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16 June 2018 (AFR) – ASX has best performance in 11 months as Telstra recovers

(16 June 2018, AFR, p33, by William McInnes) ‘The Australian market has closed the week higher on Friday as the index recorded its biggest advance in a single session since July last year. The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 48.8 points or 0.8 per cent, for the week to 6094, with Friday’s session making up most of the … Continue reading

16 June 2018 (TheGuardian) – Trump announces $50bn in China tariffs, escalating possibility of trade war

(16 June 2018, The Guardian online,Dominic Rushe in New York,@dominicru, Sat 16 Jun 2018 01.05 AEST First published on Fri 15 Jun 2018 22.20 AEST) US-China trade tensions escalate as Trump approves $50bn of tariffs – business live President tells Fox News he is ‘very strongly clamping down’ China says it will impose tariffs of … Continue reading

16 June 2018 (AFR) – President Donald Trump set to approve $67b in tariffs on Chinese goods

(16 June 2018, AFR, p13, by Justin Sink) ‘Donald Trump is set to announce tariffs on Chinese goods worth about $US50 billion ($67 billion), ratcheting up a confrontation on trade that is likely to prompt retaliation from Beijing. The Trump administration is preparing to release on Friday (Saturday AEST) a refined list of Chinese products to be hit with tariffs … Continue reading

15 June 2018 (AFR) – US bond yields indicate recession as interest rates rise

(15 June 2018, AFR, p31, by William McInnes) ‘A US recession could occur within the next two years according to former US bond trader Charlie Jamieson, who says the flattening of the bond yield curve is a signpost of possible trouble ahead. Speaking on a panel on global macro at Livewire Live 2018, Mr Jamieson, … Continue reading

15 June 2018 (AFR) – China shows signs of losing steam as PBOC pauses after Fed hike – China holds amid ‘rotten’ growth figures and looming trade war

(15 June 2018, AFR, p29, by Bloomberg) ‘China’s central bank held off from immediately raising borrowing costs following the US Federal Reserve, a decision that came just as economic data for May showed that the economy is losing steam. With the prospect of fresh US tariffs on Chinese exports approaching, the world’s second-largest economy is already slowing … Continue reading

15 June 2018 (AFR) – US economy is ‘great’ again, Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell says

(15 June 2018, AFR, p29, by John Kehoe) ‘A bullish US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell has declared the American economy is in “great shape”, as the central bank positioned for a slightly faster pace of interest rate rises over the next two years. The Trump-Republican tax cuts and government spending would “significantly support” economic … Continue reading

15 June 2018 (AFR) – Australia, US rates gap widens as Fed hikes

(15 June 2018, AFR, p28, by Vesna Poljak) ‘The market’s growing confidence that the Reserve Bank of Australia will keep interest rates on hold for close to another year opens up a widening gap between US and Australian rates that is being mirrored in advanced economies around the world. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for … Continue reading

15 June 2018 (AFR) – This is why (US) productivity growth has slowed so much

(15 June 2018, AFR, p27, by Martin Wolf) ‘We live in an age judged to be one of exciting technological change, but our national accounts tell us that productivity is almost stagnant. Is the slowdown or the innovation an illusion? If not, what might explain the puzzle? The slowdown, if true, matters. As Paul Krugman, … Continue reading

15 June 2018 (AFR) – US fundraising for special purpose acquisition vehicles (spacs) hits record this year

(15 June 2018, AFR, p27, by Nicole Bullock) ‘Special purpose acquisition vehicles (spacs) are hitting the US market at the fastest rate on record, attracting the likes of Goldman Sachs and hedge fund investor Daniel Loeb for the two largest such deals in 2018. Spacs have raised $US4.5bn so far in 2018, the largest amount … Continue reading

15 June 2018 (AFR) – Jobless rate ‘supertanker’ heads lower despite capacity concern

(15 June 2018, AFR, p4, by Jacob Greber) ‘Growing evidence of skill shortages and the equal-lowest jobless rate in almost 5½ years is stoking speculation the labour market is gradually absorbing the spare capacity blamed for weak wages growth. The unemployment rate recorded the biggest fall in two years in May, down 0.2 percentage points … Continue reading

