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28 Feb 2019 (AFR) – The Melbourne suburbs where property prices fell most in 2018

(28 February 2019, AFR, p33, Ingrid Fuary-Wagner) ‘Two trendy neighbouring suburbs close to Melbourne’s CBD were the biggest victims of the property market downturn in 2018, with house prices in both suburbs falling almost 20 per cent over the year. ‘ Read more (and see the graph of Unit price falls) at AFR.com (might need … Continue reading

28 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Unpaid $19,000 debt pushes Forise’s Gold Coast Spirit tower to brink of collapse

(28 February 2019, AFR, p31, Su-Lin Tan) ‘Chinese conglomerate Forise’s Australian company, which oversees the $1.2 billion Gold Coast luxury tower Spirit, has come close to collapsing after creditor WorkCover Queensland sought an application to wind up the company in pursuit of a workers’ compensation debt.’ <snipped…> ‘The latest imbroglio is one of many for … Continue reading

28 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Theresa May’s Brexit ‘Plan C’ pulls Britain back from no-deal cliff edge

(28 February 2019, AFR, p12, Hans van Leeuwen) ‘London | British Prime Minister Theresa May has thrown open the prospect of delaying Brexit by up to three months in a bid to avoid crashing out of the European Union without a deal on March 29. Late on Tuesday (AEDT) she told MPs that although she … Continue reading

28 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Construction slips as apartment, infrastructure work declines in December

(28 February 2019, AFR, p3, Michael Bleby and Matthew Cranston) ‘Weaker-than-expected construction figures – as declining housing and engineering work offset a non-residential pick-up – have clouded the outlook for fourth-quarter GDP growth next week. Quarterly construction work fell to a seasonally adjusted $51.1 billion from $52.7 billion in the September quarter, making for the … Continue reading

28 Feb 2019 (TheAge) – Signs of economic slowdown as construction drops off

(28 February 2019, The Age, p13, by Shane Wright) ‘Scott Morrison is facing an increasingly soft economy in the run-up to his pre-election budget, with signs government spending on infrastructure is failing to offset a sharp drop in housing construction across the nation. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed construction work done in … Continue reading

27 Feb 2019 (TheAge) – Mid-year crunch as land defaults rise

(27 February 2019, The Age, Business, p28, by Simon Johanson) ‘Buyer defaults in some of Australia’s vast city-fringe housing estates are expected to rise sharply in the middle of the year as a combination of timing, tighter bank lending standards and falling values cause a settlement crunch.’ <snipped…> ‘Developers are bracing for a surge in … Continue reading

27 Feb 2019 (TheAge,SMH) – Top-10 tips for not losing money in the share market

(27 February 2019, The Age, MONEY supplement, p2, by Marcus Padley) ‘You don’t have to be a genius to work out that if only we could avoid the losses, we would all be winners. The first rule of making money in the share market is not to lose it. So here are my top-10 tips … Continue reading

27 Feb 2019 (AFR) – The big problem for Bill Shorten in Treasury’s changing assumptions

(27 February 2019, AFR, p9, John Kehoe) ‘The economy’s persistent under shooting on wages and productivity is putting Treasury’s budget and economic forecasting framework under pressure ahead of the federal election. Treasury secretary Philip Gaetjens revealed last week at a Senate hearing that the government’s chief economic adviser was reviewing its forecasting methodologies.’ Read more … Continue reading

27 Feb 2019 (AFR) – No ‘magic wands’, Productivity Commission boss says

(27 February 2019, AFR, p9, Matthew Cranston and John Kehoe) ‘Productivity Commission chairman Michael Brennan has warned the political class there are no “magic wands” to fix disappointing productivity growth, after the International Monetary Fund tipped real national income per capita to average lacklustre growth of just 0.3 per cent growth a year through to … Continue reading

27 Feb 2019 (AFR) – ‘No fad’: Global capital flees thermal coal projects

(27 February 2019, AFR, p6, Mark Ludlow) ‘More than 100 global financial institutions over the past six years have announced they will no longer invest in thermal coal – a move that is likely to leave future coal projects as “stranded assets”, according to a new report. With a focus on the future of coal … Continue reading

