ASX at the close

Chris Weston, Chief Market Strategist at IG Markets Asia equity markets really are beating to their own individual drum at present, with such interesting and compelling market and economic thematics unique to the geography. Equity markets in China, Japan, Australia and Korea are exerting such limited correlations it is, in theory, making investors’ geographical preference

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Yet more capex reactions

From around the web.: JPMorgan economist Tom Kennedy Weak numbers across the board. It looks like capex is going to be a bit more of a drag on GDP than we had pencilled in. We had 0.5 per cent and we are in the process of adjusting it. I would say there is some downside risk.


Labor’s hack on capex

From the Kouk: Whoops! Private sector capital expenditure fell again in the March quarter. Down 4.4 per cent after a fall of 1.7 per cent in the December quarter. In trend terms, business investment has fallen for 11 straight quarters, something that has not been seen since the early 1990s recession. Since the Federal election


Interest rates are going to 0.75%

There’s lot’s of material floating around the media on today’s capex numbers most of which is like this from ANZ: “Today’s Capex release provides further evidence that the transition toward investment in the non-mining sectors remains quite some time away,” ANZ economists Felicity Emmett and Daniel Gradwell said. “The further decline, from an already weak outlook,


Private capex outlook screams recession warning

The ABS has release the all important Private Capex survey for the March which contains the second estimate for the 2015/16 year ahead. The news is…well…disastrous: Estimate 2 for total capital expenditure for 2015-16 is $104,033m. This is 24.6% lower than Estimate 2 for 2014-15. The main contributor to this decrease is Mining (-34.9%). Estimate


Australia’s highly combustible ghost cities

By Leith van Onselen Australia’s new found fondness for expensive highrise shoeboxes has taken a potentially deadly turn, with ABC’s 7.30 Report last night running a segment on the cheap combustible cladding that has covered potentially thousands of buildings across Australia, which last November sent a Docklands building into a towering inferno: LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER:


Goldman destroys iron ore cartel dreaming

From Goldies: Voluntary production cuts are appealing in theory… The role that low cost expansions in Australia and Brazil are playing in driving iron ore prices lower has come into focus among investors, corporates and even policy-makers. With government receipts under pressure and the commercial viability of smaller producers at risk, many voices have asked for a change of


Cross-benchers propose huge boomer bribe

By Leith van Onselen Independent senators Jacqui Lambie, Glenn Lazarus and Nick Xenophon yesterday called for the Government to extend the Pension Loans Scheme – a state-run reverse mortgage scheme that allows eligible retirees to borrow against their homes to receive payments from the Government equivalent to the full age pension – to all retirees.


The China steel scraptastrophe

From Citi: The long-term threat of steel scrap to Chinese iron ore demand remains underestimated, and this point was the greatest area of pushback from last year’s iron ore book (Global Iron Ore – Vive La Différence!). However, as Chinese steel demand has slowed even faster than forecast, the medium and longer term threat posed by scrap to iron


Measuring the great Australian dumbening

The IMD World Competitiveness Index is out today and the story is poor for Australia.  From CEDA: Australia has dropped another place in world competitiveness rankings, falling further in economic performance and government efficiency rankings, raising concerns about our competitiveness as a smart economy. In releasing the Australian results of the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook which


The Salt of contradiction

By Leith van Onselen KPMG’s Bernard Salt is an interesting beast. For years he has been an “unabashed supporter of a bigger Australia”, producing reams of articles pushing rapid population growth and warning that to not follow this path would lead to an economic and fiscal catastrophe. Yet, over recent months, Salt has made contradictory


Macro Morning (Greek gift)

By Chris Becker The USD paused its march higher overnight as possible rumors of a deal on Greek debt helped lift risk spirits across both sides of the Atlantic. The oil complex was not as happy though with both markers sold off and on the cusp of a breakdown while bonds were relatively steady, except


Pressure builds on FIRB to police foreign buyers

By Leith van Onselen Several real estate insiders have spoken-out about illegal sales of Australian existing housing to foreign buyers, placing increasing pressure on the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to enforce the rules that preclude non-residents from buying-up pre-existing homes. From The Australian: Buyer’s advocate David Morell said there have been many illegal house


Lombard Street does Oz property “super cycle”

From Lombard Street Research: A combination of ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors lies behind surging Chinese demand for Australian property. With prices in China’s policy-driven real estate market retreating, the economy slowing and Beijing cracking down hard on corruption, capital has been increasingly looking to diversify abroad; not least as expectations of one-way CNY appreciation have been shaken to their


Private capex preview

Today is the release of the ABS quarterly private capex numbers. As unreliable as this survey is it remains the most important guide to monetary policy movements that we have as the mining capex cliff vies with business investment in other sectors. Here is the Westpac preview.


Mining capex cliff turns bottomless pit

Son of BREE released its biannual major projects update late yesterday and it does not make for happy reading. Even the pathological optimists at Department of Industry couldn’t hide the bottomless pit that is yawning before Australian mining in the next five years. Here’s the wrap: This release of the Resources and Energy Major Projects


Australia blindsided by war on coal

From Politico: The war on coal is not just political rhetoric, or a paranoid fantasy concocted by rapacious polluters. It’s real and it’s relentless. Over the past five years, it has killed a coal-fired power plant every 10 days. It has quietly transformed the U.S. electric grid and the global climate debate. The industry and


China keen on Fortescue

From The West Australian: …chief financial officer Stephen Pearce accused FMG’s multinational competitors of backgrounding the media on its Singapore investment company. “In doing so, they are trying to falsely insinuate that FMG is contemplating certain behaviour by multinationals that was the subject of the Senate inquiry and remains under the scrutiny of the ATO,”


Daily LNG price update (whack)

The Brent oil price was hit hard again last night, down another 2% at $62.14 as I write. There was no obvious cause beyond a renewed bullish push by the US dollar. Another factor may be next week’s OPEC meeting given the last time the group met and did nothing the price of oil did