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21 Feb 2020 – S&P/ASX All Technology Index to commence Monday 24th Feb

The ASX has announced a new index to commence activity on Monday 24th February. The ASX claims on their website: “The S&P/ASX All Technology Index (XTX) provides direct access to ASX’s fastest-growing sector in a single index”. Read about it at the ASX website. Also see a news article at .

15 Feb 2020 (AFR) – ASX 2 points off a fresh record as investors reward earnings

(15 February 2020, AFR, p33, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘The ASX ended the week fractionally off a fresh record close, with strong earnings-related gains from IDP Education, Breville and Challenger helping investors to look past their fears about the speed of the spread of the coronavirus in China. The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 26.97 points, or … Continue reading

12 Feb 2020 (The Age) – ASX reaches three-week high as risk appetite rises

[COMMENT: Isn’t it so interesting? The sorts of things that make newspaper headlines, and which in reality are not quite so. For the life of me I cannot see how the local market has made a three-week high. With reference to my chart, I can see a new intraday high for the last 2 weeks. … Continue reading

12 Feb 2020 (TheAge) – Disconnected: Why markets are booming while the world reels from the coronavirus outbreak

(12 February 2020, The Age, Business, p23, Stephen Bartholomeusz) ‘The US stockmarket hit yet another record overnight and other major markets, including the Australian exchange, are within sight of their own high points. The world must be in good shape, right? With the death toll from the coronavirus now surpassing that of the SARS epidemic … Continue reading

7 Feb 2020 (AFR) – ASX posts best day for almost a month

(7 February 2020, AFR, p30, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘Australian shares rose sharply on Thursday, boosted by a solid performance in the banking sector as well as some strong earnings-related gains, as worries that the coronavirus will dampen global economic growth abated. The S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 1.1 per cent, or 73.15 points, to 7049.19. That … Continue reading

7 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Coles Group ups guidance after strong Christmas food sales

(7 February 2020, AFR, p17, Sue Mitchell, Senior Reporter) ‘Festive foods such as crackling ham and chocolate puddings teamed with free wine glasses helped Coles convince customers to loosen the purse strings in the run-up to Christmas. Australia’s second largest supermarket upgraded profit guidance for the December half after stronger than expected food sales and … Continue reading

7 Feb 2020 (TheAge) – Illiquid gold: Why Future Fund looks beyond our shrinking sharemarket

(7 February 2020, The Age, Business, p27, Stephen Bartholomeusz) ‘With stock exchanges shrinking around the world and private equity and unlisted investments growing rapidly, an interesting conundrum arises. Why is it big investors believe illiquid assets will generate better returns than those in liquid markets? ‘ ‘Stock markets, at least in the developed world, are … Continue reading

1 Feb 2020 (AFR) – ASX: Shares lift ahead of profit reporting season

(1 February 2020, AFR, p33, Tom Richardson, Markets reporter and commentator) ‘The S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.13 per cent or 8.8 points higher on Friday as worries over the potential impact of the coronavirus receded, despite the World Health Organisation declaring it an international emergency. Ahead of February’s interim profit reporting season, the sharemarket closed down … Continue reading

1 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Investing: What to look for in earnings season

(1 February 2020, AFR, p28, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘The bar has been set low for companies this earnings season but still may prove too high a hurdle for some, given steep share price gains the past year. A combination of surging share prices and subdued earnings could be setting some companies up for losses in … Continue reading

30 Jan 2020 (AFR) – ASX slides as virus outbreak fears spiral

(31 January 2020, AFR, p30, Luke Housego, Reporter) ‘Australian shares ended a day of volatility lower, following confirmation the number of coronavirus cases had risen sharply, overtaking the total infections associated with the 2003 SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak. The S&P/ASX 200 ended the second-to-last session for January 23.1 points, or 0.33 per cent, … Continue reading

29 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus and ASX: ASX endures worst day of 2020 as virus concerns deepen

(29 January 2020, AFR, p26, Luke Housego, Reporter) ‘Australian shares tumbled to their biggest loss of 2020 as concerns about the fallout on global growth from China’s coronavirus outbreak sparked a rout of world stockmarkets. The S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 96 points, or 1.4 per cent, to 6994.5 points, making it the biggest one-day fall … Continue reading

29 Jan 2020 (AFR,Lex) – Coronavirus and luxury retail: When China sneezes, luxury retail catches cold

(29 January 2020, AFR, p23, The Lex Column) ‘China’s woes have caused feverish debate about travel bans and screening. With economic growth near multi-decade lows, Chinese shoppers are already spending less. Time to cash in on luxury’s bull run. China is sneezing. How sick is the rest of the world going to get? Reports that … Continue reading

29 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus Shanghai: Life in a ghost town as virus paranoia sets in

(29 January 2020, AFR, p1,  Michael Smith, China Correspondent) ‘The level of paranoia about a deadly virus outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan has increased considerably since the woman on the street approached me fearing for my safety.’ <snipped…> ‘Shanghai, while typically quiet during the Lunar New Year, usually picks up on the … Continue reading

29 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Markets exposed to China shock. Fears intensify amid global sell-off

(29 January 2020, AFR, p1, Vesna Poljak, James Fernyhough and Sarah Turner) ‘Australia’s close business links to China, which proved so successful in supporting the economy in its record-breaking run of growth, have emerged as a major risk to growth and earnings as the coronavirus outbreak gathers pace. The worst day of the year for … Continue reading

28 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus: Empty restaurants in China a worry for Australian wine

(28 January 2020, AFR, p9, Simon Evans, Senior Reporter) ‘Australia’s wine industry faces a short-term hit if people in China keep staying away from restaurants and bars as the coronavirus outbreak worsens, with industry players nervous about a repeat of the fall-out from the 2003 SARS epidemic. Australia and France compete as the biggest exporter … Continue reading

