Macro Afternoon

See the latest Australian dollar analysis here:

Australian dollar flies as stocks price to infinity

Another relatively mild session across risk markets here in Asia today until late in the session with traders eyeing the latest musing from China on the trade war with the US.   Chinese stocks were the worst off with the Shanghai Composite down a handful of points again, remaining below 2900 points while the Hang Seng Index continued its mild retreat, down 0.3% to 25599 points. Price remains under pressure below the low moving average on the daily chart, and still looks set to return to the terminal low just below 25000 points:

Japanese share markets put in scratch sessions, closing before a big selloff in Yen, with the Nikkei 225 closing largely unchanged at 20460 points. The USDJPY pair was hovering just below the 106 handle after a very quiet session overnight, but is moving higher on the trade comments from China:

The ASX200 was the best again in the region, but its all relative, as it escaped with a very mild rise of 0.1% to finish at 6507 points. The Australian dollar helped by falling on the CAPEX data and is now threatening the 67 handle, nearly matching the Monday morning gap open:

S&P and Eurostoxx futures are up sharply, indicating a reversal of confidence as markets jump on anything perceived as good news with the S&P500 four hourly chart showing price breaking out above recent resistance at the 2900 point level:

The economic calendar continues with three big releases to watch tonight, namely German unemployment, then the US 2Q GDP print and advanced trade goods data for July.

Latest posts by Chris Becker (see all)


  1. Trade war drives ‘innocent’ Asian nations towards recession – BBC News

    Rising fears about the health of the global economy have prompted talk of recession, spreading anxiety about jobs and growth.

    The US-China trade war is casting a shadow over the world economy and warning signs of a looming downturn have flashed on financial markets.

    Recession poses no immediate threat to the biggest economies in Asia, although they are slowing down. Yet some smaller economies in the region – including Hong Kong and Singapore – are definitely at risk. … read more via hyperlink above …

  2. Thought of the day: Bank Cheques have no expiry date

    I am sure there is something in that for all of us…especially those wanting to ban cash and implement NIRP

    • Instead you may find that with NIRP that the banks themselves have expiry dates.
      That said it may make a nice novelty item some day.

    • Just send a cheque to deputy commissioner of taxation paying your tax in advance

      Then you can claim refunds over time

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      Reminds me of the joke about the foreign tourist in Poland who was devoured by one of the game park’s two alligators while no one was watching. Naturally the wife was quite distraught and wanted the ‘remains’ back, but park management could hardly gut either of the beasts lest they pick the wrong one to dispatch first and thereby lose their exhibit in its entirety.

      Fortunately, the park ranger rocked up at just the right time, pointed at the big one, and said: “Gut him.”.

      Minutes later, the wife, reunited with her husband, in bits, and his jewellery, asked: “But how did you know, how could you be so sure?”. “Ah, the Czech is always in the male.”, replied the ranger.

  3. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Here’s a discussion topic for the eve………

    How should men interact with women in the workplace? Or how should men and women interact?

    I think this piece omits a number of dynamics which also come into play in workplaces – organisational power dynamics for starters, and broader socio economic positioning for seconds, and almost certainly age as well, and a load of different cultural mores would come into play as well. Contemporary management often pushes a blurring of the borders between work and non work, and it invariably often pushes close collaboration too.

    I work in a workplace where a number of mainly older gents (who have generally no interest in becoming more ‘powerful’ and have no ‘power’ to bestow on others) will openly state straight out that they avoid close workplace relationships of any kind, but particularly with women, and are surprisingly careful to avoid close individual contact with members of the opposite sex.

    But I do too find myself wondering if – for men who are married, in a relationship, not interested in intimacy or sex, not exercising ‘power’ – such behaviour is fairly normal and a sort of example of the safety first mindset…..

    Over to you (mainly) guys.

    Men now avoid women at work – another sign we’re being punished for #MeToo
    It looks like Mike Pence is quite the trendsetter. The US vice-president famously refuses to have dinner alone with any woman who isn’t his wife – and now working men across corporate America appear to be following his lead.

    A new study, due to be published in the journal Organizational Dynamics, has found that, following the #MeToo movement, men are significantly more reluctant to interact with their female colleagues. A few highlights from the research include:

    • 27% of men avoid one-on-one meetings with female co-workers. Yep, that’s right, almost a third of men are terrified to be alone in a room with a woman.

    • 21% of men said they would be reluctant to hire women for a job that would require close interaction (such as business travel).

    • 19% of men would be reluctant to hire an attractive woman.

    The data above was collected in early 2019 from workers across a wide range of industries. Researchers had asked the same questions (albeit to different people and with more of a focus on future expectations) in early 2018, just as #MeToo was in full swing, and depressingly, things appear to have got worse. In 2018, for example, 15% of men said they would be more reluctant to hire women for jobs that require close interpersonal interactions with women, compared to 21% in 2019.

    It’s not just men who are afraid of women, by the way. Women also appear to be increasingly wary of hiring women. The 2018 survey results found that 10% of men and women said they expected to be less willing than before to hire attractive women. (Note: the 2019 results for women are not yet public.) Internalized misogyny really is a bitch.

