Macro Afternoon

See the latest Australian dollar analysis here:

Elon Musk may have just saved Bitcoin

Asian share markets remain unsettled after Friday’s fizzer on Wall Street, as the upcoming Biden presidential inaguration later this week is possibly hindering risk taking. Gold and silver had wide trading ranges to start the week while Bitcoin has been falling sharply later this afternoon after it failed to breach the $40,000 level late last week and setup an imminent return to the previous bear market (aka two weeks ago) lows around the $33000 level:

The Shanghai Composite is starting the week in rebound, up 0.8% to 3595 points while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index is having a similar start, currently up 0.9% to 28829 points. Japanese markets are in retreat mode though, extending their Friday losses with the Nikkei 225 closing 0.9% lower to 28261 points as the USDJPY pair is still unable to get back above the 104 level with the four hourly chart setting up for a retracement below the 103.50 level after this stall phase:

The ASX200 is also in sell mode, closing some 0.7% lower to 6663 points, flopping back below the 6700 point level despite a fall in the Australian dollar which has pulled back to the previous weekly low and now solidly below the 77 handle, having lost a full cent since Friday night:

Eurostoxx and S&P futures are tentative at best this afternoon as risk markets continue to send mixed signals. The four hourly chart of the S&P500 shows price well below the previous weekly support level but only just above the trendline from the post-election low – can it hold here through to Friday?

The economic calendar is very quiet tonight given the US long weekend with not much on the agenda.

Latest posts by Chris Becker (see all)


    • Bernie was the only socialist who realised that to increase wages of the US working class, you needed to keep international working class from lower living standard countries out.

      This is why there is such inequality in the US (in comparison to other countries) is that it has run such a massive immigration program for so long … and immigrants who cross the rio grande come with literally nothing.

  1. Christopher Kennett

    Now please show the same for an influenza lung, because to a CT scan they are basically the same:

    These details highlight the supplemental role this knowledge can play in helping radiologists identify which patients are fighting COVDI-19. Even with these findings, though, the team, led by Liaoyi Lin, from the First Affiliated Hospital’s radiology department, cautioned that it will still be tough to differentiate between the two pneumonia types.

  2. UK Variant of the Chinese Virus

    The Biden inauguration has nothing to do with markets.

    There so much profit in them at the moment you’re going to see 10-20% corrections in cyclicals.

    • yes it does. means higher taxes for the elites (if he delivers on his promise) so someone is sending a clear message to him. Do it and we”ll do it too.

      • UK Variant of the Chinese Virus

        Higher wages and big infrastructure spending all good for cyclicals. If anything markets would be more nervous about COVID variants we are seeing.

        When there’s so much profit in the markets it doesn’t take much for people to sell.

        • The Merican way is – take all you can, give nothing back (Pirate of The Caribbean) – means all these large corporations are used to make lot of money for the 1% and pay no taxes. They aren’t going to give them back. They don’t care if they will make more money via infrastructure spending when they know they will make even more via same spending minus paying taxes.

        • “If anything markets would be more nervous about COVID variants we are seeing.” That counts too but I think markets are not factoring the virus yet as they still think vaccines will make an impact. The very smart money may already be making their moves due to the virus but they are also sending a message to The Big Guy about what they think about paying tax.

  3. When gold flash crashed I did not have courage to buy at the bottom. Maybe should have but just could not do it. Was trying to offload all my NCM again and was 1.5c short of the target when it happened and missed it. Plan was to sell the lot and buy back at lower entry point while keeping low exposure.
    I am buying ALK again as I expect them to find the high grade core at Boda. They finally worked out how the breccia pipe is striking and dipping. Also, it there is a very high chance they have another smaller porphyry pipe just south of Boda. Hole 22 has really promising grades and assay for 2 more holes are due in Feb. This southern ground they bought for around $100k from IPT.

      • same but I am still topping up and bringing average price down. First 2 holes should be from around hole 22 that produced very interesting grades. Hope this time around they do hit high grades zones with both.