27 Feb 2019 (AFR) – How commodity price action can help investors cut through the noise

(27 February 2019, AFR, p23, Michael McCarthy) ‘Many investors are surprised that key resource stocks BHP and Rio Tinto are trading at or near their highest share prices since the global financial crisis (GFC). Both individual and institutional investors are generally underweight in these stocks. The prevailing market narrative has Europe on the verge of … Continue reading

27 Feb 2019 (AFR) – ‘Getting ridiculous’: Sydney drivers are sick of tolls, Transurban

(27 February 2019, AFR, p36, Jenny Wiggins) ‘…So when Transurban released years of detailed data that it had previously kept private, showing where cars and trucks are entering and exiting its Sydney roads every 15 minutes (it had previously only released quarterly traffic data), number crunchers rejoiced.’ <snipped…> ‘Analysts are unsure whether the softening is … Continue reading

27 Feb 2019 (AFR) – 18 reasons why property prices will fall further

(27 February 2019, AFR, p28, Su-Lin Tan) ‘The housing market has taken a turn for the worse moving deeper into the decline of a debt-financed asset bubble, possibly driving house prices to fall by as much as 25 per cent in 2019 on nominal terms, according to housing bear and analyst LF Economics. The group … Continue reading

27 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Wall St surge puts even the bulls on notice

(27 February 2019, AFR, p25, Timothy Moore) ‘Enthusiasm has lifted the S&P 500 so far and so fast — nearly 20 per cent from its Christmas Eve low — that even bulls are starting to wave red flags. In a morning note, Morgan Stanley US chief equity strategist Michael Wilson said the surge in equity … Continue reading

27 Feb 2019 (AFR) – ASX falls to its worst session in eight weeks

(27 Feb 2019, AFR, p24, William McInnes) ‘The Australian sharemarket recorded its biggest percentage loss in eight weeks on Tuesday as the major miners fell and index heavyweights traded ex-dividend. The S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 57.9 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 6128.4 while the broader All Ordinaries closed 54.6 points, or 0.9 per cent, … Continue reading

26 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Debt-clogged world close to tipping point of recession

(26 February 2019, AFR, p45, by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard) ‘The risk of global recession has suddenly jumped several notches, as the accumulated damage from Donald Trump’s trade wars and worldwide monetary tightening is taking a bigger toll than hoped. A mounting weight of evidence suggests we are one shock away from a contractionary vortex that would … Continue reading

26 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Melbourne land defaults only at 6 per cent, says Wolfdene

(26 February 2019, AFR, p38, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘One of Melbourne’s largest private land developers, Wolfdene, has recorded a three-fold spike in housing lot defaults, but nowhere near the 20-25 per cent fallover rate cited recently by Financial Review Rich Lister Nigel Satterley. Wolfdene on Monday reported a settlement rate of…’ Read more at AFR.com (might … Continue reading

26 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Societe Generale’s Albert Edwards says markets are ‘stoned on free money’

(26 February 2019, AFR, p33, by Timothy Moore) ‘For Societe Generale’s uber-bear Albert Edwards, investors are “stoned on free money” and as a result, they’ve become numb to what he sees as the signs of an approaching recession. What triggered Mr Edwards’ latest concerns is the United States Federal Reserve’s response to the US stockmarket’s … Continue reading

26 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Boral CEO says Australian housing market drop won’t be too deep

(26 February 2019, AFR, p20, by Simon Evans) ‘Boral chief executive Mike Kane says there is no danger the downturn in Australia’s housing market will be the worst in its history, predicting it will end up a “modest decline”. Mr Kane said on Monday it was likely housing starts would drop a further 15 per … Continue reading

26 Feb 2019 (TheAge) – Appen rockets on ‘mega trend’ of artificial intelligence

(26 February 2019, The Age, Business, p27, by Cara Waters and Lucy Battersby) ‘Shares in the search and language dataset company Appen rocketed on Monday on the back of its full-year results driven by the “mega trend” of artificial intelligence. Appen’s revenue increased 120 per cent to $364 million and underlying post-tax profit increased 148 per … Continue reading

