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31 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Engineering construction posts biggest quarterly gain on record in June quarter

(31 August 2017, AFR, p38, by Michael Bleby) ‘Engineering construction leaped 22 per cent – the biggest quarterly gain on record – in the three months to June, boosted possibly by Chevron’s monster Gorgon LNG project in Western Australia, but also by increasing civil infrastructure projects. The boost, which lifted the quarterly value of work … Continue reading

30 Aug 2017 (AFR) – HIA new home sales fall to four-year low in July: apartments drop 15.7pc from June

(30 August 2017, AFR, p7, by Michael Bleby) ‘New home sales fell to their lowest level in four years in July as apartment sales dropped almost 16 per cent, the Housing Industry Association said on Tuesday. Sales of new detached houses slipped from 5437 to 5416 – the lowest total since 5399 in July 2013 … Continue reading

30 Aug 2017 (TheAge) -Sites off to market as industrial cachet rises

(30 August 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p26, Nicole Lindsay) ‘German industrial giant Siemens and paint manufacturer Dulux are set to offload property into the hottest market since the global financial crisis. They are joining a wave of corporates looking for new high-quality space in cheaper digs who are keen to make the most of a … Continue reading

29 Aug 2017 (TheAge) – Two ways this is the best reporting season in years

(29 August 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p25, Patrick Commins) ‘Don’t believe what you read: in two important ways this has been the best reporting season in years. First off, share prices are moving higher. This fact should be getting a lot more attention, JP Morgan Aussie equity strategist Jason Steed argues. “The improving momentum of … Continue reading

28 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Members should be told if their super fund is under par

[COMMENT: Really? Some superannuation funds don’t perform? Well, that’s not very good…] (28 August 2017, AFR, p19, by Sally Patten) ‘Savers remaining in poor-performing superannuation funds for long periods is a key problem facing Australia’s $2.3 trillion retirement savings sector, says the country’s biggest industry super scheme, which argues that reducing the number of individuals … Continue reading

26 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Hackers hijack mobile phone numbers to steal virtual currency

(26 August 2017, AFR, p13, by Nathaniel Popper) ‘Hackers have discovered that one of the most central elements of online security – the mobile phone number – is also one of the easiest to steal. In a growing number of online attacks, hackers have been calling up Verizon, T-Mobile US, Sprint and AT&T and asking … Continue reading

26 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Bond issue highlights distortion – AMP’s bond issue plays into the dysfunction in bank capital structure

(26 August 2017, AFR, p31, by Christopher Joye) ‘Few investors understand the acute distortions manifesting across the rich and endlessly fascinating bank capital structure right now, which insinuates opportunities and threats. In short, senior bonds are cheap, offering “spreads” (or interest) above cash that are well wide of 2014 “tights”, while subordinated debt is expensive … Continue reading

26 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Pay Day – Why Transurban, Sydney Airport and Spark are dividend winners

(26 August 2017, AFR, p28, by Philip Baker) ‘Every reporting season investors worry about which company in their portfolio will take the knife to their payouts, but so far it’s been a dividend bonanza.’ ‘It’s not meant to be this way. When it comes to dividends it’s usually the banks, industrials and infrastructure stocks that … Continue reading

26 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Miners help prop up ASX amid profits rollercoaster

(26 August 2017, AFR, p33,by Sarah Turner and Patrick Commins) ‘Shares ended the week little changed, with some strong earning-related gains from Super Retail and Medibank capping off some dramatic moves in individual stocks over the five sessions. The S&P/ASX 200 index inched 2 points lower on Friday to 5744, which brought the week’s losses to 3 … Continue reading

25 Aug 2017 (TheAge) – David Jones blames belt-tightening as shoppers steer clear

(25 August 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p23, Patrick Hatch) ‘David Jones boss John Dixon says there is no end in sight to the weak consumer sentiment that has seen shoppers steer clear of his stores. Comparable sales at David Jones fell 0.7 per cent in the 12 months to June 30, compared to 7 per … Continue reading

