ASX at the close

Chris Weston, Chief Market Strategist at IG Markets It’s been a day of trauma for the equity bulls and for many the towel has been thrown in. I suggested yesterday that the financial markets were at a key juncture, but the widening in credit spreads and the focus now on credit default swaps suggests that

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Louis Christopher warns on outer-Sydney property

By Leith van Onselen On the weekend, SQM Research’s Louis Christopher sounded fairly positive about Sydney’s housing market after it posted a solid 70.2% clearance rate, albeit on small volumes: “It was a strong weekend overall.The auction numbers are going to keep building from here. Next weekend the volumes will be greater again,” he said.


It’s time to abandon bad taxes

By David Collyer, cross-posted from Prosper Australia: Flinty Deloittes economist Chris Richardson and all-heart ACOSS chief Cassandra Goldie are on the same page today in the Australian Financial Review. Literally – page 47. Their tax policy prescriptions, now Malcolm Turnbull has ruled out increasing the GST, are identical. Both pieces are paywalled to limit readership


Household energy use keeps falling

From the ABS today comes the Energy Account for 2013-14, which has revealed that household energy use has declined again: Energy use per household is affected by a number of factors, including economic (increases in energy costs), technological (increase in take up of photovoltaic and thermal solar energy generation), energy conservation measures (insulation and energy


AVJennings screams “housing undersupply”

By Leith van Onselen Australia’s oldest housing developer, AVJennings, has today claimed that the country’s residential sector is in crisis due to a long-term undersupply. From The Canberra Times: AVJennings chief executive Peter Summers said: “You can see for the best part of 15 years … there has been a continuing undersupply of residential in


Household finance confidence dives

By Martin North, cross-posted from the Digital Finance Analytics Blog: In the latest edition of the DFA Household Finance Confidence Index, to end January 2016, we see a marked fall in overall confidence, down from 91.46 to 89.24. This reverses the improvement we saw in the last quarter of 2015. Households with investment property and


NAB business survey flames out

From NAB comes the February Business Survey: The NAB Business Survey softened slightly in January, although the deterioration was to a large extent driven by a sharp decline in mining and wholesale – conditions were generally mixed elsewhere – and was largely concentrated in Western and South Australia where the flow on effects from the mining slowdown


Here come the property parasites

By Leith van Onselen Right on cue, the property lobby has re-emerged to caution against any changes to negative gearing, arguing that it would not boost the Budget. From The Australian: Cutting back negative gearing would add nothing to the government’s bottom line… Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond warned of the ripple effect of


Is there gold in them thar markets?

From UBS: Australian gold equities are divided, premium for some, discount for others We see Australian gold equities factoring in a gold price of US$1,147/oz, in line with spot. However, we see the sector split, with domestic & operationally diverse producers implying relatively higher gold prices and subsequently trading at a premium to NPV. This


Consumer confidence hangs on

By Leith van Onselen After four consecutive weekly falls, the ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index has registered its first increase for 2016, rising 0.2 points to 111.4, but is still tracking below the long-run average of 112.7 (see next chart). The improvement was driven by a big lift in the time to buy a major


Superannuation reform takes shape

By Leith van Onselen The superannuation reform package is starting to take shape, with both concessions on contributions and earnings seemingly on the Government’s radar. As reported by Fairfax’s Peter Martin and Mark Kenny today: Generous superannuation concessions seem certain to get a haircut, possibly by replacing the current 15 per cent rate on contributions


Government mulls Medicare payment privatisation

By Leith van Onselen From The West Australian comes rumours that the Federal Government is considering a massive privatisation of the Medicare, pharmaceutical and aged-care benefits payment system in a bid to save potentially billions in operating expenses: …the $50 billion-plus outsourcing would be the first time the private sector has delivered a national service


Gotti discovers the Mining GFC

From Gotti (chart from ZH): …one way or another, the current energy, emerging country and hedge fund/investment banking losses will end up with the global banking community. The market believes Citigroup (shares down one third in three months), Bank of America (31 per cent) and Deutsche (down more than 50 per cent in six months) will


Morrison: Once and for all time a property parasite? (updated)

By Leith van Onselen Last week, the Property Council of Australia (PCA) took rent-seeking to another level, threatening MPs with electoral carnage if they dare tinker with Australia’s negative gearing laws. The PCA also repeated the oft-told myths that negative gearing “keeps a lid on rental costs and house prices” and is utilised primarily by