ASX at the close

Stan Shamu for Chris Weston, Chief Market Strategist at IG Markets Asia off to a strong start A stronger greenback has worked a treat for Asian equities and seen the region get off to a positive start to the week. The US dollar was firmer against all the majors with a stronger than expected CPI

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Low interest rates aren’t spurring businesses

By Leith van Onselen Barclay’s chief economist for Australia, Kieran Davies, has argued that uncertainty about consumer spending and inflexible expectations of investment returns has made Australian companies less inclined to invest in response to reductions in interest rates. From The AFR: …the abundance of cash on companies’ balance sheets and high hurdle rates – the


Westpac sees 73 cent Aussie this year

From Forexlive: The Australian dollar is likely to remain in a US78.50¢ to US80¢ trading range through next week, but Westpac continues to forecast further weakness in the currency as the year progresses We expect to see the Australian dollar trading down around US73¢ by year’s end This is close to MB’s 70 cents year


BOQ joins macroprudential retreat

Cross-posted from Martin North’s DFA blog: Bank of Queensland Limited (Bank of Queensland) has improved its lending practices following ASIC’s concerns about the way it assessed applications for home loans. ASIC was concerned that Bank of Queensland was using a benchmark figure, the Henderson Poverty Index (HPI), to estimate the living expenses of consumers applying


Yellen gives big iron a shove

It’s a good day for big iron with heavy buying in BHP and RIO both up well over 1% and FMG up 4%. There are a bunch of reasons, paramount being the suddenly falling Australian dollar on Janet Yellen hawkishness, but there is also the strangely large jump in the overnight spot price and firm


McCrann guzzles kool-aid on super concessions

By Leith van Onselen The Australian’s Terry McCrann penned a curious piece over the weekend, supporting Tony Abbott’s claims that “there is a world of difference between taxpayer-funded benefits and people’s own savings [superannuation concessions]”: A tax expenditure is not the same thing as an actual expenditure… The critical intersection of all this is the


Confessions of a Chinese steel mill

Some snapshots of interviews conducted by Morgan Stanley in China recently: Procurement manager of a larger steel mill Demand Seasonality will remain a big issue in the steel market. This year, June-July will be a tough period for the industry. There is the risk of a reduction in financing with banks pulling loans from smaller mills


Westpac joins stampede behind APRA’s property investor line

Last week CBA, NAB and ANZ all capitulated to APRA on its 10% line on the sand for property loan portfolio growth. Today it’s a full house, from the AFR: Westpac is cutting the lucrative interest rate discounts offered to new housing investors, as lenders act to slow the rapid growth in lending to property investors by charging them more for credit.


Capex cliff revisited

This week is the all important private capex update from the ABS and today Bloxo offers an orthodox take on where it’s headed: After driving growth for several years, mining investment has peaked and is declining significantly, in line with falling commodity prices. The rebalancing of growth away from mining investment is progressing, but only slowly. Low


How complacent are share markets?

From Deutsche on the S&P500: “…our PE/VIX market emotion indicator climbed to 1.3 on S&P trailing PE of 18 and 3m avg VIX of 14. A level between 1.2-1.5 signals complacency. There was similar complacency going into summer last year, with S&P trailing PE at 17.5 and a calm market kept VIX at 10-14. The


Triguboffinomic panic 3.0

From old man Gotti at Dad’s Army today: All the ingredients are in place for a dramatic escalation in dwelling prices in both Sydney and Melbourne over the next 15 years. Few Australians have any concept of the dwelling price pressures that will start to build up in the next few years unless the supply of


Mining juniors go to pot

From the FT: A downturn in the resources industry has prompted a growing number of struggling Australian miners to switch their focus to the booming medicinal marijuana market in an effort to stimulate investor interest. At least three resources companies are aiming to raise money on the Australian Securities Exchange in the coming weeks, swapping


Get set for peak dividends

From Credit Suisse:  In this report we note that the current forecast market wide dividend pay-out ratio is at a 21-year extreme high having trended up significantly over the past four or so years as investor demand for yield has intensified over that period (see Figure 1). ■ We also note that sell-side analysts are forecasting a peak


Macro Morning (inflationista)

By Chris Becker A solid inflation print, particularly core CPI plus a newly hawkish Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s comments took the mojo out of risk markets on Friday night. The US dollar soared higher on the enhanced hawkish stance that rates will rise sooner than expected, with undollar assets like oil, gold and the Aussie


The five stages of iron ore grief

It’s not altogether easy to judge whether a large resources endowment makes a nation stupid, or being stupid leads a nation to rely heavily upon a large resources endowment. It’s probably both caught in a feedback loop. Either way, Australia is going through some kind of rude awakening when it comes to its iron ore dependency.


China prepares to wreck iron ore market

From the AFR: Veteran political commentator Laurie Oakes, writing in News Corp tabloids at the weekend, said that “several” applications had recently been lodged with the Foreign Investment Review Board that would affect mining companies. The applications “raise the possibility of significant upheaval in the iron ore industry and ownership of sections of it over


Australian dollar smacked on hawkish Yellen

Two points of interest from the US on Friday night hammered the Aussie dollar back to 78 cents (thank you Madometer). The first was US inflation which came in firm on the surface at 0.3% for the month and 3.1% year on year: According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median Consumer Price


Krugman warns again as TPP enters “end game”

By Leith van Onselen The Trans-Pacific Partmership (TPP) trade agreement moved one step closer to conclusion on Friday, with the US Senate passing so-called “Fast Track Authority”, which would allow the President to negotiate an agreement and have Congress pass it without amendment. The Fast Track bill will now move to the House of Representatives


Red Book: Consumer firms but WA crashes

From Westpac’s consumer bible, the Red Book: ― The Westpac–Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index rose 6.4% in May from 96.2 in Apr to 102.4. This is a positive result and the highest reading since Jan last year. ― The two driving forces behind this month’s gain are the Budget and the RBA’s May rate cut. The survey detail suggests a


RP Data weekly housing market update

Click to view Core Logic-RP Data’s latest weekly housing market update, which provides a useful snapshot of the housing market as at 24 May 2015. This week’s report includes: Latest weekly dwelling value results; Auction results & clearance rates; Latest median house & unit prices; Average time on market & vendor discounts; Mortgage market activity;


Auction clearances sealed in bubble

The national auction clearance rate rose over the weekend, continuing the strongest run of results for around six years. The preliminary national clearance rate was 78.4%, up from the 76.4% recorded last weekend, according to Core Logic-RP Data: Sydney’s clearance rate rose 1.4% to 86.9%, whereas Melbourne’s jumped by 5.7% to 80.0%. Clearances in Brisbane,