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20 Oct 2018 (AFR) – UK businesses despair as a no-deal Brexit looms, EU silent on contingency plans

(20 October 2018, AFR, p18, by Hans van Leeuwen) ‘Chaotic. Cliff-edge. Disastrous. Cataclysmic. Crashing out. Abyss. These are some of the words used in the past week to describe Britain leaving the European Union without a Brexit deal. They don’t exactly fill the onlooker with confidence. Does a no-deal Brexit sound alarming? In Brussels this … Continue reading

20 Oct 2018 (AFR) – China economic growth slips to weakest since GFC, demand ebbs as trade war bites

(20 October 2018, AFR, p12, by ​Kevin Yao and Elias Glenn) ‘Beijing | China’s economic growth cooled to its weakest pace since the global financial crisis in the third quarter, with regulators pledging further policy support as a years-long campaign to tackle debt risks and the trade war with the United States began to bite. … Continue reading

20 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Australia is one of the world’s wealthiest nations: Credit Suisse

(20 October 2018, AFR, p8, by: Julie-anne Sprague, Timothy Moore) ‘Australia has overtaken Switzerland to record the highest median wealth in the world, driven by high propert prices and large superannuation balances. For Aussies battling high petrol, energy and other living costs it may not feel like it but on average we are also the … Continue reading

20 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Property investor losses soar as market slumps, costs rise and sentiment sours

[COMMENT: What happened to those property spruikers who were saying that you can never lose on property investing, because it always increases in value?] (20 October 2018, AFR, p6, by Duncan Hughes) ‘An apartment glut, falling prices and slowing demand has almost tripled the number of off-the-plan Sydney apartments valued at less than  the purchase price, … Continue reading

20 Oct 2018 (AFR) – The Australian economy powers along while the political mood sours

(20 October 2018, AFR, p2, by Sarah Turner) ‘A highly indebted household sector and a turbulent political backdrop have failed to dent the Australian economy, which evidence suggests is powering along. A stunning drop in the unemployment rate to a six-year low of 5 per cent in September, revealed on Thursday, prompted economists to turn their … Continue reading

20 Oct 2018 (AFR) – ASX closes week higher despite global equities sell-off

(20 October 2018, AFR, p33, by William McInnes) ‘Australian shares closed the week higher on a mixed week of trading for the local sharemarket. The S&P/ASX 200 index closed the week 43.8 points, or 0.7 per cent, higher at 5939.5, while the broader All Ordinaries lifted 32.1 points to 6042.7. The financial sector recorded its best result in … Continue reading

19 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Global giants Uniqlo, H&M and online onslaught kills Roger David

(19 October 2018, AFR, p25, by Simon Evans) ‘The onslaught of international fast fashion retailers H&M and Uniqlo, fierce competition from online retailers and high rental costs for bricks and mortar outlets have forced budget menswear chain Roger David into administration after its owners were unable to find a last-ditch buyer.’ Read more at AFR.com (might … Continue reading

19 Oct 2018 (AFR) – AMP Capital cuts housing forecast, predicts 20pc decline in Sydney and Melbourne

(19 October 2018, AFR, p10, by Michael Bleby) ‘AMP Capital has cut its outlook for the housing market to predict a peak-to-trough decline of 20 per cent in Sydney and Melbourne. Persistently low auction clearance rates, along with tighter credit and the prospect of reduced negative gearing and capital gains tax deductions for property investors under … Continue reading

19 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Australian unemployment rate dives to 5pc – Hits ‘full employment’

(19 October 2018, AFR, p3, by Vesna Poljak) ‘The Australian economy will test the concept of “full employment” after arriving at a six-year low unemployment rate of 5 per cent – the level beyond which many economists believe, but cannot be certain, will translate to higher wage inflation. While only 5600 jobs were added in September, according to new figures … Continue reading

18 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Housing market soft for two more years due to tighter lending conditions

