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Absurd growth in Nepalese international students rings alarm bells

The Department of Education has released its international student data for the 2019 calendar year, which reveals that total international students enrolments hit an all-time high 957,000: Total international student enrolments rose 9.7% from 2018 and have increased roughly ten-fold from 1994. As shown in the next chart, China (261,000) remained Australia’s largest source of


Links 27 February 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Travel giant Expedia to cut 3,000 jobs: report – Tech Xplore How Fast Can a Virus Destroy a Supply Chain? – Bloomberg Amazon is expanding its cashierless Go model into a full-blown grocery store – The Verge The Coronavirus Is Now Infecting The Economy, Stock And Job Markets –


Macro Afternoon

Asian markets continue their decline following the continued overnight rout on Wall Street, with local Australian stocks leading the selloff. Commodities and commodity currency remain depressed with the Australian dollar inching below the 66 cent mark vs USD while gold has recovered a little from its profit taking slump overnight. The Shanghai Composite is the


CS: Australian GDP already recessionary

Via the excellent Damain Boey at Credit Suisse: We have just received construction work done data for 4Q. Construction investment was well below expectations, falling by 3% over the quarter, but with upward revisions to prior quarter’s data. Year-ended growth fell to -7.4% from -7%. Compositionally, declines were broadly-based across residential, non-residential and engineering categories.


Bank deposit rates go zero bound

Three of the big four banks have cut deposit rates independently of the RBA, with some now nearing zero: The Reserve Bank of Australia hasn’t reduced the official interest rate since October, but that hasn’t stopped our big banks from quietly cutting the rates they pay customers. “Although the Reserve Bank has left official interest


China coronavirus body count down to “5”

Fresh from Beijing: At 04:00 on February 25, 31 provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities) and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps reported 406 new confirmed cases, 52 new deaths (52 in Hubei), and 439 new suspected cases. On the same day, 2,422 cases were discharged and cured, 14 573 were close contacts of medical observation, and


Foxtel’s outlook is terminal

The future of Foxtel’s pay-TV is terminal according to telecommunications expert, Paul Budde: For a range of reasons, Foxtel never took off in Australia. It predicted a 75% penetration by 2000, however, at its peak, it has never exceeded the 30-35% mark. Best indications are it currently stands just below 25%. The company has basically


Open the borders! Only 1.8m beds needed…

Via Domain: More than 1.8 million hospital beds could be needed to treat people in an Australian coronavirus outbreak, with the country’s ageing population meaning the virus could hit harder here than it has overseas. In a worst-case scenario, at least 650,000 beds would need to be in the intensive care units of hospitals, according


NSW Government spares wealthy east from migrant deluge

The NSW Planning, Industry and Environment department has upgraded its housing targets, which have lumped more development on Sydney’s migrant-stuffed west while reducing the development load on the wealthy east and northern beaches: Planning Minister Rob Stokes said development was taking place at different rates in response to planning, infrastructure and market activity… Areas earmarked


Australian construction work collapses

The ABS has released data on the value of construction work done for the December quarter of 2019, which registered another 3.0% seasonally-adjusted decline in total construction activity over the quarter – the sixth consecutive quarterly decline – and a 7.4% decrease over the year: The result easily missed analysts’ expectations of a 1.0% decline


Wall St fundie: Aussie property, banks in path of virus

Via the AFR: The coronavirus could trigger the next financial crisis but the underlying cause will be subprime corporate loans, contrarian investor and chief stock picker for the $19 billion Ariel Investments Rupal Bhansali warns. …”We did not know if the economic shock would come from coronavirus or something else [but] in the worst-case scenario


Five reasons the RBA must cut next week

Capital Economics still looking at April: …we don’t think that the RBA’s concerns about financial stability are an insurmountable hurdle …housing finance commitments have rebounded…consistent with housing credit growth remaining very subdued …we think it may fall to US$0.65 by the end of the year The RBA must cut next week. First, COVID-19 is no


The world just changed narrative is bullshit

COVID-19 has been an issue for weeks. The bond market realised it. Forex markets realised it. So don’t give me the “Italy changes everything” bullshit. And spare me your “black swan” nonsense*. The reality is that very little has changed with the growth of COVID-19 over the last few days. If we look only at


IOC: Olympics may be cancelled

Via AP: A senior member of the International Olympic Committee said Tuesday that if it proves too dangerous to hold the Olympics in Tokyo this summer because of the coronavirus outbreak, organizers are more likely to cancel it altogether than to postpone or move it. Dick Pound, a former Canadian swimming champion who has been


ASX Icarus flies too close to the sun

With predictable results. Now printing a massive double-top: The Australian dollar and bonds are eerily calm: Big Iron is hit with FMG printing a large head and shoulders topping pattern. It’s not broken yet but if it does… Big Gas is aflame: Big Gold is still a major disappointment. Last night sell-off had shades of


Desperate universities mull flying in Chinese international students

The prestigious Group of Eight (G8) universities may organise charter flights to bring Chinese students to Australia when the federal government’s coronavirus travel ban is lifted. It is estimated that about 70,00 students at the Go8 universities have been affected by the travel ban. Some of the nation’s universities will offer grants or fee reductions


Another per capita recession beckons for Australia

The Australian’s Adam Creighton believes Australia is almost certain to plunge back into a per capita recession due to the coronavirus: That’s the definition of a recession that relates to living standards, not the definition the government prefers, which implies India — with a larger overall GDP — is a better place to live than


McCrann: Keep borders shut

Via Terry McCrann today: One thing should be clear cut — especially at this point of peak uncertainty. Think very carefully about the range of possible consequences of decisions; they could so easily and dramatically backfire. Letting in Chinese students and/or tourists too quickly could end up damaging the very people and businesses that are


Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  Fear is gripping equity and risk markets with nothing but selling overnight although to put in context, the bubblish S&P500 is now only back to its December 2019 high! Context is not traded on markets however, with the USD sold off again boosting Euro and hurting continental stocks, with Treasury yields also


Slowly China awakes

Some signs of life in the Chinese economy over the past 24 hours. The big five have a bit of traffic: And wider indicators from Capital Economics have ticked higher: I still expect the rebound to be slow, halting and swoosh-shaped. The full links from Sinocism: 1. The outbreak Drop in New Coronavirus Cases in