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31 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – ASX snaps seven session winning streak as investors brace for Fed decision

(31 October 2019, The Age, Business, p27, By David Scutt) ‘The longest rally in Australian shares in over two years came to abrupt end on Wednesday as reduced rate cut bets from the RBA, uncertainty over progress in US-China trade negotiations and caution ahead of several key central bank and economic data events combined to … Continue reading

31 Oct 2019 (TheAge,NYTimes) – Rising Seas Will Erase More Cities by 2050, New Research Shows

(31 October 2019, The Age, p17, By Denise Lu and Christopher Flavelle) ‘Rising seas could affect three times more people by 2050 than previously thought, according to new research, threatening to all but erase some of the world’s great coastal cities. The authors of a paper published Tuesday developed a more accurate way of calculating … Continue reading

31 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – Outer suburbs lead Melbourne property sales freefall

(31 October 2019, The Age, p2, By Noel Towell) ‘Property sales across Victoria slumped by nearly 10 per cent in the past year, with some outer suburbs seeing a 25 per cent freefall in sales. The latest State Revenue Office stamp duty numbers show just over 201,000 properties changed hands in Victoria in 2018-2019, down … Continue reading

31 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Brexit: Boris heads into battle for Britain – Will the next phase in Brexit Odyssey be Boris’s Trafalgar?

(31 October 2019, AFR, p52, Mark Landler) ‘LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, in the boldest gamble of his high-wire political career, won backing on Tuesday to hold a general election on December 12, throwing back to the British people the bedevilling issue of how, or even if, their country should leave the … Continue reading

31 Oct 2019 (AFR) – (CPI growth) Markets say rate cut cycle might be over

(31 October 2019, AFR, p32,  Patrick Commins, Columnist) ‘Any small chance of a Melbourne Cup day rate cut disappeared on Wednesday morning after inflation data for the September quarter showed no nasty surprises. If anything, markets and economists had been leaning towards a weaker than expected consumer price index print. Instead, headline CPI growth over … Continue reading

31 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Brexit: British MPs approve December 12 election

(31 October 2019, AFR, p16, Hans van Leeuwen, Europe correspondent) ‘London | Britain will go to the polls for a dark and wintry pre-Christmas election on December 12, in the hope of breaking the parliament’s Brexit deadlock before the next EU-imposed deadline on January 31. After resisting Mr Johnson’s election push for almost two months, … Continue reading

30 Oct 2019 (AFR) – City of Melbourne apartment completions lowest in six years

(30 October 2019, AFR, p36, Larry Schlesinger, Reporter) ‘Amid concerns about a looming undersupply of new dwellings to meet demand from population growth, apartment completions in the City of Melbourne this year are expected to fall to their lowest level since 2013. Advisory firm Urban Property Australia forecast fewer than 4000 apartments to be added … Continue reading

30 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Brexit: Business groups warn against fresh Brexit delays

(30 October 2019, AFR, p27, Daniel Thomas, Jonathan Eley and James Blitz) ‘London | UK business leaders have expressed relief that a no-deal Brexit on October 31 had been averted but they warned that fresh delay over Britain’s departure from the EU risked further denting companies’ investment plans. Some business lobby groups voiced frustration at … Continue reading

30 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – ASX misses milestone after stumble in final minutes

(30 October 2019, The Age, Business, p31, By Lucy Battersby and David Scutt) ‘Hopes that the Australian market might mimic Wall Street’s historical high and close at its own eight-week record on Tuesday were dashed in the final minutes as the index stumbled in the last 20 minutes of trading. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 fell … Continue reading

30 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – The ‘not so bad’ alarm: Wall Street hits a record but remains vulnerable

(30 October 2019, The Age, Business, p23, Stephen Bartholomeusz) ‘The US sharemarket hit another record on Monday. The obvious question is why? The answer might appear somewhat convoluted. The market isn’t being driven by good news but by the bad news not being quite as bad as once feared. That’s a suspect underpinning for a … Continue reading