25 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Risky GFC credit products hot again – Stirs memories of 2007

(25 August 2017, AFR, p29, by Philip Baker) ‘It’s just over two weeks since the 10th anniversary of the global credit crunch and ever since those BNP Paribas money market funds were frozen, there’s been talk of another one.’ <snipped…> ‘It’s been reported that so far in 2017, somewhere between $US20 billion and $US30 billion … Continue reading

25 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Why this October is shaping up to be even scarier than usual for markets

(25 August 2017, AFR, p28, by Karen Maley) ‘October has the reputation for being a particularly dangerous month for stocks. After all, the infamous “Black Thursday” of the 1929 Wall Street collapse happened on October 29, and the US sharemarket lost close to a quarter of its value on “Black Monday” – October 19, 1987. … Continue reading

25 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Conflict between Donald Trump and Congress escalates as difficult agenda looms

(25 August 2017, AFR, p11, by Mike DeBonis, Elise Viebeck and Damian Paletta) ‘The conflict between President Donald Trump and Congress escalated a day after he threatened to shut down the federal government over funding for a US-Mexico border wall and targeted opponents in Congress, aggravating tensions as a difficult legislative agenda looms. Trump is … Continue reading

24 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Wage growth is economy’s Achilles heel, warns Moody’s

(24 August 2017, AFR, p3, by Jacob Greber) ‘Australia’s combination of high household debt and weak wages growth is shaping up as the economy’s primary Achilles heel, according to Moody’s Investors Service latest update. While the agency reiterated its stable outlook for the federal government’s AAA credit rating, Moody’s warned that the slide in business … Continue reading

Short position reporting to ASIC

(23 August 2017) – Following up on a news story in today’s AFR about reporting of short positions (stocks that are sold short), for the investors and traders who are interested in seeing a list of shorted stocks, ASIC maintains a daily list of this information as reported to it by the sellers. (Thank you … Continue reading

22 Aug 2017 (AFR) – BlueScope Steel’s $1.7 billion rout adds to sharemarket pain

(22 August 2017, AFR, p1, by Simon Evans) ‘BlueScope Steel has become one of the highest profile victims of an increasingly downbeat profit reporting season, with $1.7 billion wiped from its market capitalisation after warning that the US division faced shrinking margins, while soaring energy costs and renewed dumping of products by Asian rivals would … Continue reading

21 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Reporting season needs a real kick along – Time for Qantas and BHP Billiton to step up to the plate

(21 August 2017, AFR, p20, by Philip Baker) ‘If the reporting season is going to be rescued from its current state of mediocrity, then companies that report this week and next are going to have to produce something that their corporate brethren have failed to do. That is, release some stunning results that will get … Continue reading

21 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Confidence falls as households miss out on profit recovery – Anxious households will weigh on business confidence: Citi

(21 August 2017, AFR, p6, by Jonathan Shapiro) ‘The surge in corporate profits is not trickling down to households in the form of higher wages as measures of business and consumer confidence move further in the opposite direction. Economists at Citigroup have called out a “worrying” trend as surveys of actual consumer conditions have slipped … Continue reading

21 Aug 2017 (AFR) – The era of crazy Chinese acquisitions is over as Beijing cracks down on offshore deals

(21 August 2017, AFR, p1, by: Angus Grigg, Lisa Murray) ‘The Chinese government has moved to halt “irrational” overseas investments by restricting purchases of real estate and entertainment assets, a decision which could dent demand for Australian assets. The move, designed to curb capital outflows and lessen downward pressure on the Chinese currency, also compels … Continue reading

21 Aug 2017 (TheAge) – China puts brakes on boom – New investment rules to curb China’s foreign acquisition binge

(21 August 2017, The Age, page 1, Kirsty Needham) ‘Beijing: The Chinese government has officially put the brakes on Chinese companies pouring big money into overseas property development, issuing rules likely to have a significant impact in Australia. China’s State Council, or cabinet, issued the first rules on overseas investment by Chinese companies on Friday.’ … Continue reading