    There’s been a lot of talk about “grey areas” in #MeToo. All this harassment business is very difficult for men, we’re told, because nobody even knows what sexual harassment is any more! Men are afraid to even shake a woman’s hand in case she thinks it’s harassment! Easier to just avoid contact altogether! What’s really interesting about this study, however, is that it thoroughly debunks the argument that men are confused about what constitutes unacceptable behavior. The very first thing researchers did was look at 19 behaviours (emailing sexual jokes to a subordinate, for example) and get people to classify it as harassment or not. Surprise, surprise, both genders basically agreed on what harassment entails.

    “Most men know what sexual harassment is, and most women know what it is,” Leanne Atwater, a professor at the University of Houston and one of the study’s authors, told the Harvard Business Review. “The idea that men don’t know their behavior is bad and that women are making a mountain out of a molehill is largely untrue. If anything, women are more lenient in defining harassment.”

    So there you go: most men are perfectly aware of the difference between a friendly hug and a creepy hug. They are perfectly aware of what constitutes harassment and what doesn’t. Which makes you wonder why so many men are afraid to interact with women at work?

    The answer to that question, perhaps, is that a lot of men aren’t so much afraid of being accused of anything as they are they are angry that #MeToo ever happened. They’re angry that they’ve been made to think about their behavior, made to interrogate power dynamics they always took for granted, and they are punishing women for it by refusing to interact with them.

    It’s worth noting, I think, that the Harvard Business Review article previewing the study’s 2019 results is headlined The #MeToo Backlash. You see that phrase a lot and that framing subtly implies that #MeToo went too far, that a backlash is only natural. It’s yet another form of victim-blaming; another way to quietly put women back in their place.

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      Gunna, that’s quite a difficult question to answer in a few words as there are so many variables involved in such approaches. But essentially, for the purposes of discussion, could you clarify, are they hot?

    • I look at it a lot like male school teachers. Since it only takes someone to complain about you looking sideways at them, men have started to avoid the profession. Same with women in the workplace, why put your career at risk when HR (most usually women) are more than happy to put the gunsights on you if a female says you farted in their general direction?

    • alwaysanonMEMBER

      I work in technology which, along with entertainment, has been at the center of this. For me it has been less about being worried I’d be accused of harassment (because I am married and that isn’t me and my vibe) and more being told, or at least made to often feel, that that I should not present publicly at conferences or MeetUps but instead suggest a qualified woman to do it in my place. There are things like this – – where the view is that there should be a 50/50 balance between male and female speakers at every event. And if you don’t have that balance people reach out to organisers or call them out on Twitter as being part of the problem.

      I am conflicted because I get that young women seeing women speaking and killing it publicly helps to motivate them to join and feel welcomed to the industry etc. But I enjoy public speaking and there is a very clear “we really want/need a woman for this” bias lately that has hurt me professionally.

      • That is absolutely insane. Why should there be a gender quota in technology in favour of women if there is not a gender quota in favour of men in jobs such as primary school teacher and receptionist?

        The gender quota in tech is being filled with unskilled immigrants. Moar unskilled immigration masquerading as skilled immigration.

      • The push for more woman in IT just for the sake of gender balance really pi$$es me off. We had a position to fill recently and the word came down from above that it had to be a woman. Luckily those CVs we were given by HR to interview were just sooo bad we could get away with rejecting them all, but I’ve seen other teams forced to hire woman just because HR said so.

    • For many years I have been a little cautious without wanting female coworkers to feel excluded. A recent unfortunate incident where I was told off by a conceited coworker has changed all that. I now stay away from all women except those who are already close friends.

      Just waiting for the day where HR call me into their office and remind me that exclusion is a form of bullying.

      • What gender was the conceited coworker?

        I wonder if men are allowed to have lunch with other men while refusing to have lunch with a female colleague (to avoid harassment allegations).

    • Very true. Men in my workplace including myself avoid being in the same room as women alone in case of a fake harassment allegation which is unlikely but possible with some. It would be a case of sack first ask questions later. Not only that though, most of the men have come out of nasty relationships with ex’s that use their kids as tools to control them, so they don’t date and choose to grow old alone with frequent Thailand visits instead. There are likely many older single women that want a partner but the men are no longer interested.

    • I’ve always ascribed to the old school perspective that you don’t cross the streams between private and business life, including roommates.

        • You would be surprised how often it was on offer [wife is 11 years younger – snort], but then you’ve never seen me or met me in person. You then be surprised how respected at work I am [also known as the machine] and how much our clients like me. In one case was working on another job and they requested to the proprietor that I come back in the late afternoon so they could personally say thanks. Last job the clients gave me a six pack of my favorite German beer.

          Anywho … the point is that I don’t jeopardize my work responsibilities and all it entails with chasing tail, same goes for living with or sharing a place to live. Relationships based on short term desire have a bad habit of ending just as soon and can have negative repercussions for all at work or at ones residence.

          You would think with all the stuff in the media, let alone personal observations, after a time, would inform most of the potential negativity that far out weighs any short term gratification. If fact just the consideration to – all – those around, which can be embroiled in any negative results, would seem to suggest one should take in the big picture. Yet then again this whole atomistic individualism thingy where reality is all about personal gratification and individual desires seems to be fundamental in so many aspects of social dysfunction.

