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31 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Trade war and earnings punish ASX

(31 August 2019, AFR, p33, William McInnes, Reporter) ‘A strong session on Friday wasn’t enough to offset steep losses earlier in August, as the Australian sharemarket finally recorded its first negative month of the year. The trade tensions and warnings of an economic downturn the market had been stubbornly ignoring for the first seven months … Continue reading

31 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Is the house price boom back? Prices are rising fast again in Sydney and Melbourne at an annualised pace north of 6 per cent, but the RBA has much more heavy lifting to do to get inflation up and the jobless rate down.

(31 August 2019, AFR, p29,  Christopher Joye, Columnist) ‘Prices are rising fast again in Sydney and Melbourne at an annualised pace north of 6 per cent, but the RBA has much more heavy lifting to do to get inflation up and the jobless rate down. Pity the perma-bears, because the great Aussie housing boom is … Continue reading

31 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Reporting season: Tensions relieved ahead of testing second half – The best and worst of reporting season

(31 August 2019, AFR, p23, Chanticleer, James Thomson) ‘It’s been a long, tense reporting season, so let’s celebrate the hits, misses and silliness of four big weeks. Thank God that’s over. The August reporting season is always exhausting for executives and investors, but there has been an extra layer of tension rippling through the 2019 … Continue reading

31 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Reporting season: ‘Pretty soft’ earnings raise red flags for 2020

(31 August 2019, AFR, p22, Sarah Turner, William McInnes and James Thomson) ‘Market analysts have lowered their earnings expectations for Australia’s top companies in 2019-20 after a largely unimpressive reporting season left fund managers cautious around the outlook and underlined that technology stocks are still the index’s top dogs.’ Read more at AFR.com (might need … Continue reading

31 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Harvey Norman chairman upbeat about consumer outlook

(31 August 2019, AFR, p22, Carrie LaFrenz, Senior Reporter) ‘Harvey Norman chairman Gerry Harvey says low unemployment, interest rates heading to zero and chatter about quantitative easing should all help consumer spending this new financial year in Australia. The nation’s largest white goods, homewares and furniture retailer said Australian franchisees had a strong start to … Continue reading

31 Aug 2019 (AFR) – New apartment approvals fall to seven-year low in July

(31 August 2019, AFR, p5, Michael Bleby, Senior Reporter) ‘New apartment approvals fell to their weakest monthly total in seven years in July, as developers held back applications for new projects at a time of depressed demand for off-the-plan apartments, pulling total new dwelling approvals down 9.7 per cent. The 19.6 per cent slump in … Continue reading

31 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Housing price dilemma for RBA

(31 August 2019, AFR, p4, John Kehoe, Senior Writer) ‘A new debt-fuelled house price bubble is at risk of reflating from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate cuts, as it tries to negate an anticipated slowdown in economic growth next week to the weakest pace since the global financial crisis.’ <snipped…> ‘The large Sydney … Continue reading

30 Aug 2019 (AFR,NYTimes) – With Brexit Gambit, Boris Johnson Reveals a Ruthless Side

(30 August 2019, AFR, p19, By Benjamin Mueller, New York Times) ‘LONDON — Boris Johnson hurtled to the top of British politics with an air of charm and disarrayed befuddlement. He slipped into Latin and Greek, changed sides when it suited his ambitions and oozed a mischievous bravado, as when he put his foot on … Continue reading

30 Aug 2019 (AFR) – New Italian coalition sidelines far-right party

(30 August 2019, AFR, p18, Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli) ‘Rome | After weeks of shifting alliances and political jockeying, Italy is close to minting a new governing coalition: a union of two long-adversarial parties aligned in their aim to thwart the far right’s rise to power.’ Read more at AFR.com (might need AFR login … Continue reading

30 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Argentina restructures foreign, IMF debt as peso tanks

