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30 March 2019 (AFR) – ASX: Optimism returns, but ASX fails to recover from $20b sell-off

(30 March 2019, AFR, p33, William McInnes) ‘Australian shares weren’t able to recover from Monday’s $20 billion sell-off, ending the week lower as the major banks weighed. The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed the week 14.5 points, or 0.2 per cent, lower at 6180.7, while the broader All Ordinaries fell 19.2 points, or 0.3 per cent, … Continue reading

30 March 2019 (AFR) – ASX enjoys best quarter since 2009

[COMMENT: Great news item with lovely headline; but when we look at the “bigger picture” in the chart I have included, we can see that in this quarter the index almost recovered the ground lost in the previous quarter – it ALMOST recovered the lost ground. And the index is still below the highs of … Continue reading

29 March 2019 (AFR) – Australian bond yields at fresh record low

(29 March 2019, AFR, p31, Vesna Poljak) ‘Australian 10-year bond yields have hit a fresh record low of 1.73 per cent, and half a percentage point of interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank is now fully priced in by the futures market, which sees the cash rate at 1 per cent in August 2020. … Continue reading

29 March 2019 (AFR) – Consumers confused over financial advice: ASIC

[COMMENT: This is a very interesting article. When we stop and think about it, it’s no wonder that general consumers are confused about the terminology in this field. the regulators have put this wording in place without taking enough time and care to make sure that consumers understand it.] (29 March 2019, AFR, p20, James … Continue reading

29 March 2019 (AFR) – The great ‘Brexican’ standoff: UK can’t move forward, can’t go back

(29 March 2019, AFR, p15, Hans van Leeuwen) ‘London | More than 1000 days have passed since the Brexit referendum in June 2016. There are just 15 days to the new Brexit deadline of April 12. It simply beggars belief that Britain’s politicians could still be at the stage of scribbling ideas on butcher’s paper, … Continue reading

29 March 2019 (AFR) – Brexit crisis reaches new depths as all roads out blocked

(29 March 2019, AFR, p15, Hans van Leeuwen) ‘London | Britain sank even deeper into the Brexit mire on Thursday as British Prime Minister Theresa May looked set to fail in a third attempt to pass her beleaguered exit deal – despite a desperate pledge to quit if eurosceptic Conservatives backed it – while MPs … Continue reading

29 March 2019 (AFR) – This is what’s really going on with Australian coal exports

(29 March 2019, AFR, p14, Michael Smith) ‘Shanghai | The mixed messages around China’s appetite for Australian coal has rattled Canberra, wiped billions of dollars off mining stocks and raised some uncomfortable questions about our economic dependency on China’s slowing economy. Imports are clearly falling as China ramps up environmental checks, and holds up shipments … Continue reading

29 March 2019 (AFR) – Personal wealth plunges by $10,000, the most since 2011

(29 March 2019, p9, John Kehoe) ‘Australians have suffered their largest losses in household wealth since 2011 due to falling house prices and a share market plunge late last year. New official figures have quantified that $257 billion was wiped from personal net worth in the December quarter, an average of $10,198 per person. Declining … Continue reading

29 March 2019 (AFR) – Jobs vacancies still rising, but at a slower pace

(29 March 2019, AFR, p6, Matthew Cranston) ‘Job vacancies have grown 9.2 per cent in the year to February but the rate of growth has slowed considerably in the last three months. Job vacancies were up only 1.4 per cent in the quarter to the end of February in seasonally-adjusted terms, with construction, manufacturing and … Continue reading

29 March 2019 (TheAge,SMH) – Barometer of fear: Manic bond investors send a chilling signal

(29 March 2019, The Age, Business, p26, By Stephen Bartholomeusz) ‘If any indication was needed to highlight the extent to which the global markets and economic environment have changed over the past six months, it came in the form of a German government bond issue on Wednesday. The Germans issued €2.4 billion ($3.8 billion) of … Continue reading