15 June 2018 (AFR) – How the big Aussie banks are feeling the Fed squeeze

(15 June 2018, AFR, p1, by Karen Maley) ‘Australian banks are being squeezed by higher borrowing costs as the US Federal Reserve accelerates its interest rate hikes and drains liquidity from global financial markets while the Hayne royal commission makes it difficult for them to raise home loan rates. The woes of the local banks … Continue reading

14 June 2018 (AFR) – Why it’s easier to sell at $20m than at $2m – As top-end sales slow, Peninsula Sotheby’s swallows Melbourne master franchise

(14 June 2018, AFR, p37, by Michael Bleby) ‘Realtor Sotheby’s Mornington Peninsula franchise is about to swallow its Melbourne-based parent as consolidation starts in the top-end Victorian residential market.  Peninsula Sotheby’s International Realty principal Rob Curtain is understood to be close to purchasing Melbourne Sotheby’s International Realty and wants to reboot the business, which owns the state rights to the Sotheby’s name. The … Continue reading

14 June 2018 (AFR) – Metro Property’s discounts leftover Brisbane apartments

(14 June 2018, AFR, p33, by Su-Lin Tan) ‘Real estate agents are offering 20 per cent discounts on apartment sales at four of Brisbane-based developer Metro Property Development’s Brisbane CBD projects as the apartment market continues to face headwinds.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access, or try:

14 June 2018 (AFR) – Sydney’s housing bubble deflates as loans revisit GFC declines

(14 June 2018, AFR, p31, by Michael Heath and Garfield Reynolds) ‘Australia’s east-coast property bubble is showing signs of deflating at a faster clip as home-lending data recorded the longest losing streak in almost a decade. Housing finance fell 1.4 per cent in April, the fifth straight monthly drop and the longest stretch of declines … Continue reading

14 June 2018 (AFR) – Owners of failing (US) malls ‘on their knees’ as buyers disappear

(14 June 2018, AFR, p31, by Sarah Mulholland) ‘Landlords have malls they’d like to unload. But who’d want to buy them? As they battle the rise of e-commerce, US mall owners are trying to clear their books of fading centres so they can focus on the most profitable ones. That’s proving difficult, with just a … Continue reading

14 June 2018 (AFR) – Is an Australian financial crisis on the cards?

(14 June 2018, AFR, p27, by Patrick Commins) ‘Household leverage may have peaked, house prices are falling, and credit conditions are tightening. The combination of the three should have all of us asking: what next? The question is crucial because Australia is one of the few economies to have increased its debt burden since the … Continue reading

14 June 2018 (AFR) – ECB on course to begin QE exit plan despite headwinds

(14 June 2018, AFR, p25, by Claire Jones) ‘The European Central Bank looks set to brush aside concerns about stiffening economic headwinds and begin discussions about how to wind down its €2.4tn bond-buying programme this week. ECB officials have long hinted that they would use the summer to lay out plans to end quantitative easing. … Continue reading

14 June 2018 (AFR) – Property falls ‘manageable’ says RBA’s Lowe

(14 June 2018, AFR, p3, by: Jacob Greber, Ben Potter) ‘Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe has downplayed concerns over falling property prices, saying they are still 40 per cent higher in Sydney and Melbourne than they were just a few years ago. “As long as it’s not a very large decline – it’s manageable,” Dr … Continue reading

13 June 2018 (AFR) – Queensland Budget 2018: Jackie Trad leaves a burden for future Queenslanders

(13 June 2018, AFR, p4, by Mark Ludlow) ‘It’s official. Queensland has given up on paying back its debt – either in the short, medium or long-term.Mirroring the same decision taken by federal Treasurer Scott Morrison and escalating Commonwealth debt, Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad has banked on the average Queenslander not giving a stuff about … Continue reading

13 June 2018 (AFR) – Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un map out peace plan at historic summit

(13 June 2018, AFR, p1, by Michael Smith) ‘Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un have committed to end the nuclear stand-off on the Korean Peninsula after signing a four-point plan in which North Korea commits to “complete denuclearisation” in exchange for US security guarantees following a historic meeting between the two leaders.’ Read more at … Continue reading