29 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Dubai faces an overbuilding ‘disaster’

(29 October 2019, AFR, p40, Zainab Fattah and Yousef Gamal El-Din) ‘Dubai needs to halt all new home construction for one or two years to avert an economic disaster brought on by continued oversupply, according to one of its biggest builders. “We’re entering a crossroads now,” Damac Properties PJSC Chairman Hussain Sajwani said in a … Continue reading

29 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Venture capitalists say fears of tech wreck are unfounded – Tech investors warn against rushing for the exits

(29 October 2019, AFR, p23, Paul Smith and Natasha Gillezeau) ‘Leading Australian technology venture capitalists and company founders have warned investors to ignore bearish commentary about high-growth firms being overvalued, saying there is no tech bubble and that companies must be judged individually.’ Read more at AFR.com (might need AFR login access, or try: AFR.com/trial)

29 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Sims scrap metal woes worsen

(29 October 2019, AFR, p20, Simon Evans, Senior Reporter) ‘Sims Metal Management’s shares plunged on Monday after the scrap metal group warned it could slide to a loss of up to $30 million in the first half because of a collapse in ferrous scrap prices. Sims chief executive Alistair Field said margins and volumes were … Continue reading

29 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Argentina’s Peronists sweep back into power as Macri is ousted

(29 October 2019, AFR, p10, Nioclas Misculin and Adam Jourdan) ‘Buenos Aires | Argentina’s Peronists swept back into power on Sunday (Monday AEDT), ousting conservative president Mauricio Macri in an election result that shifts Latin America’s No. 3 economy firmly back toward the left after it was battered by economic crisis. Peronist Alberto Fernandez had … Continue reading

28 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Cropping land prices outperform all other types of farmland

(28 October 2019, AFR, p33, Larry Schlesinger, Reporter) ‘Amid the crippling drought that is devastating many farming families, the value of prime farmland used to grow crops has been increasing at close to double-digit annual rates over the past five years, outperforming all other types of farmland. A new Rabobank report shows prices for dryland … Continue reading

28 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Victoria cements status as best performing economy

{COMMENT: Here is a sign of economic growth.] (28 October 2019, AFR, p4, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Western Australia was the best performing economy for 12 quarters in a row during the mining investment boom, and NSW took the mantle from 2014 to mid last year. But now there is a new champion on the … Continue reading

26 Oct 2019 (AFR) – ASX ends the week 1.6pc shy of record high

(26 October 2019, AFR, p33, William McInnes, Reporter) ‘Australian shares climbed higher this week, moving within 110 points of their record high as sentiment improved following the positive Brexit developments and some earnings surprises in the US. The S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 89.5 points, or 1.3 per cent, to 6739.2 this week, the first time … Continue reading

25 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Cranes the sign of a healthy CBD economy

(25 October 2019, AFR, p36, Michael Bleby and Ingrid Fuary-Wagner) ‘To understand why new office buildings are going up like mushrooms in Australia’s two largest cities, follow the numbers. Over the five years to 2018, the GDP of inner-city Sydney CBD grew at an average annual rate of 3.8 per cent.  The economy of the … Continue reading

25 Oct 2019 (AFR) – The Opal Tower effect: Sydney high-rise site sales crash 50 per cent

(25 October 2019, AFR, p34, Larry Schlesinger, Reporter) ‘Amid funding difficulties, concerns over combustible cladding and construction defects and weaker consumer demand for new apartments, sales of residential development sites plummeted 38 per cent to $5.1 billion in the 2019 financial year. The slump – from $8.25 billion of sales recorded in fiscal 2018 – … Continue reading

25 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Protests rage in Chile despite President’s reform promise

(25 October 2019, AFR, p16, Eva Vergara) ‘Santiago | Tens of thousands of protesters swarmed Chile’s capital, setting up fiery barricades and clashing with riot police on Thursday (AEDT), as an apology and promises of economic reform from President Sebastian Piñera failed to calm unrest and rioting that has led to at least 18 deaths. … Continue reading

25 Oct 2019 (AFR) – US manufacturing gauge contracts for first time in three years

(25 October 2019, AFR, p14, Reade Pickert) ‘Washington | A key US factory gauge unexpectedly contracted for the first time since 2016, boosting expectations for interest-rate cuts as global manufacturing woes deepen. The Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers index fell to 49.1 in August, weaker than all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists. … Continue reading

25 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Which European city is winning the race to poach business from London?

