ASX at close

Chris Weston, Chief Market Strategist at IG Markets Volatility in the equity markets has fallen off a cliff today, with tight ranges seen in Australian and Japanese markets. China, however, has put on a further 2% (on massive volume) and continues to soldier on as unused funds from recent IPO’s have been repositioned back into

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Pascometer talks super sense

Fairfax’s Michael Pascoe (the “Pascometer”) is talking way too much sense these days, today tackling the prickly issue of superannuation: Superannuation tax expenditure – that is, what the various super tax breaks cost the budget – will soon match the cost of the actual pension and do very little to reduce pension costs… “The tax


Inequality worsening, but Australia better than most

By Leith van Onselen The OECD has released a new report on inequality today, which revealed that two-fifths of the populations of developed countries have gained little over recent decades, driving rising income and wealth inequality that is damaging economic growth. The report finds that wealthiest 10% of the population now earns 9.6 times the


Big iron struggles to see the light

The big miners took off this morning at the open but have been selling all day and are now flat with FMG down 1.5%. There’s not much reason for anything else. To the indexes: Idiocy spreads are still closing:     Juniors are falling too with BCI now down 25% since it perched itself in


When pork fails

By Leith van Onselen Hot on the heels of its calls to “end the age of entitlement”, the Abbott in early 2014 provided a dubious $16 million grant provided to Cadbury in Hobart. It was revealed later that Alastair Furnival, who was at the time chief of staff to Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash, had


Super industry talks book on pension changes

By Leith van Onselen Industry Super Australia (ISA) has released some perverse analysis today arguing that modest income earners would lose the most from the Government’s tightening of the assets test for the Aged Pension. From The Canberra Times: …middle income Australians would be dealt the heaviest blow – losing more than $100,000 over their


APPEA: No new LNG projects

From Goldies: Further Australian LNG FIDs in the next several years unlikely… We provide feedback from the Australian Petroleum Producers & Explorers Association (APPEA) conference. Australia has 6 LNG projects under construction which are approaching start-up in 2015-17. Further LNG projects in Australia appear increasingly unlikely over the medium term, in the absence of structural labour market reform (which looks


Madometer signals top of everything

From the contrarian indicator The Madometer today: So it is that we face the development of a positive feedback loop. We have a sudden boost to confidence, as the nation celebrates a more pragmatic budget and the apparent end of the RBA’s easing cycle.   This adds momentum to an already solid rebound in consumer spending, encourages a


China headed for 5% growth

From Lombard Street Research with some eye-popping charts and spot on in my book: China’s economy has slowed sharply and this will have a significant impact on global trade and GDP. The authorities are likely to respond to this, mainly through targeted monetary and fiscal stimulus. But as they don’t want to compound the imbalances that have caused


Westpac bulks up for 40 year dirt boom

From Reuters: A recent entrant in Asia’s commodities markets, Australia’s Westpac Banking Corp is ramping up to take advantage of a commodities “supercycle” that it says has at least another 30 years to run. While some global banks have exited commodities due to more stringent regulations, Westpac is setting itself to support a deeper push


Woeful affordability thrust back under spotlight

By Leith van Onselen The AFR has produced an alarming report today on the rapidly declining levels of housing affordability across Australia, with families in Australia’s three biggest cities struggling to find well-located accommodation for under $750,000: Prospective purchasers with $750,000 to spend on a three-bedroom house in the first four months of the year had


Opposition parties too late the hero on TPP

By Leith van Onselen At the eleventh hour, Labor, the Greens and the cross-benchers have united to raise concern about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, which is entering its final stages of negotiation. From The Guardian: The Australian parliamentary working group, founded by Labor’s Melissa Parke, Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson and independent senator Nick


Was QLD really in recession last year?

By Leith van Onselen New Queensland Treasurer, Curtis Pitt, argued yesterday that the state economy was in recession in late 2014, recording two consecutive quarters of negative growth in gross state product (GSP) between June and December – figures disputed by the Liberal Party. From The ABC: [Pitt] said the state accounts show that gross


Macro Morning (bad data)

By Chris Becker More mixed messages in economic data overnight with falling home sales in the US offset by falling weekly jobless claims while European PMIs were solid although German internals were less than expected. This translated into a very small grind higher for stocks and European bond markets while US 10 year Treasuries continued to


A very confused Paul Keating on super

By Leith van Onselen Former Prime Minister, Paul Keating, seems to be losing his marbles in his old age, recommending that Australian workers be slugged a 3% levy to act as a long-term insurer for the ageing: Under his superannuation phase two proposal he called for the Government to impose a levy of up to


Lessons from a dead Twiggy inquiry

It’s over. There’s no kicking anything into the long grass even. Treasurer Joe Hockey last night released a two-line statement saying the iron ore inquiry would not be going ahead: “Over recent days, there has been some speculation about whether a parliamentary inquiry into the iron ore sector was necessary,” the statement read. “After discussing the issue


Daily iron ore price update (2012)

Here are the iron ore prices for May 21, 2015:    Qingdao spot rebounded but Tianjin benchmark fell 20 cents to $57.60. Paper too. Dalian added another 1.5 points overnight. Rebar average kept falling and I’ve added an extra chart for perspective. It’s not promising for the future of iron ore. Reuters has texture: Some investors


Lobotomy the path to riches in Chinese stocks

Cross-posted from Investing in Chinese Stocks. Here’s an opinion piece by Wu Xiaobo that starts off discussing the insanity that is Baofeng’s stock price and goes on to provide some good anecdotes. When Baofeng was limit up 20 times in a row, he received several phone calls from people asking him to explain what was


Links 22 May 2015

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Guilty Pleas and Heavy Fines Seem to Be Cost of Business for Wall St. – New York Times Banks Will Keep Doing the FX Stuff That Got Them in Trouble – Bloomberg View OECD Sees Continued Rise in Growth-Harming Inequality – Wall Street Journal North America: Kansas has found


ASX at the close

Stan Shamu for Chris Weston, Chief Market Strategist at IG Markets Fed remains data dependent While US equities were mixed on the back of the Fed minutes, Asia has had a favourable response. A stronger US dollar has played a big role in some of the key regional markets with the ASX 200 and Nikkei