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14 Oct 2017 (AFR,TheAge) – ASX rallies to its best week since March

[COMMENT: The weekly performance might be the best week since March, but what is more important is that the index is now the highest it has been since mid-May. Labelling it the “best week…” is simply less-relevant headline grabbing.] (14 October 2017, AFR, p33, Sarah Turner) ‘Australian shares rallied to their best week since March, … Continue reading

14 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Retailers face worst Christmas in nearly a decade

(14 October 2017, AFR, p22, by Sue Mitchell) ‘This Christmas is shaping up to be the worst for retailers since the global financial crisis as cash-strapped consumers tighten their purse strings. Retailers are doing their best to stay optimistic, hoping for a rebound in spending in the all-important December quarter after retail sales fell 0.6 … Continue reading

13 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Nobel prize winner Richard Thaler’s wake up call for bull markets

(13 October 2017, AFR, p13, by John Kehoe) ‘Almost every asset class in the world seems expensive at present compared to historical valuations, so the awarding of the Nobel Prize in economics to Richard Thaler is a timely reminder that financial markets can sometimes price things awfully wrong. Thaler has previously pointed to the US … Continue reading

13 Oct 2017 (AFR) – CBH lifts harvest forecast in welcome boost for farmers

(13 October 2017, AFR, p27, by Brad Thompson) ‘The nation’s biggest wheat exporter, CBH Group, has upped its forecast for this season’s grain harvest in Western Australia by 2 million tonnes on the back of favourable conditions over the past two months. The giant co-operative, controlled by thousands of growers, expects to receive up to … Continue reading

13 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Housing finance hits new high: Investor borrowing jumps 4.3pc in August

(13 October 2017, AFR, p3, by Michael Bleby) ‘Loans to housing investors rose at their fastest pace in nine months in August, pushing total lending to a new monthly high, official figures showed on Thursday. The 4.3 per cent increase in lending commitments to investors, the biggest gain since November last year, lifted the monthly … Continue reading

13 Oct 2017 (TheAge) – Scott Morrison moves to reassure investors Australia’s housing market isn’t heading for a crash

(13 October 2017, The Age, p10, James Massola) ‘Treasurer Scott Morrison has moved to reassure US investors – and Australian mums and dads – that Australia is not headed towards a housing market crash, arguing house prices are high but their value is still “real”. And in a speech in New York to investors overnight, … Continue reading

12 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Apartments slowing: New housing starts drop to lowest level in over two years

(12 October 2017, AFR, p44, by Michael Bleby) ‘Housing starts of apartments, town houses and semi-detached dwellings fell to their lowest level in two and a half years in the June quarter as developers held off projects. New dwelling commencements of attached housing totalled 24,380 in the three months to June in seasonally adjusted terms, … Continue reading

12 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Auto Solutions boardroom brawl gets ugly

(12 October 2017, AFR, p25, by Simon Evans) ‘An extraordinary boardroom stoush has erupted at ailing ASX firm Automotive Solutions Group (ASX:4WD), with two separate shareholder meetings requisitioned to remove different directors from warring factions feuding over the downward spiral of the company. The toxic atmosphere in the boardroom has spilled into the public domain … Continue reading

12 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Office scarcity lifts landlords – No vacant looks in the office with business expansion

(12 October 2017, AFR, p34, by Matthew Cranston) ‘Every capital city in Australia, except Brisbane and Canberra, has seen a reduction in vacant office space in the third quarter with supply and demand balance helping some landlords along to better rents. The national CBD office market vacancy rate has trended lower and hit 10.8 per cent in the … Continue reading

12 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Australia’s ‘hot’ infrastructure market cools as investors take fright

(12 October 2017, AFR, p6, by Jenny Wiggins) ‘Australia is no longer the world’s hottest market for infrastructure investment as unpredictable federal policies on tax and energy and a slowdown in asset sales encourages investors to look elsewhere, a new survey has revealed. “Two years ago, Australia was the hot destination and it’s less so … Continue reading

