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28 March 2020 (AFR) – Big Rally crumbles after $US2trn stimulus optimism fades

(28 March 2020, AFR, p24, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘Australia’s sharemarket ended a week of massive gains with a loss on Friday as the number of virus cases in the US surpassed those in China, and it became increasingly clear that the pandemic’s deadly toll will not be slowed by the monster US stimulus package. ‘Investors … Continue reading

15 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus fallout rattles investors as China industry stops

(15 February 2020, AFR, p23, Simon Evans, Sue Mitchell, Liam Walsh, Jenny Wiggins, Yolanda Redrup and Nick Lenaghan) ‘Investors are rattled as the coronavirus outbreak keeps escalating. China represents 17 per cent of the global economy and a sudden partial freeze of its vast industrial base means testing times for Australia, one of its biggest … Continue reading

15 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus death toll jumps again, shattering Chinese confidence

(15 February 2020, AFR, p12, Michael Smith, China Correspondent) ‘Shanghai | China reported another 121 deaths and more than 5000 new cases from the coronavirus outbreak on Friday as cities around the country tightened travel restrictions and ordered millions to stay at home, crushing confidence that the government has the health crisis under control. Japan … Continue reading

15 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus: Cruise industry feels the pinch

(15 February 2020, AFR, p11, Fiona Carruthers, AFR Travel Editor) ‘As the $45 billion global cruise industry continues to feel the shocks of coronavirus (COVID-19), closer to home, luxury Sydney travel agency Mary Rossi Travel spent the past week rewriting newsletters and itineraries,  deftly tweaking their promoted destinations. “Australians are definitely still travelling – they’re … Continue reading

15 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Top universities warn of $1b coronavirus hit

(15 February 2020, AFR, p11, Phillip Coorey, Political Editor) ‘Top universities have warned the federal government the coronavirus travel ban would cost the economy more than $1 billion, and put at risk 7500 jobs, for each 10 per cent decline in Chinese students. The figures are contained in economic modelling commissioned by the Group of … Continue reading

15 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Billions at stake as coronavirus sparks commodity crisis

(15 February 2020, AFR, p10, Patrick Durkin, BOSS Deputy Editor) ‘Billions in LNG, coal and iron ore contracts with China are at risk of being re-negotiated in the wake of the coronavirus, lawyers warn as they face off over “force majeure” claims. The escalating legal drama comes as major companies including Rio Tinto, Blackmores, Cochlear … Continue reading

15 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Land sales boom in a recovering housing market

(15 February 2020, AFR, p3, Michael Bleby, Senior Reporter) ‘Land sales boomed in the September quarter as an unexpected pick-up in the residential housing market following the May federal election fuelled demand for lots for newly built homes, the latest industry figures show.’ Read more at (might need AFR login access)

15 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Retail: The numbers that could reward the RBA’s optimism

(15 February 2020, AFR, p1, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘Upbeat company profit results, better readings from consumers and another record sharemarket high are backing the Reserve Bank’s optimistic view on the economy in the face of the threat from coronavirus and bushfires. Investors are feeling optimistic after the first big week of the interim profit season … Continue reading

12 Feb 2020 (TheAge) – Second wave of the coronavirus crisis hits corporate Australia

(12 February 2020, The Age, Business. p23, Elizabeth Knight) ‘Tuesday’s profit downgrade by Cochlear represents the second-wave impact for Australian companies in response to the coronavirus crisis. There will doubtless be more before this episode turns the corner. The first wave, which became evident in January, hit Australian companies directly exposed to China in the … Continue reading

12 Feb 2020 (TheAge) – Coronavirus: Cochlear warns of $30 million coronavirus profit hit

(12 February 2020, The Age, Business, P23, By Patrick Hatch) ‘Hearing device manufacturer Cochlear is the latest major Australian company to be affected by the deadly coronavirus with the implant group taking a $30 million profit hit as surgeries are delayed across China.’ Read more at

12 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Home loans growing at fastest pace in three years

(12 February 2020, AFR, p39, Michael Bleby, Senior Reporter) ‘New home loans grew at their fastest pace in more than three years in December, as first home buyers roared back into the market and investors joined the rush. The 4.4 per cent increase in new mortgage commitments – excluding refinancing of existing loans – was … Continue reading

12 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus: Settlement delays expected as travel ban bites

(12 February 2020, AFR, p36, Nila Sweeney, Reporter) ‘Selling agents are bracing for settlement delays on residential properties, with mainland Chinese buyers blocked from travelling into the country as part of the government’s response to the coronavirus threat. Melbourne-based selling agent Jamie Mi of Kay and Burton, who specialises in overseas Chinese buyers, said while … Continue reading

12 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Builders warn of coronavirus hit to key material supplies

(12 February 2020, AFR, p35, Michael Bleby, Senior Reporter) ‘Concerns about the supply of key building supplies such as curtain wall from China’s coronavirus-hit manufacturing industry are growing among builders in NSW, who warned clients of potential disruptions to their high-rise projects. News of the concerns about curtain wall – the plate glass windows and … Continue reading

12 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus: CEOs warn virus hit will get worse

(12 February 2020, AFR, p3, John Kehoe, Senior Writer) ‘The economic toll is mounting from the coronavirus, after hearing implant maker Cochlear cut its profit outlook due to Chinese hospitals deferring surgeries and beef exporters joined the seafood industry in bracing for weaker Chinese demand. The Morrison government is poised to extend the initial two-week … 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