26 Feb 2019 (TheAge) – Former AFL player loses $160m as GetSwift sinks on legal action

(26 February 2019, The Age, Business, p27, by Colin Kruger) ‘GetSwift shares tested record lows as the market reacted to Friday’s late news that the company and two of its executives, Bane Hunter and former Melbourne Football Club player Joel Macdonald, had been sued by the corporate regulator. GetSwift said it would vigorously defend itself against … Continue reading

26 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Labor’s negative gearing changes deter new home buyers, poll finds

(26 February 2019, AFR, p3, by Matthew Cranston) ‘Investors are more likely to ditch their plans to invest in new homes if Labor introduces its crackdown on negative gearing and capital gains tax breaks, according to a new poll. The poll of more than 1000 people, taken by Newgate and commissioned by the Property Council … Continue reading

26 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Weak incomes for years to come, International Monetary Fund warns

(26 February 2019, AFR, p1, by John Kehoe) ‘Real incomes are poised to barely grow over the next six years and living standards are destined for a slowdown, unless a wave of major economic reforms and technology innovation by business can unleash a productivity boom like in the 1990s. The International Monetary Fund has projected … Continue reading

25 Feb 2019 (AFR) – MST Marquee says dividends will hit a record $84 billion in 2018-19

(25 February 2019, AFR, p21, by Sarah Turner) ‘Commodity producers and companies with excess franking credits will help push total dividend payouts to a record $84 billion this financial year, but the figure may prove hard to beat in the future.’ <snipped…> ‘ The ASX rose to a four month-plus high on Friday after a … Continue reading

25 Feb 2019 (AFR) – China’s iron ore posts weekly loss, Brazil seeks arrest of Vale executive

(25 February 2019, AFR, p20, by Enrico Dela Cruz) ‘Manila | China’s benchmark iron ore futures ticked higher in volatile trade on Friday, but posted their first weekly loss this year as demand for the steel-making raw material remained weak, despite concerns over supply. The most-active iron ore contract, for May delivery, on the Dalian … Continue reading

25 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Kraft Heinz shares dive 27 pc and shake confidence across the sector

(25 February 2019, AFR, p19, by Alistair Gray and Leila Abboud) ‘Shares in Kraft Heinz dived 27 per cent on Friday as Wall Street reacted with alarm to a “disastrous” update in which the company took a $US15 billion writedown and disclosed it was the subject of a probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission … Continue reading

25 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Nearmap soars as US growth takes flight

(25 February 2019, AFR, p15, by Yolanda Redrup) ‘Impressed by aerial imaging company Nearmap’s ability to make headway in the sizeable US market, investors have pushed the company’s shares up 70 per cent already this year. The company, which was trading at $2.55 on Friday, soared past the $1 billion market cap milestone this month … Continue reading

25 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Transurban data dump confirms fears of Sydney traffic slowdown, says Macquarie

(25 February 2019, AFR, p15, by Jenny Wiggins) ‘The release of detailed traffic data for Transurban’s NSW tollroads for the first time shows growth is weakening across its roads, contributing to fears the state’s economy is softening, analysts say.’ <snipped…> ‘Macquarie’s analysis found that traffic growth through mainline gantries in Sydney’s Lane Cove Tunnel is … Continue reading

25 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Australia hostage to China’s confusing coal diplomacy

(25 February 2019, AFR, p8, by Michael Smith) ‘Shanghai | Diplomats were scrambling around the clock over the weekend to get some answers from China about the restrictions that have been imposed on Australia’s coal. To say there has been frustration at senior levels of the Australian government about the controls, which sparked panic on … Continue reading

25 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Drought pushes cattle prices lower despite Queensland stock wipe out

(25 February 2019, AFR, p7, by Brad Thompson) ‘Cattle prices are heading towards a four-year low and abattoirs working overtime despite the massive stock wipe out from floods in north-west Queensland. The low prices and high slaughter rates on the east coast come as drought-affected station owners and farmers in much of Queensland, NSW and … Continue reading