12 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Sydney’s median house price drops 1.9pc: Domain

(12 October 2017, AFR, p3, by Michael Bleby) ‘Sydney’s median house price fell 1.9 per cent in the three months to September, the first decline in almost two years as rising interest rates for investors hit demand, the latest figures from Domain Group show. The decline that pulled the median house price in the NSW … Continue reading

11 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Top European officials fret openly about the potential for fresh financial crisis

(11 October 2017, AFR, p26, by Karen Maley) ‘Top European policy-makers are becoming increasingly concerned that we could be about to witness a brutal collapse in asset prices, with the head of the Dutch central bank warning that “the picture resembles that of the period before the financial crisis.” Klaas Knot, the head of DNB, … Continue reading

11 Oct 2017 (TheAge,MONEY) – Why consensus tells you little about a company

[COMMENT: So what is it that moves a share price? What sort of information is already factored into the current traded share price? Marcus helps explain it…] (11 October 2017, The Age, MONEY supplement, p3, Marcus Padley) ‘There are a few things that waste an investor’s time. We have looked at media talking heads who … Continue reading

10 Oct 2017 (AFR) – London house prices fall 0.6pc in September on Brexit, political uncertainty

(10 October 2017, AFR, p38, by Fanny Potkin) ‘Giuliano Valentino’s family home in west London has been on the market for six months and he has already dropped the price.’ <snipped…> ‘Potential buyers such as Mo Valipour are holding off. “We went ahead with an offer and then Brexit happened,” the software engineer said. He … Continue reading

10 Oct 2017 (AFR) – China’s holidays anything but golden as home sales plummet

(10 October 2017, AFR, p36, by Bloomberg News) ‘China’s Golden Week is leaving investors flat as figures from home sales to Macau casino revenue disappoint. Chinese property developers slumped in Hong Kong after the Economic Information Daily said new home sales tumbled in Beijing and Shanghai compared with a year earlier. Galaxy Entertainment Group sank … Continue reading

10 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Trump’s tax plan ‘absurd or dishonest’, writes Lawrence Summers

(10 October 2017, AFR, p27, by Lawrence Summers) ‘The US administration’s tax plan is not a plan. It is a mélange of ideas put forth without precision or arithmetic. It is not clear enough to permit the kind of careful quantitative analysis of budget costs, economic impacts and distributional implications that precedes legislation in a … Continue reading

10 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Private-jet glut spurs ‘insane’ bargains for aspiring buyers

(10 October 2017, AFR, p12, by Thomas Black) ‘Corporate-jet makers are flooding the market, spurring deep discounts for new aircraft and fueling a three-year slide in prices of used planes. Most major manufacturers, including Gulfstream and Bombardier — which is also contending with rising hurdles in its commercial-jet business — have slowed production in the last … Continue reading

10 Oct 2017 (TheAge) – Home sales higher after holiday slowdown

(10 October 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p25, AAP) ‘Home sales bounced higher across the capital cities in the past seven days, but the clearance rate continues to track lower compared to a year ago. Preliminary figures released on Monday by property data group CoreLogic showed the national auction clearance rate rose to 68.1 per cent … Continue reading

9 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Wages rise at last; inflation may follow. Central bankers rejoice as wage growth picks up, but it’s bad news for investors

(9 October 2017, AFR, p28, by Karen Maley) ‘It’s been a frustratingly long time coming, but it appears the world’s top central bankers could be vindicated, with recent figures suggesting workers are finally starting to see more generous pay rises, after years of scanty wages growth. Certainly, the US employment report for September, released on … Continue reading

9 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Sydney auction clearance well down on last year – Sydney housing continues to cool as auction clearance rates slide

(9 October 2017, AFR, p3, by Su-Lin Tan) ‘Sydney has had another week of cooling house prices as auction clearance rates continue to slide across the markets. With the same volume of auctions in the same week last year, Sydney’s preliminary weekly auction clearance rate was 67.2 per cent, according to CoreLogic, down 12.6 per … Continue reading