(18 October 2018, AFR, p42, by Su-Lin Tan) ‘The residential property market will remain soft for up to two more years as banks scramble to find clarity around the credit lending standards, residential experts said. While the market was now more “normal” after a five-year residential boom, the low-growth environment will be around for a while … Continue reading

18 Oct 2018 (AFR) – What next after $6b surge in M&A hits property sector?

(18 October 2018, AFR, p35, by Nick Lenaghan) ‘A $6 billion surge in corporate action has hit the listed property sector in the strongest signal yet, for some at least, that a correction is just around the corner. The transactions and mooted deals cover the gamut of real estate, from affordable housing and data centres … Continue reading

18 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Politics puts the skids under bull market

(18 October 2018, AFR, p31, by Martin Wolf) ‘Bull markets, it is said, climb a wall of worry. When the last worrier turns into a fully invested optimist, the market has nowhere to go but down. That might be what has just happened: so much optimism was already in the prices of financial assets — … Continue reading

18 Oct 2018 (AFR) – China may have $US5.8 trillion in hidden debt with ‘titanic’ risks, warns S&P

(18 October 2018, AFR, p16, by Eric Lam) ‘Hong Kong | China’s local governments may have accumulated 40 trillion yuan ($US5.8 trillion) of off-balance sheet debt, or even more, suggesting further defaults are in store, according to S&P Global Ratings. “The potential amount of debt is an iceberg with titanic credit risks,” S&P credit analysts … Continue reading

18 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Trump’s gamble may end ‘very badly indeed’ – Donald Trump is stomping the brakes and accelerator at the same time

(18 October 2018, AFR, p15, by Jacob Greber) ‘Washington | Already the great stock meltdown of early October 2018 looks to be a thing of the past – so last week! Wall Street is back in its happy mode, with the Dow Jones finishing up 547 points, or 2.2 per cent, on Tuesday afternoon (Wednesday … Continue reading

18 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Australian beef producers reach Brexit crunch point

(18 October 2018, AFR, p14, by Hans van Leeuwen) ‘London | Australian beef exporters have reached a Brexit crunch point, as they are forced to make commercial decisions on post-Brexit shipments without knowing how Britain and the European Union will carve up the tariff quotas they use to restrict imports. Beef producers need a lead … Continue reading

18 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Wages to ‘pick up gradually’: RBA

(18 October 2018, AFR, p9, by Patrick Commins) ‘A meaningful pick-up in wage growth looks set to remain elusive as economic growth over the next few years gradually reduces spare capacity in the labour market, deputy Reserve Bank governor Guy Debelle said. The labour market remains in “pretty good shape,” Mr Debelle said in a … Continue reading

17 Oct 2018 (AFR) – China tears down 250,000 houses in 3 years to build 15m new ones

(17 October 2018, AFR, p32, by Bloomberg News) ‘China has turned half a trillion dollars of central bank money into bricks and mortar, and there’s more to come. That transformation can be best seen in Heze, a “small” city of about nine million in the province of Shandong. There, local authorities have ripped down more than … Continue reading

17 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Sydney housing vacancy remains at 13-year high in September: SQM

(17 October 2018, AFR, p29, by Su-Lin Tan) ‘Sydney’s housing vacancy rate remains at its highest in 13 years in September, the latest SQM Research update shows. The update shows that 2.8 per cent of Sydney’s homes are vacant in September while at the same time last year, 1.9 per cent of homes were vacant.’ … Continue reading

17 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Spike in M and A another sign of ‘frothy’ markets

(17 October 2018, AFR, p24, by Elio D’Amato) ‘It’s been a great time to run a business, particularly one listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. A strong domestic and overseas economy, accommodative interest rates, easy access to capital, stable input costs and confident businesses and consumers have a gone a long way to fuelling the … Continue reading

17 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Top investors cautious about sharemarket outlook

[COMMENT: The headline says “Top investors cautious…”. I wonder if this sort of observation is relevant to the average retail investor? Or to the short term share market trader?] (17 October 2018, AFR, p23, by Stewart Oldfield) ‘Beyond the current bout of market volatility, some of the country’s most influential investors are growing more concerned … Continue reading

