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20 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Real people’s money and how to see the next crash coming – Nothing to celebrate in the anniversary of the ’87 crash

(20 October 2017, AFR. p27, by Philip Baker) ‘Who said there’s no room for romance on Wall Street and it’s all just about making money? Thirty years after chalking up its biggest one-day fall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hits a fresh record high and closes above 23,000 for the first time. Happy anniversary indeed. Ever since the Dow … Continue reading

20 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Consumers defy the bears again – China growth slows slightly in third quarter

(20 October 2017, AFR, p14, by Angus Grigg) ‘China’s consumers continued to defy the sceptics during the third quarter, helping retail sales post stronger-than-expected gains, even as overall growth slowed modestly. The world’s second-largest economy grew by 6.8 per cent during the September quarter, as industrial profits showed their strongest growth in nearly five years. … Continue reading

20 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Jobs boom lifts rate hike chances – Jobless rate falls to 5.5pc in August

(20 October 2017, AFR, p6, by Jacob Greber) ‘The labour market is expected to tighten enough in coming months to ramp up the Reserve Bank’s scope to start hiking official interest rates after employers recorded in September the longest run of consecutive monthly job gains since mid-1994. Annual employment growth has surged to 3.1 per cent … Continue reading

20 Oct 2017 (TheAge) – ‘Czech Trump’ Andrej Babis poised to deliver latest blow to EU order

(20 October 2017, p14, Nick Miller) ‘Europe’s year of political upheaval isn’t over. In the Czech republic, a charismatic, controversial billionaire dubbed the ‘Czech Berlusconi’ – and more recently the ‘Czech Trump’ – is poised to take power. Hot on the heels of Austria’s hard shift to the right, this weekend’s legislative election in the … Continue reading

20 Oct 2017 (TheAge,SMH) – RBA calls out Brisbane apartment glut risk

(20 October 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p21, Clancy Yeates) ‘A senior Reserve Bank official has flagged concerns about the “awful lot” of apartments due to flood the Brisbane property market, and the potential hit facing investors who had bet on making capital gains. Michele Bullock, assistant governor for the financial system, on Thursday signalled that … Continue reading

20 Oct 2017 (TheAge,SMH) – Unemployment falls to four-year low of 5.5 percent in September

(20 October 2017, The Age, p10, Eryk Bagshaw) ‘Australia’s unemployment rate has hit a four-year low after falling to 5.5 per cent in September, beating market expectations. The rate, which has not been bettered on trend or seasonally adjusted terms since February 2013, comes on the back of 19,800 jobs added in September, topping market … Continue reading

19 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Hurricane history favours US building suppliers

(19 October 2017, AFR, p40, by Arunima Banerjee and Ankit Ajmera) ‘There are 600,000 homes in Texas and Florida alone that need to be re-roofed or repaired and results over the next month will give some sign of how much the resulting squeeze on building materials will benefit suppliers over the next year. Shares in … Continue reading

19 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Retail gloom: Specialty Fashion Group slashes earnings expectations

(19 October 2017, AFR, p18, by Carrie LaFrenz) ‘Specialty Fashion Group, the owner of Miller’s and Katie’s, is the latest retailer to warn about a challenging Christmas trading period, revealing its first-half earnings will halve after poor sales continued into the new financial year. Difficult conditions flagged by the retailer in August have continued, the … Continue reading

19 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Lenders blacklist more than 100 suburbs in new apartment crackdown

(19 October 2017, AFR, p7, by Duncan Hughes) ‘Big banks are set to announce tougher measures to crack down on high rise apartment purchases including blacklisting more than 100 Brisbane suburbs, doubling the minimum apartment to qualify for funding, evidence of rental cash flows and tough new valuation criteria.’ Read more at (might need … Continue reading

18 Oct 2017 (AFR) – No bubble here as Treasury secretary lauds regulatory crackdown

(18 October 2017, AFR, p3, Larry Schlesinger, Jonathan Shapiro, Jacob Greber) ‘Australia is not in the grip of a property bubble despite the surge in prices in Sydney and Melbourne and the high indebtedness of households, says one of the world’s largest asset managers. As the Reserve Bank of Australia again flagged that it has … Continue reading

17 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Why the Wall Street bull run still has legs in three charts

(17 October 2017, AFR, p33, by Sarah Turner and Patrick Commins ‘If you missed the US bull market you probably don’t like it.’ ‘The nine-year US equity bull market appears unstoppable. The key S&P 500 stock index has climbed 280 per cent since its 2009 lows, and sits well clear of the highs it achieved … Continue reading

17 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Chinese tech stocks: bubble or not?

(17 October 2017, AFR, p33, by Jessica Sier) ‘While Chinese technology stocks have been on a fabulous tear this year, many Australian fund managers argue there still might be a way to go, despite some of the warning signals that have pre-empted other asset bubbles. Shares in e-commerce giant Alibaba have almost doubled in the … Continue reading

16 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Low US inflation print does little to deter global equity bulls

(16 October 2017, AFR, p20, by Timothy Moore) ‘US inflation data for September disappointed, however bets on a December interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve held steady, which was enough to encourage overseas bullish investors and set the stage for further record highs this week. The slow and steady rise in global markets continued … Continue reading

16 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan says strong growth may continue into the second half of 2017

(16 October 2017, AFR, p9, by Yinan Zhao and Ye Xie) ‘Economic indicators show “stabilised and stronger growth” and the momentum of a 6.9 per cent expansion in the first six months of 2017 “may continue in the second half,” People’s Bank of China (PBOC) Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said on Saturday.’ Read more at … Continue reading

16 Oct 2017 (AFR) – What Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein told Scott Morrison

(16 October 2017, AFR, p4, by John Kehoe) ‘When Treasurer Scott Morrison met Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein in New York late last week, the Wall Street banker was baffled. Blankfein was searching for answers. Why, at a time when most economies were generally performing reasonably, had politics become so difficult in many countries? … Continue reading

16 Oct 2017 (AFR) – Property auctions: Cautious residential property buyers seeking value

(16 October 2017, AFR, p3, by Duncan Hughes) ‘Demand was strong for Sydney’s choicest harbourside properties over the weekend but weak for Melbourne’s coveted leafy, exclusive inner suburban postcodes, according to property agents and analysts. Sydney buyers were out in force bidding for North Shore and harbourside properties and contributing to clearance rates of more … 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) – 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