2016-17, is still well above … Continue reading

21 June 2017 (TheAge) – Macquarie bank faces class action over advice on worthless Brazilian mine project

[COMMENT: Whether this purported class action proceeds or not, the allegation that is described in this news article is an interesting eye-opener for retail investors, because it might be possible for any market participant to engage in such conduct. The various Holywood movies of recent years portray that such things might really happen.] (21 June … Continue reading

21 June 2017 (AFR) – No pop in housing ‘bubble’: Sydney, Melbourne to deflate gradually, KPMG says

(21 June 2017, AFR, p34, by Michael Bleby) ‘Housing prices in Sydney and Melbourne have been pushed to the “upper stretch” of their historical growth rate and will fall back moderately, a new report by KPMG Economics says.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access, or try:

21 June 2017 (AFR) – Watch out Warren Buffett, value investing is dead

(21 June 2017, AFR, p32, by Philip Baker ) ‘Warren Buffett, and all the armchair Warren Buffetts out there, you’ve been warned. There is so much change going on in the world that value investing, as a strategy, is on its way out. Buying stocks with the lowest valuations is just not working. It’s a major reason why so … Continue reading

21 June 2017 (AFR) – Morgan Stanley sees ASX200 falling 10pc: how to trade an economic downturn

(21 June 2017, AFR, p31, by Myriam Robin) ‘The S&P/ASX200 will shed 10 per cent of its value over the next year, according to Morgan Stanley. But a falling market needn’t spell disaster. Morgan Stanley has one of the most bearish views of the Australian sharemarket, having significantly downgraded its 12-month index forecast earlier this month … Continue reading

21 June 2017 (AFR) – RBA escalates vigilance over the property market amid record debt

(21 June 2017, AFR, p2, by Jacob Greber) ‘The Reserve Bank of Australia is escalating its vigilance over the property market and record-high household debt, as its concerns over financial stability overshadow rising internal confidence that a recovery in the labour market is starting to gain strength. Policy makers spent time at their regular monthly … Continue reading

20 June 2017 (TheAge) – Moody’s downgrades Australian bank credit ratings

(20 June 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p20, by: Mathew Dunckley, Clancy Yeates) ‘Credit rating agency Moody’s has downgraded a dozen Australian banks, including the big four, citing increased risks in the nation’s increasingly indebted households. Moody’s stripped the big four banks – the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), National Australia Bank (NAB), … Continue reading

19 June 2017 (TheAge) – Last week for tax-loss selling before the July bounce

(19 June 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p18, Jessica Sier) ‘Tax loss selling has hammered some shares over the past two months, but the strategy is gearing up to have one last wash through the ASX this week. The popular strategy involves disposing of underperforming shares as well as crystallising a loss to offset any capital … Continue reading

19 June 2017 (AFR) – Robots are cashing in – for now; The machines taking over Wall Street

(19 June 2017, AFR, p28, by Philip Baker) ‘There was a time when what happened in the sharemarket had more to do with investor emotion than anything else. But not so much these days. The machines armed with making all the investment decisions these days don’t have any emotion, don’t get nervous and don’t worry … Continue reading

19 June 2017 (AFR) – Positive skew that exists in equity markets – Most sharemarket gains come from a very small subset of stocks

[COMMENT: There are two thoughts that come to mind here. Firstly, the investment period quoted below of 90 years is not relevant to many retail investors, and it is easy to cherry pick a start and end date for comparative purposes to suit the hypothesis. But secondly, and of more interest, is the notion that … Continue reading

17 June 2017 (AFR) – Exchange traded fund opportunities and risks

(17 June 2017, AFR, p29,  by Tony Featherstone) ‘Australia is a long way from having “biblical” exchange traded funds (ETFs), as the US does, that exclude companies that support lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender rights. But a rush of new ETFs in this market is creating controversy. Local issuers expect a massive conversion of investors … Continue reading

17 June 2017 (AFR) – ASX shakes off US tech rout to post strong week – strongest in two months

(17 June 2017, AFR, p35, by Jessica Sier) ‘Australian shares posted their strongest weekly advance in more than two months, ignoring selling pressure in the materials sector, a slumping oil price and a widespread distaste for technology stocks on Wall Street.  Healthcare stocks were the best performing over the shortened week, followed closely by real estate companies … Continue reading

16 June 2017 (AFR) – Why markets ignored the Fed hike – Falling inflation is the new concern for traders

(16 June 2017, AFR, p32, by Philip Baker) ‘It’s not often you get the US Federal Reserve hiking interest rates at the same time as predictions are made that Dow Jones can reach a new high-water mark. But that’s what’s happening now. The blue-chip index closed at a record high of 21,374 early on Thursday morning, … Continue reading

16 June 2017 (TheAge) – Record 44pc of fund managers say equities are overvalued: BoA Merrill Lynch

(16 June 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p25, Myriam Robin) ‘A record 44 per cent of global fund managers believe sharemarkets, particularly those in the US, to be overvalued after years of overstimulative monetary policy, according to a monthly Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey. In the note, titled “Fed up with Bubbles”, three quarters of … Continue reading

16 June 2017 (TheAge,SMH) – Superannuation deadline sees ‘huge inflow of cash into equities’, says Richard Coppleson

(16 June 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p25, Myriam Robin) ‘Voluntary contributions into superannuation funds doubled between April to May, and are so far having another strong month as investors race to beat a deadline on low-tax superannuation concessions, according to one of the country’s largest superannuation managers. Superannuation experts said there was no doubt this … Continue reading