(30 August 2019, AFR, p18, Eliana Raszewski and Hugh Bronstein) ‘Buenos Aires | Argentina will negotiate with holders of its sovereign bonds and the International Monetary Fund to extend the maturities of its debt obligations as a way of ensuring the country’s ability to pay, Treasury Minister Hernan Lacunza said on Thursday (AEST). At a … Continue reading

30 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Business investment falls, outlook flat

(30 August 2019, AFR, p5, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Business is unlikely to increase their investment spending this financial year after a disappointing June quarter for capital expenditure forced economists to predict economic growth will be just 1.5 per cent – the slowest since financial year 2009. ABS figures released on Thursday showed actual business … Continue reading

30 Aug 2019 (AFR) – ASX: Earnings-driven rally pushes ASX higher

(30 August 2019, AFR, p36, William McInnes and Elouise Fowler) ‘A late rally pushed the sharemarket higher for a third straight session on Thursday, extending its recovery from Monday’s sell-off. Despite a lack of news on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 1 per cent during Wednesday’s trade, with the S&P 500 … Continue reading

30 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Judge paves way for Trans-Tasman court over broker collapse

[COMMENT: What happens when our stock broker goes belly up?] (30 August 2019, AFR, p39, Michael Pelly, Legal Affairs Editor) ‘Federal Court judge Jacqueline Gleeson has paved the way for a historic joint sitting of New Zealand and Australian courts to handle the liquidation of a stockbroker. Justice Gleeson said the bid to sort through … Continue reading

29 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Sydney, Melbourne ‘set for double-digit growth’

(29 August 2019, AFR, p33, Nila Sweeney, Reporter) ‘Sydney and Melbourne are on course to achieve double-digit residential price growth as early as next year, even without the boost of another rate cut, an analyst predicts. The growth momentum that has been building in both cities since May’s federal election is accelerating, says Louis Christopher, … Continue reading

29 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Apartment sales enjoy ‘modest increase’

(29 August 2019, AFR, p32, Bo Seo, Reporter) ‘Apartment sales increased to 9 per cent of available stock in the second quarter of 2019, up from 7 per cent in the previous quarter, according to an Urbis survey. Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane led the uptick in sales, respectively clearing 8, 12 and 13 per cent … Continue reading

29 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Commercial property returns slump to nine-year low

(29 August 2019, AFR, p31, Su-Lin Tan, Reporter) ‘Commercial property returns have been hit by weakness in the retail real estate sector, falling to 8.3 per cent in the past year, the lowest result since 2010. The Property Council/MSCI Australia Annual Property Index tracks performances of more than 1500 assets held in both listed and … Continue reading

29 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Rise in vacant offices for sub-lease a sign of things to come?

(29 August 2019, AFR, p31, Ingrid Fuary-Wagner, Reporter) ‘Excess office space available for sub-lease in Sydney’s CBD has hit a near five-year high, prompting concerns that the business conditions are softening and economic headwinds are emerging.’ Read more at AFR.com (might need AFR login access, or try: AFR.com/trial)

29 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Home building shrinks, economists cut GDP forecasts

(29 August 2019, AFR, p3, Michael Bleby, Senior Reporter) ‘Australia’s economic outlook has deteriorated further, with official figures showing home-building contracted at its fastest pace in almost 19 years in the June quarter and engineering construction work continued to shrink as infrastructure spending failed to offset weaker housing. Economists at JP Morgan on Wednesday cut … Continue reading

29 Aug 2019 (TheAge) – We spin like Trump, but we can’t fast-talk our way out of recession

(29 August 2019, The Age, p21, John Hewson) ‘If Australia drifts into recession in the next 12 months it will be due to two main factors – Donald Trump and benign policy neglect from our governments. I would put the probability at over 50 per cent. Trump and our own leaders, Prime Minister Scott Morrison … Continue reading

29 Aug 2019 (TheAge) – Construction hits recession territory in threat to national economy

(29 August 2019, The Age, p9, By Shane Wright and Eryk Bagshaw) ‘The residential construction sector is facing its deepest contraction since the GST was introduced, dragging down the overall economy amid warnings that fast-tracking national infrastructure has now become urgent. The Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday revealed overall construction across the economy fell … Continue reading

