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31 July 2019 (AFR) – Building approvals slump to six-year low

(31 July 2019, AFR, p30, Michael Bleby, Senior Reporter) ‘New housing approvals slumped to a six-year low in the year to June as tighter curbs on lending and falling prices hit development activity and prompted economists to warn of risks to the wider economy and jobs from a sector that was likely to keep shrinking. … Continue reading

31 July 2019 (AFR) – The ASX’s long, long road to recovery

(31 July 2019, AFR, p27, William McInnes, Reporter) ‘It’s been a long road for the local sharemarket, but finally after 11½ years, it has delivered what some might have thought unthinkable just over a decade ago. On Friday March 6, 2009, the Australian sharemarket reached its lowest point since the global financial crisis struck. It … Continue reading

31 July 2019 (AFR) – Shares reclaim record high after 11-year wait – Profits season to test sharemarket’s record high

(31 July 2019, AFR, Vesna Poljak and William McInnes) ‘Interest rates drove the Australian sharemarket to a fresh record high on Tuesday, completing an 11-and-a-half year journey, but it will take improved corporate earnings to sustain prices at these levels. A 19.3 point, or 0.3 per cent, advance in the S&P/ASX 200 Index enabled the … Continue reading

31 July 2019 (TheAge) – Buyers beware as Australian sharemarket finally breaks records

(31 July 2019, The Age, Business, p31, Elizabeth Knight, Business columnist) ‘It’s taken 12 long years for the Australian stock market to recover from the punishing effects of the global financial crisis. The champagne set aside for the celebration is now vintage. The market has been flirting with a break-through for weeks and while the … Continue reading

31 July 2019 (TheAge) – Australian shares hit fresh highs, but risks to the rally remain

(31 July 2019, The Age, Business, p31, By David Scutt) ‘After years of underperforming other major equity markets – most noticeably those in the United States – Australian stocks have finally managed to hit fresh peaks. But it means investors face a difficult question: how long can this rally last? Tribeca Investment Partners portfolio manager … Continue reading

31 July 2019 (TheAge) – Sezzle sizzles: new buy now, pay later stock jumps 80% on first day

(31 July 2019, The Age, Business, p30, By Colin Kruger) ‘There’s more to life than Afterpay. Minneapolis-based Sezzle showed there is plenty of room for rivals in the ‘buy now, pay later’ sector, with a stunning ASX debut on Tuesday. The stock closed more than 80 per cent above its $1.22 IPO price after the … Continue reading

31 July 2019 (TheAge) – IPO performance: Redbubble shares soar 45 per cent after first operating profit

[COMMENT: This is a report on the performance of an earlier IPO. The shares might have soared in recent days, but the share price chart shows they have not our performed much since listing in 2016.] (31 July 2019, The Age, Business, p33, By Dominic Powell) ‘Shares in Redbubble surged 45 per cent as the … Continue reading

30 July 2019 (AFR) – Shrinking Chinese car market sparks fears over foreign groups’ future

(30 July 2019, AFR, p23, Tom Hancock, Wang Xueqiao and Qian’er Liu) ‘Shanghai/Shenzen | China’s shrinking car market is hitting foreign manufacturing groups hard, with some companies operating at a fraction of their potential output, sparking fears a number will be forced to quit the world’s biggest market. Ford and Peugeot owner PSA have suffered … Continue reading

29 July 2019 (AFR) – Building slowdown to hit bottom

(29 July 2019, AFR, p31, Nick Lenaghan, Property Editor) ‘New building starts are expected to hit a low in the 2019/20 year, pulled down by the slump in the residential market, before rebounding in the following financial year, according to BIS Oxford Economics. The real value of national building commencements – based on constant 2016/17 … Continue reading

29 July 2019 (AFR) – Buying ‘quality’ stocks is no silver bullet

[COMMENT: This is an interesting article for all of the investors who are interested in the discussions about ‘quality stocks’, or value versus growth investing.] (29 July 2019, AFR, p28, James Thomson) ‘If the Merlon research shows us nothing else it’s that lazy investment slogans – such as “always buy quality” – shouldn’t be followed … Continue reading

