Macro Afternoon

See the latest Australian dollar analysis here:

Macro Afternoon

Kayaking in the Cook Islands, 2019: Photo by H. Becker

The expected follow through of risk taking from Wall Street has not occured in Asia today with scratch sessions throughout the region on stock markets. Bitcoin  has fallen back below the $19000 level again, while gold has stalled out above the $1800USD per ounce level following its bounce overnight:

The Shanghai Composite is up only one point after its long lunchbreak, currently at 3452 points while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index is down 0.4% to 26465 points. Japanese stock markets are also going nowhere with the Nikkei 225 barely moving at 26807 points while the USDJPY pair is stretching itself here, unable to advance much further above the 104 handle, not even reaching last week’s intrasession high:

The ASX200 has also absorbed the GDP news without much fuss, closing only 0.1% higher to 6590 points, while the Australian dollar tried to run away above 74 cents but was thwarted and is being held back at where it started nearly 24 hours ago – still in a bullish position, but without forward momentum:

Eurostoxx and S&P futures are in retracement mode, with the four hourly chart of the S&P500 showing a pullback to the 3650 points level as last night’s move higher may yet prove unsustainable despite the probable fiscal stimulus coming from Congress (when though?):

The economic calendar continues tonight with German retail sales and Euro wide unemployment data for October.

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  1. UNITED STATES AND AUSTRALIA: FADING INTEREST IN RETURNING TO THE CENTRAL OFFICE …

    A New Setback for Big Cities as Return to the Office Fades… Peter Grant … Wall Street Journal (behind paywall)

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-new-setback-for-big-cities-as-return-to-the-office-fades-11606818601

    U.S. employees started heading back to the office in greater numbers after Labor Day but that pace is stalling now, delivering another blow to economic-recovery hopes in many cities.

    The recent surge in Covid-19 cases across the country has led to an uptick in Americans resuming work at home after some momentum had been building for returning to the workplace, property analysts said. Floor after floor of empty office space is a source of great frustration for landlords and companies, which have invested millions of dollars in adapting building plans and developing new health protocols to make employees comfortable with a shared location.

    About a quarter of employees had returned to work as of Nov. 18, according to Kastle Systems, a security firm that monitors access-card swipes in more than 2,500 office buildings in 10 of the largest U.S. cities.

    That rate is up sharply from an April low of less than 15%, which largely consisted of building-maintenance and essential workers. The office return rate climbed steadily during the summer and early fall, but it has flattened out after reaching a high point of 27% in mid-October, Kastle said. The rate for last week was down even more sharply than in previous weeks but likely reflected the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

    “There’s a huge headwind against company executives to strongly push their employee bases to come back to work,” said Douglas Linde, president of big office owner Boston Properties Inc. … read more via hyperlink above (behind paywall) …
    .
    .
    Trickle of office workers return to CBD but most staff stay home … Rachael Dexter, Rachel Eddie, Benjamin Preiss, Ashleigh McMillan … The Age Melbourne

    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/victoria-records-one-covid-19-death-from-lingering-complications-20201130-p56iz7.html

    A trickle rather than a flood of employees returned to Melbourne’s CBD office towers on Monday, after restrictions were eased allowing 25 per cent of the private sector to re-enter the workplace under Victoria’s COVID-19 reopening plan.

    Metro Trains added an extra 95 services on the morning and afternoon peaks so that commuters could stagger their travel, but many carriages had only a handful of passengers.

    ANZ would normally have more than 7500 people at its Docklands headquarters. But just a few hundred people worked from the office on Monday, mostly critical workers who had been at the office throughout the pandemic.

    The bank doesn’t expect its other staff to return until 2021 and plans to implement a roster system to allow them to come into the office every three weeks. … read more via hyperlink above …

    • Slack co-founder says he was a work from home skeptic until the pandemic hit … Sam Shead … CNBC

      https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/02/slack-co-founder-cal-henderson-a-wfh-skeptic-until-pandemic-hit.html

      KEY POINTS

      • Slack co-founder and chief technology officer Cal Henderson said had his doubts about whether companies could work from home before the coronavirus pandemic.

      • Henderson said if he’d been asked a month prior to Slack shutting its office whether he thought it would be possible for large organizations to go remote overnight, he would have said no.

      • Slack announced on Monday that it is being acquired by enterprise software giant Salesforce for $27.7 billion.