    • Hey just thought I’d let you know. FINALLY sold my first batch of CHN today for about 3100% gain. Am trying to buy a house so taking profits on a wide range of shares. Held out for $4.54, so not bad from $500 @ 14 cents. Can’t believe I managed something like this. Fingers crossed I can get two more sell transactions for decent prices and then I’ll keep about 600 shares just to see what happens long term.

        • Thanks mate! Yeah me too but it seems like it’s a multi year proposition. Patienceand strategy and not needing to sell are key. I having to sell a couple of stocks that are up 100-400% but I think some of them could go a lot further. But if it gets me a house I’m not complaining

    • Bizness is using its stooges (hello Deloitte) and media mouth peices (hello SMH) to pressure the government to let international students and migrants back in…

    • Shows how distorted the temporary visa situation has become when this even needs to be said :

      “Not all temporary migrants will transit onto permanent residency or other visas and, in fact, many leave,” she said.”

      Wow ….many leave ! What an unthinkable outcome .

  4. I generally do not like any politician AND it is so hard to know what is going on in the USA political scene since I am just an Australian relying on the media and Internet for my information BUT..

    If I was Biden and I had just fairly won an honest election and so many Americans wrongly think it was fraudulent what would I do?
    Easy. I would spend a tiny fraction of my 5 trillion dollar budget (or whatever it is) to toughen up the voting system to make it extremely honest and demonstrable honest.

    If I was Biden and I won fairly, I would ensure that nobody could doubt the result of the next election. What would you do? What will he do?


      If Biden overtly does that then “the other side” thinks he’s rigging it in his favour, regardless of how transparent it is.

    • The voting process is handled by the States, so options are probably limited.

      And it would be an effort in futility, anyway. The only solution that would satisfy the people who think the election was ‘stolen’, would be their guy being assigned President.

  5. Rorke's DriftMEMBER

    Stopped off at a service station on way home to get a coffee. Was about to walk in and a guy filling up his car yells at me very aggressively “don’t you walk in there without a mask, I’ve got your rego number, I’m going to report you”. He repeated it.

    I walk over to confront him
    Me : what’s your problem?
    Him: I’m not having the state shutdown cause your not wearing a mask.
    Me: lockdowns are based on case numbers, a mask won’t help you with that, it’ll probably make you sicker.
    Him: You don’t know who I am
    Me: what’s that matter
    Him: I fought for this country
    Me: what’s that got to do with masks.

    This went on until he walked off to pay and pulled from his pocket one of those filthy black reusable cloth masks that just trap germs and do nothing for viruses.

    I was really shocked by his actions. I didn’t go in to the servo, but wanted to talk to him to try to help a very naive fellow citizens. But he couldn’t be reasoned with, as one of these black and white simple thinkers that love rules.

    It really troubles me when I see citizens attacking another over oppressive goveenment rules. Its worse than the rules themselves, like it’s Nazi Germany or something and neighbours are turning in neighbours.
    Look around, masks are worn under chins, hanging off ears, being touched constantly. The public health order defines a fitted face covering as one that is designed to protect against infection. I see no one wearing masks that meet this definition. They’ve virtually admitted this is just obedience training, its not a health solution.

    What’s wrong with people. Its a scary time. Australians are mostly just sheep. The government could do anything to people here without any fear of resistance. Those marching in other countries are the last hope.

    Separately I had a college get back from lunch today where he walked up the stairs to the rail platform along the street from our office in western Sydney to get a sandwich. He literally walked past three guys doing a drug deal near the bottom of the stairs and when he got to the top was confronted by two police officers patrolling for masks. Not sure if he was fined but he was fuming on return. This is what oppression is.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Someone with COVID-19 entering a premise with a mask means the other people who visited the premise have to get tested and isolate until negative result (casual contact). Without a mask, it’s hard quarantine for 14 days (close contact). That is a huge difference.

      We are very close to eliminating the virus now, so why take the chance?

      • Rorke's DriftMEMBER

        But this is part of the issue Robin. The government makes illogical rules like the one you raise, but rather than question those rules citizens challenge each other. Such as ” you’re making me isolate” when no, it’s draconian and unnecessary illogical rules making you isolate. People don’t fight back if they are fighting each other.