29 July 2019 (AFR) – Separating earnings sentiment from earnings reality

(29 July 2019, AFR, p21, Jun Bei Liu) <snipped…> ‘…With August reporting season now mere days away from commencing, the wave of recent earnings guidance downgrades will be telling. With actual earnings performances now tallied and awaiting release, will there be enough positive surprises to drive continued share price out-performance?’ Read more at (might … Continue reading

29 July 2019 (AFR) – Buoyant buyers boost property sales

(29 July 2019, AFR, p3, Duncan Hughes, Reporter) ‘Clearance rates for weekend auctions increased by up to 40 per cent compared to the same time last year as buyers continue to be buoyed by lower rates, improving sentiment and fear of missing out on lower prices. But the number of properties listed for sale remains … Continue reading

27 July 2019 (AFR) – Revealed: Superannuation’s top performers

[COMMENT: I don’t like to post references and articles like this one without adding some over-riding words of caution. The numbers can be readily juggled depending on the start date of the period under consideration. And, of course, past returns are no guarantee of future performance. It will be interesting to re-visit this study in … Continue reading

27 July 2019 (CNBC online) – S&P 500, Nasdaq notch another record close after strong earnings from Alphabet, Starbucks

(27 July 2019, CNBC online, Fred Imbert) ‘Stocks rose on Friday after strong earnings from tech giants like Alphabet and Intel and a better-than-expected GDP print pushed the S&P 500 to a new all-time high. The S&P 500 gained 0.7% to close at 3,025.86, posting a record high. The Nasdaq Composite also hit an all-time high, … Continue reading

27 July 2019 (Brainy) – ASX is, and isn’t, at all-time highs – How is it so?

COMMENT: I can’t help but feel the need to help explain why a lot of news in the last couple of days has proclaimed that the All Ordinaries (XAO) index has surpassed its all-time pre-GFC highs; but very little has been said about the S&P/ASX 200 (XJO) index of Top 200 stocks. The reason for … Continue reading

27 July 2019 (AFR) – ASX on track to pass 7000 ‘quite easily’

[COMMENT: The views expressed in this opinion piece are not necessarily those of this commentator – everyone is entitled to their own opinion. ALSO, note that even though the All Ordinaries index (XAO) has breached its all-time record high, the S&P/ASX 200 index (XJO) still has not – perhaps next week?] (27 July 2019, AFR, … Continue reading

27 July 2019 (AFR,NYTimes) – Alphabet Earnings: Profits Triple and Slump Worries Ease

(27 July 2019, AFR, p13, By Daisuke Wakabayashi, New York Times) ‘The slump at Google’s parent company, Alphabet, appears to have been brief. The company said on Thursday that profits in the most recent quarter had tripled from a year earlier. The strong results, which topped Wall Street expectations, should ease worries — provoked by … Continue reading

27 July 2019 (AFR) – Europe sweats in heat wave as mercury tops 38 degrees

(27 July 2019, AFR, p12, Nina Chestney and Susanna Twidale) ‘London | Soaring temperatures broke records in Germany, France, Britain and the Netherlands as a heatwave gripped Europe for the second time in a month, in what scientists said were becoming more frequent events as the planet heats up.’ Read more at (might need … Continue reading

27 July 2019 (AFR) – First flickers of FOMO as property market turns

(27 July 2019, AFR, p11, Nila Sweeney, Reporter) ‘Investors and first-home buyers are reporting the first flickers of FOMO as parts of the property market start to turn and buyers move to get in at the bottom. While average sale prices in Sydney and Melbourne have risen only modestly since sentiment began turning after the … Continue reading

27 July 2019 (AFR) – ANZ, CBA slash fixed rates – more coming

(27 July 2019, AFR, p11, Duncan Hughes) ‘Major lenders are slashing fixed rates by up to 96 basis points across their fixed rate range in a bid to grab-back lost market share as confidence grows the real estate market is beginning to improve.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access, or try:

27 July 2019 (AFR) – Dovish central banks fuel record-breaking week for shares

(27 July 2019, AFR, p33, William McInnes, Reporter) ‘The Australian sharemarket closed a record-breaking week broadly higher, despite a small slide on Friday, as expectations of further stimulus from the Reserve Bank of Australia fuelled equity prices. Local shares finally lifted above their eleven-and-a-half year post-global financial crisis slump, with the All Ordinaries trading at … Continue reading

26 July 2019 (AFR) – All Ords extends to record highs

(26 July 2019, AFR, p31, William McInnes, Reporter) ‘Australian shares continued to test record highs on Thursday as local investors took optimism from US earnings and a dovish tilt in a speech from RBA governor Philip Lowe. The S&P/ASX 200 Index added 42.3 points, or 0.6 per cent, to end the session at 6818, just … Continue reading

26 July 2019 (AFR) – RBA’s Lowe flags ‘extended period’ of low rates

(26 July 2019, AFR, p1, Patrick Commins, Columnist) ‘Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has said Australians should “expect an extended period of low interest rates” and offered a spirited defence of the the bank’s monetary policy regime, saying it remained “strongly committed” to achieving its inflation target. Speaking at the annual Australian Business Economists Anika … Continue reading

26 July 2019 (TheAge) – Big banks underline how peculiar this record-breaking market has become

(26 July 2019, The Age, Business, p22, Stephen Bartholomeusz) ‘The record levels at which the Australian sharemarket has traded this week only highlights the extent of the continuing disconnect between equity markets and real economies. In the US the market is up about 20 per cent this year despite faltering corporate earnings. The majority of … Continue reading

26 July 2019 (TheAge) – Paris scorches in historic drought as heatwave fries Europe

(26 July 2019, The Age, p16, By Megan Durisin and William Wilkes) ‘Paris: Europeans are cooling off in public fountains as a new heatwave breaks records and spreads across the continent. Belgium and Germany registered their highest-ever temperatures this week, while the Netherlands had its hottest day in 75 years. And the mercury is expected … Continue reading

26 July 2019 (TheAge) – Last time markets were this high, the GFC came next, so what’s coming now?

(26 July 2019, The Age, p8, By Malcolm Maiden) ‘The sharemarket’s new highs are a cause for nagging unease as much as confidence. This is, in part, because the previous record in November 2007 was set weeks before the market plunged into a crisis that pushed the entire financial system to the brink of collapse. … Continue reading

26 July 2019 (TheAge) – Share market hits all-time high – Iron ore, interest rates and banking relief – the ASX’s record cocktail

(26 July 2019, The Age, p1, By Clancy Yeates) ‘A cocktail of ultra-low interest rates, high iron ore prices and a stabilising housing market has pushed Australia’s sharemarket to a new record high, surpassing levels last seen before the carnage of the global financial crisis. The All Ordinaries index, which tracks the nation’s 500 biggest … Continue reading

25 July 2019 (AFR) – Demand for land plunges to a new low

(25 July 2019, AFR, p41, Nila Sweeney, Reporter) ‘Residential lot sales across Australia sank to a record low in the first three months of the year, dragged down by falling demand for new homes. Only 7236 lots were sold in the March quarter – almost 50 per cent below the average of the past decade … Continue reading

25 July 2019 (AFR) – Melbourne records first quarterly rise in house prices

(25 July 2019, AFR, p41, Ingrid Fuary-Wagner, Reporter) ‘Melbourne has recorded its first quarterly increase in house prices since the downturn started in 2017, with values growing by 0.3 per cent over the three months to June. Melbourne was also the only capital city where apartment prices increased over the quarter, by 2 per cent, … Continue reading

25 July 2019 (AFR) – Why there are no properties for sale

(25 July 2019, AFR, p41, Nila Sweeney, Reporter) ‘Home listings have fallen as much as 17 per cent in some suburbs across the state capitals over the past year as owners wait out the downturn, hoping to sell into a recovery. The data compiled by CoreLogic for The Australian Financial Review reveals the extent to … Continue reading