ASX at the close

Angus Nicholson for Chris Weston, Chief Market Strategist at IG Markets Asian markets clearly ignored the pre-Thanksgiving performance of the US markets, with most markets rising strongly as concerns over the Middle East dissipated. Statements by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov served to quell investor concerns somewhat indicting that Russia was not prepared to escalate

Latest posts


Suddenly, metals on a tear!

Don’t blink! Bloomberg tweeted: There is also this: @livesquawk: China Copper Smelters Said To Plan Meet To Mull Price Response — BBG And this from Reuters: China’s aluminum and nickel producers have asked Beijing to buy up surplus metal, sources said, the first coordinated effort since 2009 to revive prices suffering their worst rout since


SA offers plan to fix vertical fiscal imbalances

By Leith van Onselen One of the key factors holding back state governments, and preventing good outcomes for taxpayers, are the vertical fiscal imbalances (VFI) embedded in the current federal system, whereby the states’ responsibilities are well in excess of their revenue bases. The extent of the VFI were outlined clearly in the Government’s 121-page


BHP leads big iron into the pit

It’s big iron bash-up day again with BHP down-3% at another new post-GFC low of $19.09 on it’s way back to 2003 prices at $10 and under. RIO is bleeding inexorably to its 2015 lows as well down -0.6% and under $47. FMG is down -1% despite the idiotic press coverage celebrating its buyback of


The US jobs report to end them all

From BoAML: With the much-anticipated 16 December FOMC meeting around the corner, the 4 December US non-farm payrolls (NFP) is one of the most important remaining data points. The significance of recent NFP surprises in driving asset prices has been increasing since summer 2014 and is near historical highs. We last observed this pattern of


Private capex expectations meh

The ABS has released its fourth survey for 2015/16 capex expectations and is OK if you only if you’re a real optimist: Estimate 4 for total capital expenditure in 2015-16 is $120,353m. This is 20.9% lower than Estimate 4 for 2014-15. The main contributor to this decrease is Mining (-34.1%). Estimate 4 is 4.0% higher


Brisbane joins ghost city rush

By Leith van Onselen Earlier this month, The AFR reported that investor demand will soon start to moderate and both rental and capital growth will slow because of concerns over a major oversupply of apartments: …there is some growing concern about the 19,800 apartments either under construction or being marketed within the inner-city precincts of


APRA waves wet lettuce at securitisation

I almost wrote to expect this this morning but hope got the better of me, from APRA: The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released for consultation a discussion paper on its proposals to revise the prudential framework for securitisation for authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs). APRA is also releasing a draft Prudential Standard APS 120


Fitch praises macroprudential success

From Fitch: Early Signs of Success for Regulatory Intervention in Australian Mortgages Fitch Ratings believes Australian banks have tightened mortgage underwriting in 2015, largely due to regulatory intervention. However, risks have built within the mortgage portfolios over the past 24 months, leaving the portfolios more susceptible to a significant increase in unemployment or a sharp rise


Australian dollar iron ore collapsing

During the recent spate of upgrades for Fortescue, one often quoted strength (by Charlie Aitkin in particular) was that the iron ore price had bottomed in Australian dollar terms. Such was always ridiculous and now it’s fact: Australian dollar iron ore is today trading at $59.79, a new low that has violated the 2015 support zone


NZ specufestors flee tighter mortgage rules

By Leith van Onselen On 1 October 2015, new tax rules and residential requirements came into force in New Zealand affecting buyers and sellers of residential property. Specifically, these new rules: require non-residents and New Zealanders buying and selling any property other than their main home to provide a New Zealand IRD [tax file] number;


Australia’s fiscal straight jacket tightens to strangulation point

As the Budget falls apart on pressure from cuts to ludicrous forecasts and the iron ore hammering, Prime Minister Turnbull is softening us up for little to no action, from The Australian: An analysis by The Australian shows that Treasury’s decision to jettison its highly optimistic growth projections will leave the budget deep in deficit


The private colleges rort bleeding the Budget

By Leith van Onselen Last month, The Australian released three articles (here, here and here) uncovering widespread rorting by private colleges. The Australian revealed that private colleges were handed more than $1.4 billion in government-funded VET Fee -Help loans last year, which was four times as much as was provided to public vocational education and


The Parkinson ascendency

The yet-to-be-announced appointment of former treasury secretary Martin Parkinson to head the Prime Minister’s Department is a tale of justice restored, with a touch of Gilbert and Sullivan. Parkinson fell victim as soon as Tony Abbott became prime minister because he had once headed the climate change department; Abbott’s chief of staff Peta Credlin was


Make no mistake, housing affordability sucks

By Leith van Onselen Economic consultancy, LF Economics, has produced an interesting new report entitled “Parental Guidance Not Recommended”, which analyses long-term trends in housing and unit prices, interest rates, household incomes and mortgage costs to determine affordability in the Australian residential property market, via the LF Economics Affordability Index. The report finds that new


Pain intensifies for Perth’s landlord army

By Leith van Onselen Earlier this year, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) released its statistics for the 2013 financial year, which revealed that Western Australians are some of the heaviest users of negatively geared property investment (see below charts). Suffice to say, many of these investors must be growing nervous, with the REIWA releasing its


Securitisation takes heat

From Banking Day: After years of delays, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority is expected to release as early as Thursday its plans for reforms to the regulation of securitisation, according to a report in the AFR Street Talk column. Small lenders in particular, including credit unions and non-bank lenders, are sweating on how long APRA will