11 Feb 2020 (AFR,Bloomberg) – Virus Scare Empties Malls on World’s Priciest Shopping Strip

(11 February 2020, AFR, p35, Bloomberg, By Shawna Kwan) ‘In an almost deserted mall, the few shoppers hurry past wearing face masks. In the luxury stores, sales assistants, also in masks, outnumber customers — if they have any at all. To pass the time, staff chat with each other or play with their phones. This … Continue reading

11 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Construction supply chains at risk from coronavirus

(11 February 2020, AFR, p29, Michael Bleby, Senior Reporter) ‘The impact of coronavirus is spreading to global supply chains, with building contractors warning clients of potential delays on projects because factories have closed in China – the source of many building materials used in Australian projects – as a result of the respiratory disease. The … Continue reading

11 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Hot US jobs market is a headache for the Fed

(11 February 2020, AFR, p25, Robert Guy, Senior Writer) ‘President Trump’s tweeting trigger finger may be called into action as the US dollar trades at a three-month high, but the greenback’s renewed strength also presents a headache for the Federal Reserve as it struggles to steer inflation back to its 2 per cent goal. The … Continue reading

11 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus: China’s factory prices break deflation spell, but virus risks grow

(11 February 2020, AFR, p9, Se Young Lee and Stella Qiu) ‘Beijing | China’s factory-gate prices snapped six months of year-on-year declines in January, although prolonged business closures from the coronavirus outbreak mean positive momentum is unlikely to persist. The virus has killed more than 900 in China and has also added to price pressures … Continue reading

11 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus: Virus death toll above 900 as workers told to stay home

(11 February 2020, AFR, p9, Michael Smith, China Correspondent) ‘Hong Kong | The death toll from China’s coronavirus outbreak has risen to more than 900, as plans to restart the world’s second-largest economy on Monday faltered. Despite hopes of a return to work, hundreds of millions were forced to stay home due to strict government … Continue reading

11 Feb 2020 (TheAge) – Tech reliance drives earnings boost for ‘world class’ JB Hi-Fi

(11 February 2020, The Age, p24, By Dominic Powell) ‘JB Hi-Fi chief executive Richard Murray says increasing customer reliance on everyday electronics has enabled the ASX-listed company to emerge unscathed from the retail downturn after surprising investors with a bumper half-year earnings result.’ Read more at

11 Feb 2020 (TheAge) – Chilling effect of the coronavirus is turning up in the shipping news

(11 February 2020, The Age, Business, p24, Stephen Bartholomeusz) ‘If you want to track the damage being done to global economic activity and growth by the coronavirus, just keep an eye on commodity prices and declarations of force majeure by Chinese companies. Both are showing increasing signs of the stress. With one of China’s major … Continue reading

10 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Strong US jobs number overshadowed by coronavirus fears

(10 February 2020, AFR, p20, William McInnes, Reporter) ‘Markets in the US shrugged off a stellar jobs number on Friday, amid continuing concerns about the global economic cost of the coronavirus outbreak.  On Friday, the S&P 500 Index fell 18.1 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 3327.71 while the yield on the US 10-year Treasury … Continue reading

10 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Investors to focus on earnings as coronavirus fears ease

(10 February 2020, AFR, p20, William McInnes, Reporter) ‘Australian investors are set to look past the coronavirus fears this week with a bumper week of earnings set to get under way on Monday. Companies worth a combined $713 billion will unveil their earnings this week with the market keen to see how several fared through … Continue reading

10 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Home auctions: Clearances hit 80pc even as listings double

(10 February 2020, AFR, p6, Larry Schlesinger, Reporter) ‘Auction clearance rates jumped to 80 per cent in Sydney and 75 per cent in Melbourne this week, even as listing numbers more than doubled, providing strong evidence of the strength of the rebounding housing market. In weaker markets, a rise in auction listings would normally trigger … Continue reading

10 Feb 2020 (CNBC online) – Oil drops 1.5pc to 13-month low as weak Chinese demand weighs

(10 February 2020, CNBC online) ‘Oil prices fell to their lowest level since January 2019 on Monday on weaker Chinese demand in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and as traders waited to see if Russia would join other producers in seeking further output cuts. Oil has dropped more than 20% from a peak in … Continue reading

7 Feb 2020 (AFR) – ‘Retail is not dead’: Larry Kestelman toasts Grand leasing success

(7 February 2020, AFR, p34, Larry Schlesinger, Reporter) ‘Financial Review Rich Lister Larry Kestelman says bricks-and-mortar retailing “is not dead” after leasing up almost all 6000sq m of retail space at the foot of Capitol Grand, his glitzy $700 million high-rise development nearing completion on the corner of Chapel Street and Toorak Road in Melbourne’s … 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 (AFR) – China cuts tariffs on $US75b of US imports

(7 February 2020, AFR, p16, AP) ‘Beijing | China cut tariffs on $US75 billion ($111 billion) of US imports including auto parts on Thursday in response to American reductions as part of their truce in a trade war. The cuts come as China struggles with the mounting cost of measures imposed to contain a virus … Continue reading

7 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Reports China considering congress delay as virus toll spikes

(7 February 2020, AFR, p15, Michael Smith, China Correspondent) ‘Shanghai | Beijing was reported to be looking at delaying the annual meeting of its top legislative body as it extended school shutdowns due to the deadly coronavirus and considered whether hundreds of millions of people would be allowed back to work next week. China recorded … Continue reading