15 June 2017 (AFR) – ASX surges for second day as investors beat super deadline

(15 June 2017, AFR, p28, Myriam Robin) ‘The ASX blew back above the 5800 mark on Wednesday, in its second day of strong performances, which one senior trader is attributing to investors cramming funds into superannuation accounts in a bid to avoid regulatory changes coming into effect on July 1. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index added … Continue reading

15 June 2017 (AFR) – Commodity prices likely to be softer, due to China

(15 June 2017, AFR, p40, by Alexandra Cain) ‘Mining commodity prices are expected to decline over the next 12 months, largely as a result of slowing demand from China. But supply dynamics in markets such as iron ore and oil will also play a role in moving prices. “Our negative outlook is driven by end-user … Continue reading

15 June 2017 (AFR) – China’s skyscraper age is likely coming to an end

(15 June 2017, AFR p37, by Adam Minter) ‘At more than  600 metres, Shanghai Tower is the world’s second-tallest building. It looms over its neighbours – the world’s ninth and 19th tallest buildings – in a super-cluster of super tall structures unlike any other in the world. The only problem? Finding people to work there: … Continue reading

15 June 2017 (AFR) – Either business or consumers are wrong on the economy

(15 June 2017, AFR, p30, by Philip Baker) ‘The combination of debt, a slowing economy and concerns about property prices topping out doesn’t seem to bother the business sector but it sure has spooked consumers. Not for the first time business is upbeat at the same time as consumers are anything but. One of them … Continue reading

15 June 2017 (AFR) – Credit Suisse sees eight ASX stocks activists should target

[COMMENT: The debate continues about active versus passive funds management. It seems as though there is something to be said for an active investor who remains nimble. But do note the details of the accompanying bar chart “Returns for different hedge fund styles (%pa)” (From 2005 till now, and Past 10 years) – with Activist, … Continue reading

15 June 2017 (AFR) – Macquarie goes ‘mystery shopping’ for mortgages – Major banks cut loan values for first-home buyers by up to 26pc

(15 June 2017, AFR, p19, by James Eyers) ‘A mortgage “mystery shopping” exercise by Macquarie has found banks are offering first-time home buyers in Sydney substantially lower loan amounts after tightening living expense assumptions and applying more conservative interest rate buffers. Members of analyst Victor German’s team at Macquarie posed as potential bank customers at…’ … Continue reading

15 June 2017 (AFR) – China’s economy holds up in May, but slower investment points to cooling

(15 June 2017, AFR, p12, by Kevin Yao and Elias Glenn) ‘China’s economy generally remained on solid footing in May, but tighter monetary policy, a cooling housing market and slowing investment reinforced views that it will gradually lose momentum in coming months.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access, or try:

15 June 2017 (TheAge,SMH) – Five charged over alleged $30 million cold call scam

[COMMENT: Very interesting story … a good warning for all of us…] (15 June 2107, The Age, BusinessDay, p23, Jorge Branco) ‘Five people have been charged over a cold calling scam that allegedly milked $30 million out of about 2000 victims across Australia. Queensland police raided a series of Gold Coast businesses on Wednesday, along … Continue reading

14 June 2017 (AFR) – Too late to invest in Europe’s recovery? – Bargain hunting harder as Europe moves to recovery mode

(14 June 2017, AFR, p28, by Steve Johnson) ‘…Evidence for a widespread economic recovery in Europe is becoming irrefutable. The first place to look is in the skies. Forager monitors more than 20 major European airports. The 13 airports that report in a timely fashion suggest the continent is booming. Passenger numbers over the first … Continue reading

14 June 2017 (AFR) – ASIC says four out of five managed funds aren’t compliant

(14 June 2017, AFR, p25, by James Frost) ‘Surveillance by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission found four out of every five fund managers failed some aspect of compliance in the regulator’s annual review of the sector. The operation involved 28 fund managers with $100 billion in assets under management and was conducted in 2016. … Continue reading

14 June 2017 (AFR) – Baby Bunting shares crunched by fear of Amazon

[COMMENT: Most technical analysts who might have been holding this stock in late 2016, would have spotted the downtrend in late 2016, which continued into 2017, and they most likely sold their position to lock in profits and preserve their capital. See the chart below.] (14 June 2017, AFR, p19, by Simon Evans) ‘In just … Continue reading

14 June 2017 (AFR) – NAB survey shows business conditions best since pre-GFC

(14 June 2017, AFR, p6, by Jacob Greber) ‘An influential survey – watched closely by the Reserve Bank of Australia – which showed businesses have just enjoyed the best month since the 2008 global financial crisis may be giving a more accurate reading of how the economy is doing than last week’s weather-blighted GDP report. … Continue reading

14 June 2017 (AFR) – SumoSalad ‘canary in the coalmine’ for shopping centre landlords

(14 June 2017, AFR, p3, by Matthew Cranston) ‘Food retailer Sumo Salad’s decision to withdraw up to 14 stores from Westfield shopping centres after failing to renegotiate leases is the “canary in the coal mine”, say tenant advocates who monitor Australia’s retailing scene. SumoSalad co-founder Luke Baylis on Tuesday told The Australian Financial Review the company … Continue reading