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12 Oct 2019 (WSJ) – Stocks Climb on U.S.-China Trade Talk Progress

(12 October 2019 (AEST), Wall Street Journal online, By Gunjan Banerji) ‘U.S. stocks soared Friday on progress in the trade talks between the U.S. and China, helping the S&P 500 break a three-week losing streak. Major stock indexes jumped as President Trump offered an upbeat assessment of trade talks and the U.S. said it had … Continue reading

12 Oct 2019 (AFR) – US recession risks ease, global risk intensifies

(12 October 2019, AFR, p32,  William McInnes) ‘Market-based measures of the risk of a US recession faded this week, but global indicators are painting a bleaker picture of the rest of the world, supporting the inference that the Germany economy is already in recession. Morgan Stanley’s recession indicator, which calculates the probability the US economy … Continue reading

12 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Military leaders have seen this before – it ended in the Iraq War

(12 October 2019, AFR, p20, Helene Cooper) ‘Washington | The last time the United States abandoned allies in the Middle East, military officials say, it helped lead to the Iraq War. Now, almost 30 years later, President Donald Trump has pulled US special forces and support troops away from Kurdish allies in northern Syria, easing … Continue reading

12 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Trump’s Syria withdrawal ‘biggest blunder of his presidency’

(12 October 2019, AFR, p12, Chris Dixon and Colby Itkowitz) ‘Charleston | Senator Lindsey Graham has called President Donald Trump’s decision to pull US troops out of northern Syria “the biggest blunder of his presidency” as the three top Republicans in the House took steps towards sanctioning Turkey over its military offensive against US-allied Kurdish … Continue reading

12 Oct 2019 (AFR) – First-time investors fuel home loan surge

(12 October 2019, AFR, p5, Nila Sweeney, Reporter) ‘First-time property investors are driving a surge in home loan approvals, lured into the market by low interest rates and loosening credit rules, particularly from smaller lenders, brokers said. Investor home loans grew at their fastest pace in almost three years in August according to data released … Continue reading

11 Oct 2019 (AFR,Reuters) – German export slump amplifies recession alarm as trade conflicts bite

(11 October 2019, AFR, p16, Paul Carrel, Reinhard Becker, Reuters) ‘BERLIN (Reuters) – German exports fell by more than expected in August, data showed on Thursday, reinforcing expectations that a manufacturing slump is pushing Europe’s largest economy into recession.  Reliant on exports, German factories are suffering from a slowing world economy and uncertainty linked to … Continue reading

11 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Property investors roar back

(11 October 2019, AFR, p3, Michael Bleby and Matthew Cranston) ‘Investor home loans grew at their fastest pace in almost three years and first-home buyers roared into action in August, adding weight to the Reserve Bank’s view that interest rate cuts are creating a “gentle turning point” in the economy. Rising prices and easier borrowing … Continue reading

11 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – ASX: Conflicting trade headlines drive wild session for ASX

(11 October 2019, The Age, Business, p27, By David Scutt) ‘Australian shares endured a wild ride on Thursday, gyrating throughout the session as a swathe of conflicting headlines on trade talks between the United States and China saw investor sentiment change in the blink of an eye. After three trips into negative territory and two … Continue reading

10 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Sydney house rents suffer biggest drop in 15 years

(10 October 2019, AFR, p31, Ingrid Fuary-Wagner, Reporter) ‘Rents in Sydney recorded the biggest annual drop in 15 years as the large volume of stock on the market and still-weak investor appetite pushed house rents down 4.5 per cent and unit rents down 4.6 per cent. Over the September quarter, house rents fell in Sydney … Continue reading

10 Oct 2019 (AFR) – The property downturn is over. But for all those who depend on housing – the builders, the financiers, the real estate agents, and the state treasurers – the longer-term outlook remains subdued