13 June 2018 (TheAge) – Investor lending dips to two-year low as property market slows

(13 June 2018, The Age, p12, Clancy Yeates) ‘New lending to property investors has fallen to its lowest level in over two years, as banks run the ruler over prospective borrowers more carefully and house prices fall in Australia’s two biggest cities. Official figures on Tuesday showed the value of new loan approvals to investors … Continue reading

12 June 2018 (AFR) – Argentina’s underlying problem is weak investment

(12 June 2018, AFR, p29, by The Lex Column) ‘A flamboyant president presides over Argentina. The country has abundant natural resources but never enough private savings for investment. Radical economic measures are needed. That was back in 1989 and Carlos Menem’s time in office did not go well. This week, the IMF agreed a $US50bn … Continue reading

12 June 2018 (AFR) – Farmers face soaring feed costs as grain stocks drain away

(12 June 2018, AFR, p9, by Brad Thompson) ‘Farmer confidence has slumped to alarmingly low levels in Australia on the back of dry conditions, but a specialist rural lender says the sector is investing to counter the impact of drought. A survey of 1000 farmers shows confidence has withered to its lowest level in five … Continue reading

12 June 2018 (AFR) – Melbourne no. 1 on Housing Industry Association’s top 20 building growth areas

(12 June 2018, AFR, p3, by Su-Lin Tan) ‘Melbourne’s population boom, rising infrastructure projects and a growing services sector has put the Victorian capital city at the top of the Housing Industry Association’s latest list of top 20 building growth areas. Twelve out of the top 20 areas in the latest “Hotspots Report” are in … Continue reading

9 June 2018 (AFR) – Why this fundie (Dion Hershan) is a bull on the economy

(9 June 2018, AFR, p48, by Chanticlee) ‘If there was ever a time to be optimistic about the outlook for the Australian economy, then it was surely this week. The biggest jump in GDP in seven quarters. The 16th trade surplus in 18 months. Data showing a surge in  corporate bond issuance. The good news just kept … Continue reading

9 June 2018 (AFR) – Top-end property price falls could more than double, CoreLogic warns

(9 June 2018, AFR, p4, by Duncan Hughes) ‘Property owners in the nation’s most prestigious inner-suburbs should brace for even bigger price falls as the real estate market continues to slow, costs rise and demand weakens, according to analysis by CoreLogic.  Recent market dips of up to 9 per cent in the price of multi-million dollar properties … Continue reading

9 June 2018 (AFR) – ASX: Gains for the first week in four

(9 June 2018, AFR, p33, by William McInnes) ‘The Australian sharemarket has recorded its first weekly gain in four weeks on Friday, as Italy’s easing political tensions brought more stability to global markets.  The S&P/ASX 200 closed 54.8 points, or 0.9 per cent, higher for the week at 6045.2, as multiple stocks hit all-time highs and … Continue reading

6 June 2018 (AFR) – Brisbane apartment prices have fallen more than 20 per cent, says Corelogic data

(6 June 2018, AFR, p30, by Su-Lin Tan ) ‘Brisbane apartments and Sydney units in the north-west corridor have suffered the greatest decline in values since their peak, data from Corelogic shows. Re-sale prices of apartments in the north of the Brisbane CBD, Moreton Bay, Logan and Ipswich have dropped more than 20 per cent … Continue reading

8 June 2018 (AFR) – Narrower trade surplus sustains optimism around growth

(8 June 2018, AFR, p29, by Vesna Poljak) ‘The robust health of the external sector has been underscored by a 16th trade surplus in 18 months, picking up where better-than-expected first-quarter growth left off. Australia’s economy recorded a $977 million surplus in April, close to the $1 billion result the market was looking for. The trade report … Continue reading

8 June 2018 (AFR) – Surge in borrowing a sign of business confidence – RBA bond market analysis shows how non-mining investment is picking up the slack

(8 June 2018, AFR, p7, by Jacob Greber) ‘Non-resources companies are raising more money from bond markets than at any time since the turn of the century, a strong signal the investment surge that boosted this week’s national accounts is set to continue, Reserve Bank of Australia analysis shows. In a sign of growing confidence … Continue reading