(25 October 2019, AFR, p14, Hans van Leeuwen, Europe correspondent) ‘London | Dublin has emerged as the clear winner among the European cities looking to lure Brexit-hit financial services companies from London. A count by the London-based think tank New Financial found that of the 332 financial institutions getting ready for Brexit by moving business, … Continue reading

25 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Small business bounces in September quarter

(25 October 2019, AFR, p9, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Business conditions for small- and medium-sized enterprises bounced back in the third quarter with improvements in employment, profitability and trading conditions, according to the latest NAB survey. The survey index increased 8 points, more than reversing the fall in the June quarter when economic growth also … Continue reading

25 Oct 2019 (AFR) – IPO performance: Ten years on the Myer float still rankles

(25 October 2019, AFR, p8, Sue Mitchell, Senior Reporter) ‘Why are some shareholders willing to forgive and forget when companies fail to achieve profit guidance, while other shareholders take them to court to recover losses? In the case of Myer, shareholders are still rankled over the circumstances behind the department store chain’s $2.3 billion initial … Continue reading

25 Oct 2019 (AFR) – 60pc of directors expect the economy to get worse

(25 October 2019, AFR, p6, John Kehoe, Senior Writer) ‘More than half of company directors expect the economy to deteriorate next year, prompting board members to call for the Morrison government to bring forward tax cuts and infrastructure spending to boost economic activity. Directors said global economic uncertainty, China’s uncertain economic outlook and low productivity … Continue reading

25 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Business backs away from Hong Kong

(25 October 2019, AFR, p2,  Jennifer Hewett, Columnist) ‘The protest movement in Hong Kong may have badly embarrassed Beijing and further undermined the image of Chinese President Xi Jinping. But it won’t succeed in its aim of evading China’s uncompromising assertion of its authority – sooner or later. What the protesters have clearly achieved, however, is … Continue reading

25 Oct 2019 AFR) – Don’t crash for me Argentina

(25 October 2019, AFR Review supplement, p1, Michael Stott and Benedict Mander) ‘The victor of this Sunday’s election in Argentina will inherit one of the world’s most unenviable economic messes. Inflation is running at 55 per cent a year, the economy is in a deep recession, poverty is rising, billions of dollars have fled the … Continue reading

25 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – Energy sector drives ASX higher as AGM season ramps up

(25 October 2019, The Age, Business, p25, By David Scutt) ‘Australian shares posted modest gains on Thursday, supported by strength in energy and consumer discretionary stocks. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index added 20.5 points, or 0.3 per cent, to close at a fresh one-week high of 6693.6. Despite registering a gain, the index had been … Continue reading

24 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Magnesite floors may be a bigger problem than cladding

(24 October 2019, AFR, p42, Nila Sweeney, Reporter) ‘As governments and the building industry focus on managing combustible cladding issues, another crisis is looming over the use of a flooring material known as magnesite, experts warn. Potentially affecting tens of thousands of apartments built from 1960 through to the 1980s, the little-known magnesite-related defects are … Continue reading

24 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Foreign cash flood into commercial hits record $20b

(24 October 2019, AFR, p26, Ingrid Fuary-Wagner, Reporter) ‘The inflow of foreign capital into commercial property hit a record $20 billion in the year to September, and is likely to continue on a similar trajectory as overseas investors seek attractive yields and find relative value with a low dollar. Foreign investment activity over the year … Continue reading