9 Oct 2017 (TheAge) – Freelancer: Australia’s fallen tech star?

(9 October 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p18, John McDuling) ‘Before Atlassian became Australia’s undisputed innovation poster child, there was Freelancer. For a while – in the days before anyone really talked about the “gig economy” – the online outsourcing marketplace was considered the great hope of the nation’s tech industry.’ <snipped…> ‘Back in 2013, Freelancer listed … Continue reading

7 Oct 2017 (AFR) – God save the ASX as earnings won’t – Look offshore to escape ASX’s earnings trap

[COMMENT: This is a good example of the difference it makes when you change the starting date for your performance comparison.] (7 October 2017, AFR, p29, by Patrick Commins) ‘Aggregate earnings for ASX-listed companies have gone precisely nowhere since the end of 2006, on a per share basis. It’s no surprise, then, that the Aussie … Continue reading

7 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Three reasons the US share market keeps partying

(7 October 2017, AFR, p27, by Karen Maley) ‘It’s been a bumper week for the US sharemarket, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 celebrating its longest streak of record closes in 20 years, after notching up six straight all-time closing highs. Analysts argue that there’s little wonder the bulls are rampaging, given the ultra-easy conditions … Continue reading

7 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Another retail brand joins list of the departed – Vanishing retail brands as Amazon looms

(7 October 2017, AFR, p25, by Simon Evans) ‘A bandaged warrior in sporting goods retailing, Amart Sports, is heading into retirement after more than 40 years. More than half of the country’s 65 Amart stores have already been rebadged across Australia to stablemate Rebel, and by the end of October the distinctive red and blue … Continue reading

7 Oct 2017 (AFR) – ASX rallies hard for first weekly gain in three weeks

(7 October 2017, AFR, p33, by Jessica Sier) ‘The Australian market for once joined in with other global equity markets and rallied hard on Friday, with the gains helping the index mark its first positive week in three. By the close of trading, the ASX had gained 58 points, or 1 per cent to reach … Continue reading

6 Oct 2017 (TheAge) – A ‘shocker’ for retail spending as consumers shut wallets

(6 October 2017, The Age, p6, Peter Martin) ‘Low wage growth, higher electricity and gas bills and out-of-cycle mortgage rate increases have been blamed for a slump in consumer spending in July and August – the worst since 2010. Retail spending slid 0.6 per cent in August after sliding 0.2 per cent in July.’ Read … Continue reading

6 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Made-in-Italy assets behind IPO boom

(6 October 2017, AFR, p26, by Chiara Remondini and Tommaso Ebhardt) ‘Initial public offerings are booming in Milan as investor demand for Italian assets drive company listings to the highest level in at least a decade. Pirelli & Co’s return to the market on Wednesday makes it the 30th company to join the Italian Stock Exchange this year, … Continue reading

6 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Daigou retailer AuMake lists on ASX, shares triple

(6 October 2017, AFR, p25, by Jessica Sier) ‘The husband-and-wife team behind the nation’s first listed daigou business enjoyed a $9.6 million paper windfall on Thursday as shares in AuMake Australia nearly tripled on its ASX debut. AuMake, headed by Joshua Zhou and Lynn Zheng, raised $6 million from institutional and private investors to fund its growth strategy.’ ‘AuMake Australia has built a … Continue reading

6 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Retail sales post biggest two-month fall in seven years as household eat at home

(6 October 2017, AFR, p3, by Jacob Greber) ‘Retail sales have posted the biggest two-month decline in seven years as debt-laden households clamped down on restaurants, cafes and food shopping, a sign concerns over high debt levels are weighing on consumers. Turnover fell 0.6 per cent in August from July, when it declined 0.2 per … Continue reading

5 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Shares have gone nowhere for 10 years – A lost decade

[COMMENT: Now with all due respect, there are some interesting points and conclusions noted in this article. I am not so sure if the same conclusions cold be drawn if we consider different periods in time. The other point to remember is that over-hyping can over-dramatise the news. Oh, and one final question: the material … Continue reading