(10 October 2019, AFR, p30,  Robert Harley, Contributor) ‘But for all those who depend on housing – the builders, the financiers, the real estate agents, and the state treasurers – the longer-term outlook remains subdued. The metrics of housing – sales turnover, mortgage approvals, and even the latest construction numbers – are beginning to show … Continue reading

10 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane property markets climb off bottom

(10 October 2019, AFR, p29, Duncan Hughes, Reporter) ‘Property markets in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane rebounded from their depths and are starting to recover as buyer confidence improves and prices rise, according to analysis by national valuer Herron Todd White (HTW). But markets in other major mainland centres, including Darwin and Perth, continue to linger … Continue reading

10 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Housing construction ticks up in June

(10 October 2019, AFR, p26, Michael Bleby, Senior Reporter) ‘The decline in Australia’s housing construction has further to run, economists say, despite a stronger than expected pick-up in the apartment sector triggering a slight overall gain in housing starts. New building starts rose 1.1 per cent to 46,315 in the three months ended June 30, … Continue reading

10 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Office values will hold even as rental growth slows, says Harrison

(10 October 2019, AFR, p25, Nick Lenaghan, Property Editor) ‘The rate of rental growth is set to ease in the strongly performing office markets of Sydney and Melbourne but the values for prime property will hold up nevertheless, says Charter Hall’s David Harrison. Mr Harrison’s forecast, from 35 floors up on the busy fund manager’s … Continue reading

10 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Consumer confidence hits four-year low

(10 October 2019, AFR, p6, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘Consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level in more than four years as people start to worry about why the Reserve Bank has cut interest rates three times this year. The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment fell 5.5 per cent to 92.8 in October … Continue reading

9 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – Trump’s blacklisting of China’s tech giants adds new twist to trade war

(9 October 2019, The Age, Business, p22, Stephen Bartholomeusz) ‘The prospect of the United States and China making substantial progress in the latest round of trade talks scheduled to start tomorrow appears to have been severely diminished by the provocative timing of the latest US action against Chinese technology companies. While the black-listing of eight … Continue reading

9 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – Government pressured to bring forward spending after consumer confidence dives

(9 October 2019, The Age, p5, By Shane Wright) ‘The Morrison government is facing growing pressure to bring forward infrastructure spending to boost the economy with consumer confidence falling to its lowest level in four years despite tax and interest rate cuts. Ahead of a meeting on Friday of the nation’s treasurers, at which states … Continue reading

9 Oct 2019 (AFR) – ‘Sober’ public markets tempering Uber, Lyft, WeWork hubris

(9 October 2019, AFR, p25, William McInnes, Reporter) ‘The terrible performance of some of the most hotly anticipated initial public offerings of the year has some investors questioning when the breakdown between public and private market valuations blew out so widely. Ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft both came to Wall Street with lofty valuations but … Continue reading

9 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Business conditions lift: NAB

(9 October 2019, AFR, p6, Matthew Cranston, Economics correspondent) ‘The gentle turning point in the economy observed by the Reserve Bank of Australia last week is starting to show up in improved business conditions due to an uptick in trading, profitability, forward orders and employment intentions. The latest NAB Business survey shows that the weakening … Continue reading

8 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – ASX: US-China trade talks to dominate as public holidays subdue local trading

(8 October 2019, The Age, p29, By Lucy Battersby) ‘The local market had a strong session on Monday albeit with very low volumes due to public holidays around the country. A positive lead came from Wall Street US on Friday after US non-farm payrolls expanded by 136,000 in September. This missed expectations but still boosted … Continue reading

8 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – Shaking consumers out of their inertia is proving difficult to overcome

(8 October 2019, The Age, p24, Elizabeth Knight) ‘Another month, another set of underwhelming retail sales numbers. This should be setting off alarm bells for the Reserve Bank which was hoping the estimated $16.6 billion stimulus provided by two sets of tax cuts and now three interest rate cuts would provide a big boost to … Continue reading

8 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – Construction sector falters as business investment at recession-like levels