29 Mar 2019 (TheAge,SMH) – ‘Murderous risks’: All of a sudden, the ‘R’ word is back on our lips

(29 Mar 2019, The Age, Business, p31, By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard) ‘The benefit of Donald Trump’s $US1 trillion ($1.4 trillion) fiscal stimulus is fading before China comes close to touching bottom. We have hit a global vacuum. If semiconductor sales are the canary in the coal mine for the world economy, be careful. Korean shipments fell … Continue reading

28 March 2019 (AFR) – Residential construction falls in Sydney, but Melbourne booms

(28 March 2019, AFR, p33, Michael Bleby) ‘Apartment building has dropped to its lowest level in four years in Sydney, the country’s biggest builder of units, even as infrastructure and commercial work expands to keep overall construction activity at an unprecedented high level, RLB’s latest count of cranes across the country’s skylines shows. While weaker … Continue reading

28 March 2019 (AFR) – Darwin house prices slump to 2007 levels

(28 March 2019, AFR, p32, Ingrid Fuary-Wagner) ‘Property prices in Darwin are now back to the same level they were in 2007, with anyone who bought a home in the Northern Territory capital in the last 12 years potentially out of the money. An exclusive analysis by CoreLogic for The Australian Financial Review shows a … Continue reading

28 March 2019 (AFR) – Sydney, Melbourne greenfield housing lot supplies fall off the cliff

(28 March 2019, AFR, p31, Su-Lin Tan) ‘The supply of greenfield housing lots on Australia’s east coast in 2018 has fallen to five-year lows matching the constricting supply of new apartments as new-home construction continues to crunch down amid poor demand and curbed mortgage lending, UDIA’s latest State of the Land report shows. Between 2017 … Continue reading

28 March 2019 (AFR) – China’s industrial profits tumble as economy slows

(28 March 2019, AFR, p13, Michael Smith) ‘Shanghai | Profit growth at China’s large industrial companies fell sharply in the first two months of the year, in the latest sign that the world’s second-largest economy is slowing as it edges closer to securing a trade deal with the United States. Industrial profits, a measure of earnings for … Continue reading

27 March 2019 (AFR,Bloomberg) – ‘Dead Malls’ Will Soon Be a Fixture in France, UBS Predicts

(27 March 2019, AFR, p36, by: Sam Unsted and Albertina Torsoli) ‘UBS Group AG analysts are sticking by a prediction that a fifth of shops in French shopping centers will be empty by 2023. Vacancies in French malls have reached 11.2 percent and are on a pace to meet…’ Read more at

26 March 2019 (AFR) – Inflation expectations dive, sending chills through market

(26 March 2019, AFR, p14, Vesna Poljak and Patrick Commins) ‘Australian expectations of inflation have dived to a record low, drifting further from the Reserve Bank’s inflation target and casting doubts over the ability of monetary policy to rescue price growth to the level desired for the past 25 years. The sharp drop in long-term … Continue reading

26 March 2019 (AFR) – Bond markets warn investors winter is coming

(26 March 2019, AFR, p31, Patrick Commins) ‘The bond market is flashing a warning signal that investors ignore at their own peril. Just after midnight on Friday evening,  the gap between 10-year and three-month rates in the US turned negative. The spread fell as far as -3 basis points (or 0.03 percentage points) before bouncing around … Continue reading

26 March 2019 (AFR) – Record low yields stoke fears

(26 March 2019, AFR, p1, Vesna Poljak, Sarah Turner and Patrick Commins) ‘Australia’s 10-year bond rate has tumbled to a historic low 1.76 per cent, swept up in a firestorm of fears around slowing global growth, and expectations the Reserve Bank will be unable to resist cutting interest rates. Sinking bank stocks caused the sharemarket … Continue reading

26 March 2019 (TheAge) – ASX loses $20.5b in horror session

(26 March 2019, The Age, Business, p29, By William McInnes) ‘Australian shares fell to their second-worst session this year, as global concerns over economic growth and the potential of a US recession weighed on local investor sentiment, wiping $20.5 billion from the ASX boards.’ Read more at