28 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Climate change putting Australia’s food bowl at risk: Credit Suisse

(28 January 2020, AFR, p3, Mark Ludlow, Queensland Bureau Chief) ‘The future of Australia’s agricultural food bowl could be at risk from changed weather patterns resulting from climate change, according to Credit Suisse.’ <snipped…> ‘ “It’s hugely problematic for the Australian agricultural industry. Whole swathes of what has been the food bowl of Australia is … Continue reading

28 Jan 2020 (TheAge) – Coronavirus: Fears mount for global economy as China’s coronavirus outbreak worsens

(28 January 2020, The Age, Business, p26, By David Scutt) ‘Investors are bracing for the contagion of the coronavirus outbreak and the impact of a possible global pandemic on markets, with economists saying a hit to global growth from the disease is now all but inevitable. A rush to safe-haven assets lifted the price of … Continue reading

25 Jan 2020 (AFR) – International fallout from bushfires a big risk for investors

(25 January 2020, AFR, p23, Simon Evans, Sue Mitchell, James Fernyhough and Jenny Wiggins) ‘… Goldman Sachs has estimated the bushfire fallout could strip 0.4 per cent off Australia’s GDP, with the international dimension a potentially long-term drag. ‘ <snipped…> ‘A raft of profit downgrades from ASX-listed companies in the retail and tourism sectors in … Continue reading

25 Jan 2020 (AFR) – ASX ends week higher, stretching out January’s remarkable run

(25 January 2020, AFR, p33, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘Profit downgrades shook confidence in the earnings outlook for a handful of companies but investors shrugged off the news to push the broader market to another weekly gain, stretching January’s remarkable run. The S&P/ASX 200 index ended the week at 7090.50, up 2.5 points, retreating after touching … Continue reading

23 Jan 2020 (TheAge) – Full steam ahead as ASX smashes new records

(23 January 2020, The Age, Business, p24, By Lucy Battersby) ‘Australia’s stock market chalked up a surprisingly strong session on Wednesday with more than a tenth of the S&P/ASX200 reaching record high prices. The index closed nearly 1 per cent higher at 7132.7 points. News that German retail giant Kaufland is pulling out of Australia … Continue reading

21 Jan 2020 (AFR) – ASX hits new record high despite profit downgrades

(21 January 2020, AFR, p26, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘Australian shares rallied again on Monday to seal the market’s fifth straight day of gains, with CSL and the miners carrying the benchmark to a new historic high and helping the market shrug off a raft of profit downgrades.’ Read more at (might need AFR login … Continue reading

18 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Investing: The equities funds that delivered most for super investors

[COMMENT: It is always interesting to compare the results of various funds over different time frames. The included bar graph below is over 10 years, and is starkly different to the fund performance graph over just one year. And when you compare the lists of funds, we note that some funds appear on one list, … Continue reading

17 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Investing: Growth investors on top in unprecedented decade

(17 January 2020, AFR, p29, Tom Richardson, Markets reporter and commentator) ‘The post-GFC bull run for risk assets accelerated this week with the local sharemarket topping 7000 points to deliver the best start to the year since 2000. The latest move higher is on investor relief that a tariff-reducing US-China phase one trade deal will … Continue reading

17 Jan 2020 (AFR) – How CSL and BHP Group drove the ASX to 7000

(17 January 2020, AFR, p27, William McInnes, Reporter) ‘The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index has finally cleared 7000 points, more than two years after it cleared the 6000 point mark in 2017 for the first time since the global financial crisis. While the majority of the market has enjoyed strong advances across those two years, two stocks … Continue reading

16 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Short sellers poised to swoop as earnings disappointments loom

(16 January 2020, AFR, p27, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘The stakes appear unusually high for companies this earnings season, with short sellers poised to claim the rewards as companies trade on some of the richest valuations in history, inviting ruthless punishment for missed expectations. ASX-listed companies are gearing up to report first-half earnings in February, meaning … Continue reading

16 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Super funds record best year since 2013

[COMMENTS: Because of my own distrust of managed funds in general, including superannuation funds, I always post reports like this one below with some comments like the following. It will be interesting to see how these funds perform over the next couple of years because it is common for a superior fund one year to … Continue reading

15 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Investors push ASX to another record

[COMMENT: In case any readers are a little puzzled, the All Ordinaries (XAO) index broke through the 7000 level last week, while this index, the XJO, is at a lower level and still heading there.] (15 January 2020, AFR, p26, Luke Housego, Reporter) ‘The Australian sharemarket surpassed last week’s record to close at fresh highs … Continue reading

15 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Financial planners reveal what’s wrong with their industry

[COMMENT: As Karen explains here, her piece in the AFR a week ago elicited a lot of response from financial planners, and this follow up article provides a great insight into the financial planning industry in Australia. It’s well worth reading the entire article at] (15 January 2020, AFR, p29, Karen Maley, Columnist) ‘Financial … Continue reading

15 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Costello warns of boom in risky assets

(15 January 2020, AFR, p1, John Kehoe, Senior Writer) ‘The chairman of the $166 billion sovereign wealth fund, Peter Costello, has warned that record low interest rates are pushing investors into risky financial products akin to “collateralised debt obligations”, which blew up during the 2008 global financial crisis. ‘ Read more at (might need … Continue reading

15 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Investing: The Aussie icon that’s turned boring into tech value

[COMMENT: The old discussion about value investing versus growth investing continues. This article provides some interesting food for thought.] (15 January 2020, AFR, p26,  Michael Glennon, Contributor) ‘It’s been a hard few years for investors with a value bias. While we don’t put ourselves into either the growth or value camps, we have definitely taken … Continue reading