(8 October 2019, The Age, p10, By Shane Wright) ‘Companies are calling on the Morrison government to accelerate infrastructure spending across the country as signs grow the construction sector’s woes are intensifying with firms holding back investment plans at recession-like levels. The Australian Industry Group-Housing Industry Association’s construction index, released on Monday, showed a fall … Continue reading

5 Oct 2019 (AFR online) – US economy adds 136,000 jobs, jobless rate drops to 3.5pc

(5 October 2019, AFR online, Lucia Mutikani) ‘Washington | The US unemployment rate dropped to near a 50-year low of 3.5 per cent in September, with job growth increasing moderately, suggesting the slowing economy could avoid a recession for now despite trade tensions that are hammering manufacturing. The Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report … Continue reading

5 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Rainbows stay at home rather than pay pot of gold to move

(5 October 2019, AFR, p10, Duncan Hughes, Reporter) ‘High stamp duty and moving costs are contributing to households staying in their homes more than 30 per cent longer then a decade ago, contributing to record low property volumes. A typical household could spend up to 10 per cent of their sale price in state government … Continue reading

5 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Improving cashflow, capital growth won’t trigger investor housing boom

(5 October 2019, AFR, p10, Nila Sweeney, Reporter) ‘Improving cashflow and even the prospect of stronger capital growth brought by lower interest rates are unlikely to entice hordes of property investors back into the market and trigger another investment boom, experts say. While investor activity had picked up since the federal election and after APRA … Continue reading

5 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Investors ignoring growing global economic risks, RBA warns

(5 October 2019, AFR, p6,  Karen Maley, Columnist) ‘Global equity, bond and commercial property markets could suffer savage sell-offs if investors, who have until now been remarkably complacent about risk, suddenly wake up to the deteriorating global outlook. In its October Financial Stability Review, the Reserve Bank highlights the darkening global outlook, as economic activity has … Continue reading

5 Oct 2019 (AFR) – ASX slides to worst weekly drop in almost a year

(5 October 2019, AFR, p33, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘The worst week for Australian shares in almost a year pulled down just about every sector of the market, with banks performing particularly badly after another interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia. The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 0.4 per cent, or 24 points, to … Continue reading

4 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – ASX: ‘Heaven help us’: Fears of further volatility after ASX pummelled again

(4 October 2019, The Age, Business, p20, By David Scutt) ‘Global growth fears, trade tensions between the United States and European Union and stretched valuations combined to send Australian shares tumbling for a second consecutive session on Thursday, wiping more than $40 billion in value from the nation’s top companies. The S&P/ASX tumbled 2.2 per … Continue reading

4 Oct 2019 (TheAge) – Now Trump wants a tit-for-tat stoush with Europe, no wonder markets are fearful

(4 October 2019, The Age, Business, p21, Stephen Bartholomeusz) ‘Last year the US sharemarket imploded in the final quarter, primarily because the Federal Reserve was foreshadowing a series of interest rate hikes, but also because of the then-developing trade conflict with China. It’s happening again but this time the sell-off – the US sharemarket has … Continue reading

4 Oct 2019 (AFR) – New car sales extend fall to 18 months in a row

(4 October 2019, AFR, p21, Simon Evans, Senior Reporter) ‘New vehicle sales in Australia slumped again in September in a soft economy, with a 6.9-per-cent fall making it 18 consecutive months that the automotive market has been in reverse. The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries said tougher lending restrictions by financiers and a soft economy … Continue reading

4 Oct 2019 (AFR) – US-EU trade war widens with tariffs on planes, cheese, wine and whisky

(4 October 2019, AFR, p14, Tim Hepher, Philip Blenkinsop and David Lawder) ‘London/Brussels/Washington | The United States on Thursday (AEST) said it would slap 10 per cent tariffs on European-made Airbus planes and 25 per cent duties on French wine, Scotch and Irish whiskies, and cheese from across the continent as punishment for illegal EU … Continue reading