26 March 2019 (TheAge) – ‘Flashing amber’: stocks tumble as bond markets sound US recession warning

(26 March 2019, The Age, Business, p29, By Swati Pandey) ‘Investors around the region ditched shares on Monday and fled to the safety of bonds while the Japanese yen hovered near a six-week high as risk assets fell out of favour on growing fears about a US recession, sending global yields plunging. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 … Continue reading

26 March 2019 (TheAge) – The world is slowing down at an alarming speed

(26 March 2019, The Age, Business, p24, By Stephen Bartholomeusz) ‘The manufacturing industry data from the US and Eurozone late last week confirms the view that the global economy is slowing at a disconcerting rate and appears to show the reversal of the US Federal Reserve Board’s monetary policies this year is warranted. While the … Continue reading

25 March 2019 (AFR) – Investors await $10b windfall amid market sell-off

(25 March 2019, AFR, p23, William McInnes) ‘More than $10 billion is set to hit investors’ back pockets this week as Australian companies pay out a record level of dividends to their investors. Eighty-eight companies will return money to their shareholders this week, the biggest week in a bumper two months for dividend-hungry shareholders.’ Read more … Continue reading

25 March 2019 (AFR) – Finally a stock rout you can’t totally blame on Jerome Powell

(25 March 2019, AFR, p23, Sarah Ponczek and Vildana Hajric) ‘Two days after central bank policy makers became more dovish than anyone thought possible just a few months ago, stocks just notched their worst day in 11 weeks. Could it be that the economy is becoming a bigger concern for investors than Jerome Powell? It … Continue reading

25 March 2019 (AFR) – Japan braces for financial disruption when Akihito abdicates

(25 March 2019, AFR, p21, Robin Harding) ‘Tokyo | Japan’s banks and brokers are bracing for foreign exchange volatility, a surge in demand for cash and millennium bug-scale computer problems when the nation takes an unprecedented 10-day holiday to mark the abdication of Emperor Akihito. Regulators are pushing banks to make urgent preparations so the … Continue reading

25 March 2019 (AFR) – ASX set for nose-dive on renewed US recession fears

(25 March 2019, AFR, p1, William McInnes) ‘Renewed fears of a global economic slowdown, which sparked a savage global sell-off on Friday, are expected to push Australian shares to one of their worst days this year on Monday. Disappointing data prints suggesting more sluggish manufacturing conditions in both the United States and Germany cast doubt … Continue reading

23 March 2019 (WSJ) – Stocks, Bond Yields Fall Amid Anxiety Over World Economy

(23 March 2019 EST, Wall Street Journal online, by Akane Otani and Georgi Kantchev) ‘Global stocks and bond yields slumped Friday as weak manufacturing data deepened investors’ anxiety about the health of the world economy.’ Read more at

23 March 2019 (AFR) – US stocks fall amid hints of slowing growth

(23 March 2019, AFR online, Vildana Hajric and Sarah Ponczek) ‘New York | US equities ended the week lower and Treasuries rose amid more signals that global growth is slowing. The US dollar advanced against most major currencies, while the three-month/10-year yield curve inverted for the first time since 2007. Despite a dovish turn by … Continue reading

23 March 2019 (AFR) – ASX advances on dovish Fed

(23 March 2019, AFR, p33, William McInnes) ‘Australian shares closed a mixed week higher on Friday, as a firm rebound on the final day of trading offset a nervous start to the week. The S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 20 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 6195.2 for the week while the broader All Ordinaries advanced … Continue reading

23 March 2019 (AFR) – ASX rallies as Fed spurs Wall St

(23 March 2019, AFR, p23, Vesna Poljak) ‘The bull market is back on track after Wall Street decided the US Federal Reserve’s decision to remove all expectations of interest rate hikes in 2019 is positive for shares, setting off a rally in Australian stocks on Friday. Investors now turn to two critical catalysts for shares … Continue reading