17 Oct 2018 (AFR) – New Zealand inflation jumps, NZ dollar follows

(17 October 2018, AFR, p9, by Sarah Turner) ‘New Zealand consumer inflation exceeded economist expectations in the third quarter, with the data triggering a jump in the New Zealand dollar. The consumer price index rose 0.9 per cent in the three months to the end of September, well above the 0.7 per cent increase that … Continue reading

16 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Ten reasons why the world economy will crash by 2020

(16 October 2018, AFR, p47, by Nouriel Roubini and Brunello Rosa) ‘As we mark the decennial of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, there are still ongoing debates about the causes and consequences of the financial crisis, and whether the lessons needed to prepare for the next one have been absorbed. But looking ahead, the more … Continue reading

16 Oct 2018 (AFR) – ASX hits six-month low as sell-off continues

(16 October 2018, AFR, p32, by William McInnes) ‘The Australian sharemarket faced another investor sell-off on Monday as the major banks pushed the ASX 200 to dip below 5800 points for the first time since April.  The market fell sharply inside the opening two hours of trading, hitting a low of 5796 just before midday before rallying … Continue reading

16 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Bridgewater warns that Fed could turn economy ‘from hot to mediocre’

(16 October 2018, AFR, p31, by Robin Wigglesworth) ‘New York | The US economy faces a looming deceleration as tighter monetary policy starts to weigh on activity and ratchets up pressure on financial markets, according to the world’s biggest hedge fund. Bob Prince, co-chief investment officer at Bridgewater, believes the recent market turmoil was triggered … Continue reading

16 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Trade war yet to scuttle shipping rates

(16 October 2018, AFR, p31, by The Lex Column) ‘President Donald Trump’s war of words with China is having an effect on its trade volumes — just not the way some might have expected. Container traffic across the Pacific has jumped. Ships are completely full. While that may not last, exports from south Asia may … Continue reading

16 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Buying a second-hand luxury jet is getting harder

[COMMENT: This could be one indication of the state of health of an economy – a greater demand for private luxury planes.] (16 October 2018, AFR, p30, by Thomas Black) ‘Buying a used business jet is getting harder – and that’s a sign of a long-awaited shift in the market for luxury planes. Only a dozen … Continue reading

16 Oct 2018 (AFR) – China’s market regulator meets investors in bid to soothe nerves

(16 October 2018, AFR, p13, by Michael Smith) ‘Shanghai | China’s stockmarket regulator has taken the unusual step of personally meeting investors in an attempt to soothe frayed nerves after the country’s equities markets fell to fresh four-year lows.  China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) chairman Liu Shiyiu met with institutional funds and retail investors over … Continue reading

16 Oct 2018 (AFR) – Relentless selling savages ASX tech stocks – Technology rout spearheads ASX slump

(16 October 2018, AFR, p1, by Vesna Poljak) ‘A return of savage selling for the market’s technology stocks has hit the high-flying sector and caused the value of Afterpay shares to fall more than 30 per cent, and Wisetech, Appen and Altium more than 20 per cent, from their August highs. The S&P/ASX 200 Index … Continue reading

15 Oct 2018 (AFR) – London slows down at the high end of town – Widest house price discounts in London’s affluent Kensington and Chelsea: UBS

(15 October 2018, AFR, p34, by Ingrid Fuary-Wagner) ‘Vendors of London’s most expensive properties in the most exclusive neighbourhoods are suffering most from the current downturn as house prices across the city fall at their fastest rate in almost a decade. London’s real estate market remains weak, with property prices in July recording their biggest annual decline … Continue reading

15 Oct 2018 (AFR) – JPMorgan’s Kolanovic says systematic selling in markets 70pc over

[COMMENT: Now I thought that we had heard a lot of bad advice coming out of the Hayne royal commission. I cannot beleive that “profressionals” are now telling us to “buy the dip” in the markets. Can they guarantee the market (and stocks) will not be falling further? Will they refund our losses if we … Continue reading

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