29 Aug 2019 (TheAge) – A ‘hard landing’ for China could put 550,000 Australian jobs at risk

(29 August 2019, The Age, p1, By Eryk Bagshaw and Shane Wright) ‘The Chinese economy risks hurtling towards a “hard landing” that could threaten more than half a million Australian jobs. The China Matters forum, backed by mining giant Rio Tinto, Australian National University and Star Casino, will present research next week that warns a … Continue reading

28 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Spate of earth tremors rattles British fracking company Cuadrilla

(28 August 2019, AFR, p14, Hans van Leeuwen, Europe correspondent) ‘London | Cuadrilla Resources, the Britain-based shale gas explorer half-owned by ASX-listed mining services company AJ Lucas, has been hit by a series of increasingly large earth tremors, threatening to revive the public concern over fracking that kept Cuadrilla off the site for seven years.’ … Continue reading

27 Aug 2019 (AFR) – ASX loses $27b as trade war escalates

[COMMENT: Beware of scary headlines!! This often happens. Our share market loses billions of dollars of value in one day, and the daily news reports make it that it’s a really big deal. But take a look at my price chart herewith. The fall on Monday brought the market down but the index is still … Continue reading

27 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Transport boom to stay stronger for longer

(27 August 2019, AFR, p16, Jenny Wiggins, Infrastructure Reporter) ‘Project delays and labour shortages have pushed out the forecast peak of the transport infrastructure boom by 12 months to 2022-23, says a new forecast from Macromonitor. “It looks like the boom is going to be a bit more protracted than we previously thought,” said Nigel … Continue reading

27 Aug 2019 (AFR) – China’s yuan slumps to 11-year low, stocks fall on trade war tensions

(27 August 2019, AFR, p12, John Ruwitch, Winni Zhou and Noah Sin) ‘Shanghai/Hong Kong | China’s yuan slumped to a fresh 11-year low against the US dollar on Monday and stocks fell as the Sino-US trade war sharply escalated, threatening to inflict more damage on the world’s largest economies and weigh further on global growth. … Continue reading

27 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Battered Hong Kong faces economic recession, existential crisis

(27 August 2019, AFR, p11, Noah Sin and Lukas Job) ‘Hong Kong | As one of the world’s most important trade and business hubs, Hong Kong was always going to struggle this year because of the escalating US-China tariff war. But after three months of anti-government protests, the semi-autonomous Chinese city, a shopper’s paradise and … Continue reading

27 Aug 2019 (AFR) – APRA’s game-changing intervention in super

(27 August 2019, AFR, p9, Joanna Mather, Superannuation writer) ‘The prudential regulator will intervene to settle a quarrel over the extent to which unlisted property and infrastructure can be counted alongside bonds and cash as “defensive” assets. The practice of classifying unlisted assets as partially defensive – rather than wholly growth – is contentious, having … Continue reading

26 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Home building to fall 20pc below recent peak

(26 August 2019, AFR, p33, Michael Bleby, Senior Reporter) ‘New home building will slow by about 20 per cent from its recent boom-time average as tighter credit rules dampen appetite for apartments and standalone homes, the Housing Industry Association says.’ Read more at AFR.com (might need AFR login access, or try: AFR.com/trial)

26 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Soy, corn futures slide following fresh round of China tariffs

(26 August 2019, AFR, p22, Julie Ingwersen) ‘US corn futures hit a three-month low and soybeans neared a three-week bottom after China said it would impose additional tariffs on US products including grains and soy, escalating the trade war between the world’s top two economies. On the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), soybean futures posted … Continue reading

26 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Resources resurgence pushing costs up

(26 August 2019, AFR, p18, Liam Walsh, Reporter) ‘During the resources slump several years ago, mining contractor Mastermyne might have dug out as little as 25 kilometres of underground coal roads annually. But the Mackay-based outfit cut out 65 kilometres in a record for its roadway production in the past year. It’s another example of … Continue reading

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