Why isn’t Oz in mining transparency drive?

images Cross-posted from The Conversation. It’s a far-from-perfect instrument of global governance. But as theExtractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) coalition celebrates its 12th birthday, it can point to steadily increasing membership and dialogue between countries, mining companies and NGOs. Regrettably, Australia, with one of the world’s largest mining economies, has still not committed to joining the 48 other nations working on EITI disclosure. This is despite the obvious benefits that greater transparency could deliver to all Australians as they confront deep-seated disputes about...
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Weekly RP Data Australian house price update

ScreenHunter_07 Mar. 20 20.55 By Leith van Onselen In the week ended 30 October 2014, the RP Data-Rismark 5-city daily dwelling price index, which covers the five major capital city markets, was essentially flat (+0.02%).  The result follows five consecutive weekly increases (see next chart). Home prices rose in Sydney and Brisbane, were essentially flat in Melbourne and Adelaide, and tanked in Perth (see next chart). Values are up by 1.11% so far in October, with all major capitals except for Adelaide rising (see next chart). Since the start of the year, home values nationally have risen by 7.49%, with...
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ASX at the close

ScreenHunter_31 Jun. 04 16.42 Stan Shamu for Chris Weston, Chief Market Strategist at IG Markets While US equities retreated on the back of the Fed, Asia has reacted somewhat differently with markets broadly mixed. Just to recap on the FOMC meeting, QE came to an end as many expected and the Fed offered up a moderately hawkish statement. The Fed did not make reference to global growth concerns as the market was broadly expecting, sounding more optimistic about the labour market and showing less concern about moderating inflation. However, the considerable time reference was maintained, but analysts feel this will go in...
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Soufun says China property prices to fall 10%

imgres From Bloomie: China property prices may decline as much as 10 percent this year and the slump may extend into 2015, according to SouFun Holdings Ltd. “Chinese property prices are seeing an adjustment after the rapid increase in the past two years,” Vincent Mo, founder of China’s biggest real estate information website, said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Haslinda Amin in Singapore yesterday. “Prices should stabilize by the middle of next year.” Such a correction would be unprecedented in modern history: If it happens you can expect new development investment to keep...
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Bankers do the crime but not the time!

imgres Cross-posted from The Conversation: Recently, the head of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Greg Medcraft, called Australia a “paradise” for white-collar criminals. Soon after he recanted, claiming he didn’t want the country to become a haven for financial fraudsters. This rephrasing likely followed when Finance Minister Mathias Cormann leaned on Medcraft. The mass media has done an admirable job bringing the CBA financial planner scandal to light, forcing ASIC to finally investigate, the Senate to inquire and the CBA to apologise and provide compensation. Despite this,...
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Tony Abbott hunts your data

sdfsad From Bernard Keane at Crikey today on the Abbott Government's release of the data retention bill: ...there's no actual detail in the data retention bill. Brandis himself acknowledged this, saying it was a short bill, "just 47 pages". That's because the technical detail of what, specifically, the data that telcos and ISPs will need to retain is, isn't explained. That's to be left to regulations. Why? Well, with regulations it's easier to add to the list of data later, without legislation. But it's mostly because the government still doesn't know what data it wants retained -- even though AGD has...
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Australians support sending help to Ebolan Africa

imgres From Roy Morgan: A special telephone Morgan Poll conducted over the last two nights shows a clear majority of Australians (70%) support Australia sending Australian doctors and nurses to West Africa to fight the Ebola epidemic and 23% do not support sending doctors and nurses while 7% could not say. Today’s special telephone Morgan Poll was conducted with an Australia-wide cross-section of 647 Australians. Analysis by Vote Analysing the results by voting preference shows support for Australia sending Australian doctors and nurses to West Africa from all parties. Support is strongest amongst...
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Another iron ore junior swan dives into the tarmac

122a485 The iron ore equity market action today is mixed with the majors continuing to bleed lower but FMG still outperforming on sell side uppers. Here is the relative performance chart: The idiocy spreads are still getting wider: The junior mausoleum is mostly quiet but the BC Iron swan dive continues, down another 5% today and close to $1 after its flight of fancy at $5.50 earlier this year. I've expanded the chart to give a more operatic grasp of the quickening belly fop: That's really just a godawful head and shoulders annihilation! As I like to recall, it was some FOMC president...
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Bill Evans sees return of the drunken household