19 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Dividend cuts, writedowns and downgrades drag down big profit week

(19 August 2017, AFR, p1, by Vesna Poljak) ‘A week of unexpectedly soft profit results has undermined high levels of business confidence in the economy and lowered expectations for overall earnings growth this year. Big misses from Telstra, which cut its dividend outlook, and Domino’s Pizza, which failed to meet its own guidance, were the … Continue reading

19 Aug 2017 (AFR) – ASX unsettled by Washington woes, claws into the black – helped by local firms

(19 August 2017, AFR, p33, by Jessica Sier) ‘Investors attention was dragged offshore on Friday as growing unease in global financial markets lifted following further political turmoil in Washington and after terrorists struck a crowded Barcelona street. After a week driven strongly by local company earnings, with the likes of Telstra dragging the bourse down and … Continue reading

19 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Only political intervention can solve China’s debt mess – China has to act quickly

(19 August 2017, AFR, p20, by Angus Grigg) ‘It was June 2009 when the International Monetary Fund noted the “extraordinary expansion” in bank lending across China. The fund called for Beijing to be “vigilant” in looking out for a rise in bad debts, while generally assuming the run-up in lending would slow or even stop … Continue reading

18 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Donald Trump dumped by big business CEOs

(18 August 2017, AFR, p13, by John Kehoe) ‘Australian Andrew Liveris, President Donald Trump’s top business adviser on manufacturing, over the years has told associates, “In Washington you’re either at the table, or on the menu”. But dozens of high-profile CEOs are abandoning the board table of Mr Trump, who Dow Chemical’s Mr Liveris once … Continue reading

18 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Inside the mass CEO defection from Donald Trump’s advisory boards

(18 August 2017, AFR, p36, David Gelles) ‘Corporate America’s influential leaders have turned their backs on the President.’ ‘On Monday, Indra Nooyi, the chief executive of Pepsi, picked up the phone and began calling other prominent corporate chieftains who – like her – had agreed to advise President Donald Trump. A rebellion was brewing. Along with … Continue reading

18 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Janet Yellen takes a huge political risk in chiding Donald Trump for policy ‘uncertainty’

(18 August 2017, AFR, p31, by Karen Maley) ‘The powerful and usually scrupulously apolitical US Federal Reserve has come out with unusually forthright criticism of the Trump administration’s failure to chart a clear economic course, at a time when US corporate bosses are scrambling to distance themselves from the US leader. As US President Donald … Continue reading

18 Aug 2017 (AFR) – ‘Stunning admission’: Federal Reserve admits inflation modelling needs a fix

(18 August 2017, AFR, p30, by Philip Baker) ‘If it’s true that the first step towards fixing a problem is admitting that you have one, then the US Federal Reserve is on its way to finding out why inflation is so low right now. As every economist knows, the Fed’s main job is to target inflation … Continue reading

18 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Donald Trump’s apologists have nowhere to hide

(18 August 2017, AFR, p29, by Edward Luce) ‘Who poses the most realistic threat to the US republic: Kim Jong Un or Donald Trump? In theory, it is obviously Mr Kim. Yet US democracy is within Mr Trump’s striking range at all times. By providing cover to homegrown neo-Nazis, America’s commander-in-chief is giving succour to … Continue reading

18 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Prominent China debt bear warns of $6.8trn in hidden losses

(18 August 2017, AFR, p29, by Gabriel Wildau) ‘One of the most influential analysts of China’s financial system believes that bad debt is $US6.8trn above official figures and warns that the government’s ability to enforce stability has allowed underlying problems to go unchecked. Charlene Chu built her reputation as China banking analyst at credit rating … Continue reading

18 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Japan exports up for eighth month in a row

(18 August 2017, AFR, p14, by Leika Kihara) ‘Japan’s exports rose for an eighth straight month in July on robust shipments to the United States and a boost from a weak yen, suggesting the economy is carrying strong momentum through to the second half of the year. The data underscores the Bank of Japan’s view … Continue reading