      • ““We have the determination, the ability and the preparedness to deal with Taiwanese independence,” Xi stated in 2016, “and if we do not deal with it, we will be overthrown.””

        so, 4 years on, yawn… maybe they intend to only keep on talking about it at CCP rallies…

    • Forever. Watch Chinese influence in the SE Asian/Pacific sphere instead. If they support west papuan independence things could get very interesting.

      (Yep, I’m still banging on about this. I seriously think it’s the next play, this is my 18 months moment).

      • Hell I support West Papuan independence (as I did with East Timor and also with Aceh, tbh “Indonesia” merely replaced the Dutch with the Javanese as the colonial masters of an archipelago of 14,000 odd islands with 300 native languages (“Bahasa Indonesian is mostly a second language – spoken as the mother tongue by less than 10% of the population).

        What is the Chinois position on this?

      • Just to play the devils advocate here, but look across the border at “free ” PNG its even more violent and disorderly than West Papua.
        Free Aceh would be a terrorist haven Narco state in short order,
        I somewhat agree about Javanese colonialism but the world is what it is.
        East Timor or Papua as a chinese client state would be disastrous for Australia.
        Historically human rights abuses have occured in 100 % of counter-insurgency wars.

        • West Papua belongs to Indonesia no ifs no buts. The government has done a remarkable job over the year managing the most culturally diverse country in the world. The world should butt out of their politics. Indonesian sovereignty shouldn’t be questioned.

          Like someone said PNG is basically a failed state, one of the most corrupt and violent places on the planet.

          • desmodromicMEMBER

            The Indonesians invaded in 1962 and the locals objected. So, plenty of ‘ifs and buts’.

          • We signed a treaty with Indonesia stating that we would respect Indonesia’s sovereignty and not in any way encourage or condone separatist movements that undermine that sovereignty.

            Native Papuans will soon be a minority in West Papua anyway.

            If there’s an Aboriginal separatist movement do we hand the country back to Aboriginals?

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            West Papua should be a card Australia keeps up its sleave until Indonesia falls into China’s sphere of influence…. which should be very shortly.

            Does anyone really think that Australia is the only piece on the chess board that is in play?

          • I think Indonesia will be by far the toughest nut to crack in south-east Asia for the Chinese. Cambodia, Thailand, Laos will be lost to China.

            There’s an genuine undercurrent of hatred towards Chinese-Indonesians despite how long they’ve been in the country. Unspeakable crimes were committed against them in the 1998 riots. You could only imagine what they’d do to native Chinese.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      An invasion of Taiwan by China will end up like the Opium War : China will lose their be entire navy and army, Beijing and Shanghai will be occupied, and the country will be looted by a global alliance including Russia and Japan. Taipei will become the new capital of the unified China.

      • if China decides to invade, they will first make sure Russia is on their side. And if/when they do, rest of the world will just bark but not take any action. US will not risk getting 5-10 of its cities being nuked for Taiwan.

        • Gtta love that MAD. This why I expect to see smaller actions from China, spread throughout Asia Pacific and deliberately intended to stick it to Australia either financially or in regional standing with our neighbours.

        • China will never nuke JUST 5-10 US cities, either they turn all the US into radioactive dust before a retaliatory strike can be launched, which is impossible due to sub launched ICBMs, or most of china becomes radioactive dust minutes later. The US remains the only country to have actually employed nuclear weapons in anger. You really think they won’t retaliate HARD if someone nukes them?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio-class_submarine

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Then, once China loses and is occupied, they too will experience the joys of the MultiCult Borg collective – just like Germany has… and the rest of the West for that matter. Bankers and the Corporatocracy rule!

  2. The economy is pumping here in Vic. Latest email from work: 18th release from the staff support fund is open for applications.

  3. Found out the other day that my industry award covers me for $1000 to repair my dentures/spectacles if damaged/broken in the course of carrying out my duties. Pleasantly surprised

  4. Video footage shows the glass roof of the electric car flying into oncoming traffic.

    https://www.caradvice.com.au/904674/tesla-model-s-loses-its-roof-in-china-tesla-responds/

    US safety body to investigate 115,000 Tesla cars over suspension issue

    Musk to Tesla employees: ‘Our stock will immediately get crushed like a souffle under a sledgehammer!’

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/01/elon-musk-warns-tesla-employees-stock-could-get-crushed-like-a-souffle-if-company-doesnt-ac.html

    Crushed by the flying roof.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Those Tesla’s are Bloody shyte boxes compared to my old V8 Kingswood panel Van.

    • Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

      So sad. I feel partly responsible with my 10kW array and 10kw/hr battery. Total imports from the grid in the last week is 6. I’m not sure why Synergy is losing money though, they are paying me 7c for exports to the grid and selling them to my neighbours for 28c that seems like a nice earner.

      • Because on top of that 7c they still have to pay all the fixed costs of the generation asset that power is replacing? The solar panel doesn’t make a power station free, just makes it a lot less profitable.

        Unless of course you are happy to not be able to pull in that power you want when solar isn’t enough, at essentially the same time as every other person with solar has the same problem.

        • weirdly the synergy invoice bills a supply charge of some 90 odd cents per day on top of any actual electricity consumption, and that money is credited to western power not synergy.??
          In short its claptrap imo . I wanna see the amalgamated accounts for synergy, western power and horizon power before I believe electricity supply is a loss maker here.

    • boomengineeringMEMBER

      Thanks Ermo and apologies for slagging off at the Old Bar Bowlo motel as it was cheaper than the other one there anyhow.
      .
      Worked on some really heavy machinery in my time. The most recent sag mill weighed 300 ton empty. The oil tankers at shell Gore Bay, BHP stacker reclaimers. But “Knock Nevis” bigger at the largest moving man made object had a propeller of 9 metre diameter and the “Pioneering Spirit” dead weight of 499,125 tonnes.
      .
      When in WA working at Transfield repaired a a rolling machine that made a cylindrical shape from flat hard steel which was 300mm (1ft) thick. and about 8ft wide. blew my mind that it could even look at bending something so thick let alone make it completely round. Steel was harder than mild steel.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        btw that Newcrest Mining sag mill job.
        Thought I would get the boot 1st day.
        Hadn’t even been inducted yet and told the boss that the configuration of the hydraulic power pac (originally to measure the lube oil lift off the white metal bearings ie lifting the weight of the mill) was all wrong.” Its a 2hr job this way will take all week” He replied “but we’ve always done it that way” I said “well you’ve always done it wrong” Luckily all smoothed off when I explained why, which prompted the rest of the time asking “hey John how do you do this hey John how do you do that”

  5. I’m still puzzled why Corelogic have gone Radio Silent over the last few days when house prices are booming.

    • FUDINTHENUDMEMBER

      I don’t understand why they don’t just permanently replace their indices with Reusa’s Refrain: “BOOM TIMES AHEAD”!

  6. migtronixMEMBER

    ” I think I am perfectly entitled to be able to correct that record,” he said.”

    And I think you’re liar Andrews, and that is based in fact!

      • Whenever she’s talking it’s a case of the gates being down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn’t coming.

      • If Homer decided to extend Odysseus’ adventure he’d just have had him venture through the endless cavern of nothingness that we are told is her mind. Oh, the monsters and terrors that would exist in that world.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        It is because of her semi-mental retardation that the pro population Ponzi, establishment media has made her the spokesperson for any view arguing for lower immigration into this country.
        If she was actually intelligent and able to string together a coherent sentence then there would have been a media blackout on anything she had to say from day 1

        • Nope. You’re attributing too much to her. You may even be projecting your frustrations towards other aspects of the world onto her. She’s just an idiot. A grade A dunderhead. Nothing more to it than that.

    • Where can you find pleasure, search the world for treasure
      Learn science technology?
      Where can you begin to make your dreams all come true
      On the land or on the sea?
      Where can you learn to fly, play in sports and skin dive
      Study oceanography?
      Sign off for the big band or sit in the grandstand
      When your team and others meet

      In the navy
      Yes, you can sail the seven seas
      In the navy
      Yes, you can put your mind at ease
      In the navy
      Come on people, fall an’ make a stand
      In the navy, in the navy
      Can’t you see we need a hand

        • He’s not the messiah, yet he doesn’t deserve his bad wrap. He’s most comparable to Andrew Symonds for me. A batting all rounder. I’d definitely pick Maxwell over Symonds. Symonds was just more fortunate to have a more reliable top 6.

          • Agree, but he flopped in the 2019 WC.

            He’s just about my favourite player. And you don’t get to be captain of some major teams without some serious cricketing brains.

          • Also Symonds was one of my favourite cricketers from that era.

            He was fvcked over by ACB/CA in monkeygate. Disgracefully.