        • All these new scary cases … has anyone died – even someone who would have died this year anyway. The thing is the convicts here, led by some of the lowest IQ journalists in the world, love lockdown and the politicians play to that dumb crew. Immigration to Australia is a tricky thing. While the China diaspora will embrace a police state true refugees will save Australia from one while the boiled frog locals vote for Dan and Anna.

        • You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant. – Harlan Ellison

      • The UK is doing lockdowns and masks similarly to here. They don’t seem to be having quite the same outcome as we are. Did it occur to you there may be other more significant factors than masks in our performance, especially considering masks where both almost unavailable and not recommended let alone required here for the first few months when we got it under control.

      • Rorke's DriftMEMBER

        The right thing is to do what I can to wake up my fellow citizens before the health dictatorship takes hold. You are already being tracked with qr codes, that’s forever now. Slave masks already being defended by the sheep. Next is vaccines, vaccines passports, social credit scores and on it goes.

        • Shame masks can’t prevent pompous conceited berks but perhaps epidemiologists may have a cure.


      “If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.” – R. Givens

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      NSW rules are weird.
      Gotta where the mask in Bunnings where I don’t go near to or talk to anyone but can then go to the Club and sit shoulder to shoulder drinking Piss for hours with no mask.

      • True. Walk around a supermarket and a mask is compulsory. Enter a gym and lift weights run/jump near others and no mask. Govt’s have confused themselves and the public.

        • It’s even dumber than that at my gym. You have to wear a mask for the 5m from the front door, across the foyer to the gym floor, then you can take it off. Nobody even bothers on the way out again, but they don’t seem to care about that.

      • If you can drink P!55 while wearing a mask effectively then I want to see the video.
        The reality is they are just making it up as they go, and the longer and stricter the requirements the harder it will be to ever back down on them without a major reason. If the vaccines aren’t effective these restrictions will be forever.

    • Previous post in jest. Now:
      You are right – there’s more to it than “wear a mask”
      You are wrong – wear a mask.

    • Please tell me the guys doing the drug deal were wearing their masks. Would hate for them to do anything that might endanger their lives. Actually over here in Florida, it is amazing how many criminal-type people are embracing the mask wearing 24/7, whenever they can wear one, they wear it!

    • By the way, it was astounding to me to leave Australia and realise that not all cultures and countries are hyper-aggressive sheep that beat down each other by the direction of the government. My fellow Australians are very strange creatures. I highly esteem those who recognise and try to prevent them from that ‘turn on each other’ mindset. Just recognise that its a battle you won’t likely win. P.S. while family in Australia are being told in the news that virus numbers were rocketing here, the view on the ground is actually very different, most people are fine and carrying on with their daily lives completely unconcerned. Contacts we have in the local hospital tell us the hospital has actually been very quiet for some time now.

  6. So after the sports rorts, Bridget is declaring everything down to “Cadbury fruit and nut chocolate bar – from constituent”. Excesively good level of disclosure, need an app or something so the rest of them can get close to that standard. I have a browse once every couple of years and my favourite part is 13. $300 to a charity in a year is not much for someone on $200k but it’s suprising how many have nothing there. I also find the Greens tithing (I think 5% state, 5% federal, 1% global) to be quite curious and religious.

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      Bridget having had a go and having got a go, and then taken one for the team, must have by now, served out her penance on the backbench and be overdue to be able to have another go?

  7. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    Globally we need to ramp up economic stimulus into the quadrillions.
    I want my house in Ermo to be worth a 100 million bucks!
    My mortgage won’t feel so large then

    • 600kg disappearing daily is certainly very fishy.
      An ordinary car would be packed to the gills and if you brought a ute, you would easily fillet.
      Taking that much daily, I’m not surprised the scheme soon floundered.

    • When you see pics like that it is pretty tragic I reckon.