.iub Fresh from Bill Evans: The Reserve Bank Board meets next week on November 4. November has been a remarkably popular month for the Bank to move rates. In the first six years of the Governor’s tenure every November proved to be a moving month (2006-2011). In 2012 the Bank was certainly ‘in play’ with moves occurring in both October and December while, arguably, the Bank was also ‘in play’ in November last year. Next week will be the first November of the Governor’s long tenure that there is no chance of a November move. In fact it seems highly unlikely that there will be any...
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Australia’s terms-of-trade pounded

ScreenHunter_4694 Oct. 30 12.08 By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released export and import prices for the September quarter, which portends big falls in Australia's terms-of-trade when the national accounts are released next month. According to the ABS, export prices fell by 3.9% in September quarter and by 9.5% over the year. By contrast, import prices fell by a more moderate 0.8% over the September quarter and by 1.1% over the year (see below table). The fall in export prices were driven by the following factors: This [3.9% quarterly] fall was driven mainly by falls in the prices...
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What Robb must cut out of the TPP

ScreenHunter_3418 Jul. 23 10.44 By Leith van Onselen Labor member for Fremantle, Melissa Parke, has posted a fantastic article in The Guardian warning of the dangers to Australia arising from the investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): ISDS clauses enable foreign corporations to sue a host country for laws or policies, or even court decisions, they find inconvenient and objectionable. This has the effect of giving foreign investors more rights than local investors; more influence than local citizens... They were originally created to protect businesses that invested in...
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HIA new house sales decline steepens

5 From the HIA: Total seasonally adjusted new home sales went sideways in the latest update, for September 2014. The flat result follows a modest increase (of 3.3 per cent) in August and a reasonably significant drop (of 5.7 per cent) in July. As we noted in the August report, a downward trend is in place for new home sales. This downward trend is clearly evident for detached house sales. On the other hand, multi-units sales have gained a second wind since June this year. The result for September reinforced these trends. Seasonally adjusted detached house sales fell by 2.3 per cent in...
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Bloxo: LNG will save us!

url Bloxo tackles the forthcoming LNG volumes boom today: After many years of talking about the impending rise in liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, 2015 is set to be the year when it all begins. Seven major projects are being built across the country with the earliest (and largest) having commenced construction in 2009 and it is only now that these projects are set to start exporting. New LNG capacity was a key driver of the resources sector investment boom and LNG is now set to be a major driver of export growth over coming years. Given the capacity that has been built, LNG export volumes...
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Greens whither in petrol excise heat

ScreenHunter_4693 Oct. 30 09.40 By Leith van Onselen Richard Denniss, Executive Director of The Australia Institute and previously Senior Strategic Advisor to former Australian Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown, has slammed the Greens' blanket opposition to, and hypocrisy over, re-indexing fuel excise: Back in 2006, the Greens included the abolition of fuel tax indexation on their list of the top ten budget mistakes made by John Howard. Indeed, they rated it number 1. In 2006, they also called for the reintroduction of fuel tax indexation to fund a climate disaster fund. And in 2010, they had the reintroduction costed by the...
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Atlas spreads the cheer

cheer-gif Anyone listening to this ought to run a mile, Ken Brinsden of Atlas Mining at the AGM, via AFR: “In some respects, we don’t see them [the majors] as our competition… for us to deliver iron ore to the ship for $20 a tonne, that would be ludicrous. But if we can do it for $45 a tonne, who isn’t to say that that might be incredibly competitive in a global context.” Well...me. In its most recent quarter, Atlas produced at C1 costs of $48 A $3 reduction would take its all-in breakeven to roughly $64 per tonne. However, it sells iron ore that is heavily discounted to benchmark (for instance it...
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Brazil mulls more iron ore as real tanks

Capture Here in action is the point I've been making about Fortescue and the Australian iron ore juniors battle for survival versus Brazil. From Platts: Mineracao Usiminas, the mining arm of Brazilian steelmaker Usiminas, hopes for "lucrative exports" of iron ore in the fourth quarter, after a third quarter without exports, the company said Wednesday. "There will be an opportunity for profitable exports," Wilfred Bruijn, executive director, said during a conference call with investors. That possibility is mainly due to the recent devaluation of Brazilian real compared to the US dollar, the company has...
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The GST is regressive. So what?