          Survivor Island with a side of the Dating Game [????] …. sorta like kids today watching pron at 8 years old and getting their ques from it, and how that gets deemed “Natural [tm] behavior” ….

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      ..I have to say on many occasions I had to decline the opportunity as endangerment to my salary as a consideration won out……but jeez it was hard
      …… the leather clad ladies in HR waiting to pounce and punch above their weight was also always a consideration ……

      Like many aspects of normal human interaction and engagement it’s now filtered through the prism of too many useless PhD studies …..that feed into our everyday life and constipate it …..

    • That’s just [email protected] men should dominant causes they have balls unless their girlymen which means the priks are genetically infirior to 1800 hundreds blue bloods the real Australians less than 6 generations is surf trash to profit of sheep in pens lolol

    • I don’t feel like I have to second guess my female workmates. I’m comforted by the fact that if I did have a crack at any of them they’d punch fvck through me. When they’re finished, Mrs Nut would put me in traction for a good couple of months.

    • Hmm. Some interesting stats followed by a surprise conclusion about men not hiring or meeting women cos they’re pissed off at #metoo – for which no evidence is provided – and then some completely random claims about the meaning of the term ‘backlash.’ FFS feminist Susan Faludi wrote a book called Backlash about reactions to feminism. The term ‘backlash’ doesn’t in the least imply that feminists went too far.

      To me this reads like hasty journalism more than anything else. For the record, I haven’t noticed any changes in hiring or meeting practices in my workplace, but perhaps that’s because I work in the public sector??

    • Agree with Emma mostly. Seems to draw many conclusions but doesn’t provide any supporting evidence. As a male who never puts the sleezy hard word on women or does inappropriate gestures etc.. #MeToo annoyed me because it said all men are bad sleezy pr1cks. And we should all look at ourselves, but really it’s only a small group of men who behave that way. There are many women who are inappropriate also, but it barely gets a hoo har.

      I just interact with women the same as men at work. Never been afraid to have 1:1 meetings and be alone with a woman at work. Never had any HR troubles either.

      If anything I feel that men withdrawing has a lot to do with men being told they don’t do much right. The Gillette commercial hit that nerve I think. Plenty of men have been supporting their families for generations and not complaining about it, but that seems all forgotten in the last 10 or so years..

    • Agree with Timmeh, Emma & Gav. & the payback ‘Punishing women’ is victimhood fantasy. Avoiding possibly threatening situations has been going on waay before #MeToo. Much more about defensive survival from possible extremists from any facet of our species. – which is also why #MeToo was born.

  4. Not Bottoming Out Yet but Dropping Further?! Surprisingly Open Material Supplier CEO Reveals More

    Economy Times
    Published on Aug 29, 2019

    Oh and, bad news for the construction industry too, watch now! Turns out we are NOT bottoming out?!?! Yes, there is at least one honest construction industry CEO out there that you can learn from, not just the usual BS to spruik your own business and industry.

  5. The Traveling Wilbur


    House prices rebounding? ✔
    ASX holding? ✔
    RBA now converted to the darkside of easing policy? ✔
    Unemployment rate under control says ABS stats? ✔
    Opposition on a very short lease? ✔
    National security pushed to the fore again as a popular issue? ✔
    Nasty immigrants pushed to the fore again to popularly support existing legislation made by the incumbent party? ✔
    Labor shooting itself in the foot with both Unions and Property Developer related issues? ✔
    Major non-essential policy to be debated in parliament just as the economic numbers start to turn which the media won’t care about because too busy discussing religious freedoms (plus no one cares anymore about economics news)? ✔
    ScoMo’s hundred-years of government Endagaine mural of 2109 commission released for tender to selected artists? ✔

    I think he just may think he has fixed thing too.

    • October 31

      Global crash – no … but volatility for those so inclined and a final solution for some …. infectious or not is another question to ponder …

        • Trump and Boris fanboyz love volatility – for various reasons – some trading and some like arsonists or ideologues thinking the turning is upon us, it just needs a little help.

          The infection bit is like others considering this a reasonable template to achieve results and then copy it.

          TTW sorry old chap but I find your inference hard to follow, considering the depth of your contributions … just saying.

    • But we need more Jimmy Grants to fill the skills shortage! And besides, Meydan can just move to a place where there are jobs because unemployed people have the money to do that.

    • RecessionImminent2

      “Here in Tasmania you need to know people, you need to know connections, Tasmania is very unique in that regard,” he said.”

      Always thought this was some pretty toxic sh!t. I expect you’d find that the worst regions economically are the ones where you’ll only hire your son’s footy team mates or blokes at the pub.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        That’s hardly the full gamut. I believe you can also hire blokes at nightclubs these days too.

  6. Small anecdote but I sometimes park at Star Casino in Pyrmont near work. Today the car park seemed very empty. It could be the bad weather, but apparently a friend noticed the same in Crown in Melbourne.

    Could be the Chinese have stopped coming. I used to see a lot of them at Star (not much English) fumbling around the lifts and parking badly.