      A nation which touts itself as the ‘home’ of democracy or the bastion of democracy is that terrified of its own people that it has need for ribbon wire, armed troops and barricades, says to me at least that somewhere along the line that democracy has lost traction with its own people.

      My personal view is that it is NeoLiberalism which is at the core of that loss of traction. I’d throw in also the demise of the media as it was known just a generation or so ago. While I dont doubt that in any given society there will be those that marginalised they feel a need to riot or protest or even resort to arms, the possibility that that marginalisation would be so large as to necessitate that type of security says to me that the system itself needs to take a good look at itself.

      Any society in which an elite has lost not just awareness but first hand experience of the lives of the many is ripe for revolution.

      I am actually listening this evening to the discussion/debate between Zizek and Jordan Peterson a couple of years ago.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Geez,….7 mins untill the introductions! which I’m only listening to now.
        My First comment is on that weird hooting and whooping from the audience during the intro.
        Immediately reminded me of similar behaviour from Elon Musk employees at “Mission control” during a filmed SpaceX launch.
        Kinda reminded me of the in-laws behaviour at the evangelical congregation they attend also.

        “You can hear the applause behind me as we get past the point of maximum dynamic pressure”
        WTF dudes?

        • You may need a couple of refreshers to go with that – and it is rather late to tee off with a circa 150 minute mega pod.

          But they do provide IMO a very good discussion.

          • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

            I’ll definately listen to the whole thing. I find Peterson to be quite good on his analysis of the individual but way of the mark with much his Sociology.

          • Zizek, an Eastern European of the idiosyncratic but dogged type I love sitting and having a drink with, is at one with me (or I am with him) when he says that Marx is at his absolute best when you consider the magnitude of the work in simply studying and writing how the capitalist system works – not in mapping out how a society moves into the future. I would love to sit around in a nice bar and get them both steamingly tanked together.

            It is very much how I see Marx. I think he absolutely nailed the dynamics of a capitalist society (in such a way as much of what he observed and wrote circa 150 years ago is still pretty valid today) – the behaviours of capital and labour and how they interact with each other in a production sense, and of how capitalism tends to make itself unstable generally by tending to reward the capital, and then leading on to monopoly and stagnation, and subsequently rentierism. I have little to no time for the whole idea of a dictatorship of labour (the elites there would be just as corrupt as those we live with under capital), and centralised control over economic processes is a sure fire recipe for stagnation. If we could simply get capitalism to take on board a little bit of comprehension of Marx and recognition that these are tendencies of the system – and to hand a fair chunk more of the proceeds over to the 99% then we would have far more manageable – then I think our world would be a far more relaxing and pleasant place.

            And I would add – as someone who has read plenty of Marx and his successors – that his whole focus is on the socio economic divvy up; the ‘class war’ and that he said barely a word about anything which draws the label ‘cultural Marxism’

          • Gunna, I often say to people, ‘A good capitalist knows Marx’, for the reasons you outlined. It makes for interesting discussions on the toxic effects of Rentierism.

  8. IRELAND REMOTE WORKING: Elaine Burke, Editor of Silicon Republic explains …

    Prepare to work from home forever … Elaine Burke … Silicon Republic

    We have yet to unlock the full potential of remote working, but the Irish government is aiming to make it possible, writes Elaine Burke.

    We still don’t know the benefits of true remote working. The revolution brought by the Covid-19 pandemic has been a scrappy response to a global emergency, not a systematic, carefully planned transformation.

    Though the global crisis turned up the heat on a trend that was already simmering, we have yet to experience the way of remote working that future of work experts had foretold. The emergency continues, and rebuilding the workplace in a new image has yet to really begin.

    The Irish Government, however, has laid out a roadmap for this post-Covid transformation. The new strategy revealed last week will make remote working a permanent option available to employees in Ireland. Of course – as one civil engineer on Twitter humorously pointed out – this won’t apply to all types of work, but it will certainly make remote working feasible for many in the long term. … read more via hyperlink above …
    … earlier MB post …

    Ireland – Remote working update … …

    New laws will give employees in the State the option to permanently work from home … Martin Wall … The Irish Times