ScreenHunter_4690 Oct. 30 08.20 By Leith van Onselen Former Australian Treasury official and co-founder of Access Economics, Geoff Carmody, has written a great reposte to those whom oppose raising/broadening the GST because it is 'regressive'. From The AFR: ... a flat tax on consumption, like the ideal GST, is regressive. But offering GST exemptions (fresh food), or a lower GST rate, means giving much larger absolute dollar concessions to the rich rather than the poor. The budget cost of such concessions overwhelmingly favours people who aren’t poor. This is wasteful and ineffective redistributive policy... More importantly,...
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More on Fed normalisation

imgres Nomura has the pick of the sell side commentaries today: We have been through a substantial market roller-coaster ride over the last few weeks. But the Fed barely blinked today. While the FOMC statement did note that market-based inflation expectations have declined and that near-term inflation will be depressed by lower energy prices, the broad message was that policy normalization is on track. First, QE ended. Second, there were no explicit comments on weak foreign growth, a strong dollar, or tension in financial markets. Third, the Fed toned down its language on labor market slack, now saying...
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Macro Morning: King Dollar returns!

marketmorning By Chris Becker Asia will awake to the news that the Fed's QE has ended and US Dollar has regained its throne as the King currency as dollar pairs moved down 80-100 pips across the board while stocks were rocked but not shocked. Interestingly, the Kiwi was smashed by the double whammy of the FOMC meeting and the RBNZ which had its interest rate meeting shortly after, holding rates but appropriately jawboning (hello RBA!) the currency down. As a result NZDUSD is off nearly 200 pips currently just below 78c against USD: The Aussie fell over 100 pips to be just under the 88 handle smacking...
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FED ends QE

imgres No surprises from the FOMC overnight: Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in September suggests that economic activity is expanding at a moderate pace. Labor market conditions improved somewhat further, with solid job gains and a lower unemployment rate. On balance, a range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources is gradually diminishing. Household spending is rising moderately and business fixed investment is advancing, while the recovery in the housing sector remains slow. Inflation has continued to run below the Committee's...
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Mining town property markets crash spectacularly

ScreenHunter_4683 Oct. 30 07.37 In this week's SQM Research free weekly newsletter managing director, Louis Christopher, provided a detailed update on conditions in Australia's mining town property markets, which are experiencing a sharp downturn, particularly in hard commodity towns associated with iron ore and coal: It has been sometime since we wrote an update on the mining town property crash that has taken place around Australia, most notably in Western Australia. We last wrote a special in our 2013 Housing Boom and Bust Report. At the time we made note the “hard commodity towns” had well and truly entered their...
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RBNZ shows Australia the way

ScreenHunter_4689 Oct. 30 08.01 By Leith van Onselen The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) conducted its Official Cash Rate (OCR) review this morning, which left the official interest rate at 3.5% as expected. However, RBNZ Governor, Graeme Wheeler, did drop talk of future interest rate rises saying "a period of assessment" is warranted, and also warned once again on the overvalued Kiwi dollar: The Reserve Bank today left the Official Cash Rate unchanged at 3.5 percent. The global economy is growing at a moderate rate although recent data suggests some softening in the major economies, apart from the United States. Monetary...
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Abbott gets his carbon black hole

fqf-300x240 From Business Spectator: The federal government's $2.55 billion Direct Action climate policy will pass the Senate after a deal was struck with the Palmer United Party. ...The Climate Change Authority will be retained until the next election at least. The authority will be asked to investigate and report to parliament on the PUP's concept of putting an emissions trading scheme on standby pending similar action by Australia's major trading partners. ...Mr Hunt said the government would achieve its emission reduction target of five per cent by 2020. Not with $2.55 billion it won't. Australia...
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Daily iron ore price update (off the Cliffs)

anvil Here are the iron ore charts for October 29, 2014: Paper markets were better with the 12 month swap and Dalian at least stable. Dalian May also added 2 points. Rebar futures jumped. But that did not translate to physical buying in either steel or iron ore. I still favour new five years lows in the near future. Platts describes some ongoing tightness around premium lump: Spot prices of seaborne iron ore lump rose to the highest in seven months, driven by a scramble for material arriving in November. Mills continued to buy lump anticipating the need to reduce sintering during the winter...
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World Bank tells China to keep slowing

imgres From the World Bank: China’s growth continued to moderate reflecting renewed policy efforts to rebalance the economy. For 2015-16, average growth is expected to ease to slightly above 7 percent as policy efforts to place the economy on a more sustainable growth path are likely to intensify, according to the World Bank’s China Economic Updatereleased today. “Policy efforts to tighten credit growth, reduce excess capacity, internalize the cost of industrial pollution, and harden budget constraints of local governments intensified in 2014. These policies are welcome and will help...
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