Lower dollar continues to juice tourism

By Leith van Onselen The rebound in Australian tourism has been one major bright spot for the Australian economy, helped along in no small part by the depreciation of the Australian dollar. As noted earlier this morning, the ABS’ overseas short-term arrivals and departures figures for August, released yesterday, revealed an ongoing improvement in Australia’s

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Fortescue closing in on asset sale?

From the AFR: Iron ore prices have retreated to a two-month low, which has been blamed partly on iron ore traders in China enjoying a week long national holiday. So it was curious that Fortescue Metals Group was the second best stock on the ASX-S&P 200 index on Tuesday, surging 5.9 per cent to $1.97.


First TPP gremlin accidentally divulged

By Leith van Onselen History never repeats but it sure does rhyme. Just over a decade ago, the Howard Government signed the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) amid much fanfare. The AUSFTA was marketed as a  transformational agreement that would deliver massive benefits to Australia over the longer term. However, when the dust settled, we


Construction PMI eases

From the AIG:  The national construction industry expanded for a second consecutive month in September, with a slight easing in the pace of growth from August.  The seasonally adjusted Australian Industry Group/ Housing Industry Association Australian Performance of Construction Index (Australian PCI®) registered 51.9 points in September. This was above the critical 50


QLD taxi rentiers turn violent

By Leith van Onselen The fight between the Queensland taxi industry and ridesharing service Uber-X has gotten ugly, with two Uber drivers reportedly bashed in Fortitude Valley and Kangaroo Point early on Monday morning. Greg Collins, the owner of the Virginia-based cab company Complete Taxi Management, gloated about the incidents on the Brisbane Taxi Driver


TPP ecstasy grips nation, shame nobody knows what’s in it

By Leith van Onselen Listening to the commentary yesterday surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was hysterical. According to Trade Minister Andrew Robb, who issued two media releases on the subject (here and here), the TPP “will establish a more seamless trade and investment environment across 12 countries which represent around 40 per cent of global


Will Domain retain its RBA board seat?

Domainfax is campaigning to retain its position on the Reserve Bank Board: Staying in the RBA orbit, our former chairman Roger Corbett‘s 10-year stint on the Bank’s board comes to an end on December 1. The November 3 meeting will be his finale. Will Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison do the right thing and replace


The RBA readies its bank bailout mechanism

From Banking Day: The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has released details of Committed Liquidity Facility arrangements between authorised deposit-taking institutions and the Reserve Bank, which form part of the new liquidity coverage ratio regime. APRA has estimated that the 13 ADIs covered by the LCR rule would suffer a cash outflow of more than A$400


McGrath fattens the turkey

From the AFR: Leading real estate agent John McGrath has agreed to buy his largest franchisee, the 10 Sydney offices controlled by Shane Smollen, in a move that helps clears the way for a float of the McGrath business. Price has not been disclosed but would be over $10 million. The Smollen operation, with offices from the


China tourism booms, bogan exodus tapers

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday released its overseas short-term arrivals and departures figures for August, which continued to show a trend rise in the number of inbound tourists and a reduction of out-bound tourists. While the number of short-term visitor arrivals rose was flat in August in trend terms, whereas


The dark heart of Glencore

Cross-posted from Izabella Kaminska at FTAlphaville: Glencore has put out a funding fact sheet on Wednesday in a bid to settle nerves over the scale and scope of its market-dependent leverage. You can find the statement here. The notable points are: Terms and conditions, related to committed, unsecured facilities No financial covenants, no rating events


Inflation so yesterday

From Citi via FTAlphaville: At the moment central banks are fortunate that they have the conditions to do more as virtually all are failing on their mandate to keep inflation close to or at 2%. The real problem would be if inflation was consistently looking like breaching 2%. Then central banks would generally be going


Links October 7, 2015

Macro & Markets Criticism over communication dogs Yellen – Nikkei Asian Review Deal still faces political hurdles in member countries – Nikkei Asian Review Is the TPP ‘the new gold standard’ or just ‘thin gruel’? Why the trade deal is still a work in progress – Financial Post How a ‘price spike’ threat lurks even in


ASX at the close

Angus Nicholson for Chris Weston, Chief Market Strategist at IG Markets The Chinese PMIs seemed to have eased fears that the economy would collapse while the US non-farm payrolls (NFP) numbers have pushed back the likely date of a rate rise by the Fed into 2016. This has seen a weakening in the US dollar,


Dumb bubble: Buy crashing property for yield

From Domainfax: There’s a upside in property markets like Perth where house prices are falling: strong rental yields. The town of Northam, 100 kilometres, east of Perth has made the top 10 best yield suburbs in property research group Residex’s Best Rents Report in September. “WA might be suffering a downturn, but it depends on where you look,”


Turnbull talks tax reform

By Leith van Onselen Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has given an interesting interview today to Neil Mitchell on 3AW radio, where he has spelled-out his framework for tax reform: Malcolm Turnbull: We have to look at the tax system. The tax system is the single biggest thing that the Federal Government does that incentivises and


No surprises from RBA

Here ’tis” Statement by Glenn Stevens, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.0 per cent. The global economy is expanding at a moderate pace, with some further softening in conditions in China and east Asia of late, but stronger US growth. Key commodity


Which miners to short then?

The hysterical rally in global resource stocks in nicely illustrating the sense in the MB strategy for dealing with this bear market. The rallies are so explosive and short that it is virtually impossible to position for them. On the other hand the trend lower in resource stocks is reliable and intact and one that can be invested