Macro Afternoon

See the latest Australian dollar analysis here:

Macro Morning

Again we’re getting a lot of mixed signals across stock markets at least in Asia with Chinese bourses pulling back while Japanese and local stocks lift higher, despite the lack of a lead from Wall Street overnight.  This has not yet translated into anything substantial for European markets with futures barely lifting off the ground as the USD returns to strength against most of the major currency pairs, including gold which has slipped below the $1900USD per ounce barrier.  Bitcoin continues to go nowhere as volatility reduces, with price hovering just below the $37K level with the target below at $30K not that far away:

The Shanghai Composite is pulling back sharply, down nearly 1% going into the close to be at 3589 points while the Hang Seng Index is whipsawing again, down nearly 0.6% at 29294 points.  Japanese stocks are moving out of hesitation mode finally with the Nikkei 225 lifting 0.4% to close at 28944 points as the USDJPY finds some life this afternoon, lifting up towards the 110 handle after deflating all week so far and hovering just above ATR support:

The ASX200 zoomed back to life on the latest GDP print, lifting over 1% to hold yet again well above the 7100 point level, closing at 7217 points, while the Australian dollar is finding heavy resistance overhead, with the four hourly candles showing a lot of selling intrasession and now a breakdown to the start of week starting point at the 77.30 level, looking weak yet again:

Eurostoxx and S&P futures are up slightly going in the London open with it should get a bit busy with the four hourly chart of the S&P500 flat lining in more ways than one, with price wanting to get past the 4200 point level but that megaphone pattern is broadcasting stalemate for now as momentum dives off:

The economic calendar includes German retail sales and the latest Fed Biege Book.

Latest posts by Chris Becker (see all)


  1. migtronixMEMBER

    Put your rails down in the vanity
    Put your rails down in the vanity
    Put your coke out in lines
    In the mens bathroom
    Lavatory vanity

  2. Hey Gavin, are you Hodling Cardano? Seems to be doing pretty well vs the rest of Crypto. Trying to decide whether to cash out or not.

    • I’m hodling a bit. I like the energy-friendly POS model, the 5% ish return for staking and the long term roadmap. Still got no idea if it will get reamed in the short term, but it’s only as much as I can afford to lose.

      • Ditto. And the expected price boost when smart contracts go live is keeping me in. Having said that the current price is higher than ever outside that crazy boom about a month ago.

    • No I’m not, I considered buying it. But I’ve stuck mostly to BTC (85%) and Ether (15%). I did speculate a little in Doge a few months back ($100 worth) and actually doubled my money, but sold it and used it to buy more $BTC.

      All that faffing about with crypto and I made more in car parts this week. I bought a set of Triple Solex carbs worth about $15k for a 1/3 of that price.

      Of course I only make money if I sell them and I can’t part with them. But if I had to at least I know I own something of high value.

      So maybe I need to stick with my cars and buying rare parts? Ha.

      • Thanks for the reply. Yeah cars and car parts might be a better investment. If I had kept my first car (VL Calais) in the condition I bought it in it would be worth a fortune now. I think rare cars are a good buy but you gotta store them and that costs a lot. I nearly bought an E 46 M3 5 years ago. They have nearly doubled in price since then but storage, servicing costs etc I probably wouldn’t have made that much money.

        • Yep storage is a challenge. I don’t have enough space for my cars as it is…still gotta work out a garage solution.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Best advice I can give you to answer your question Gav, and you should know this already…

        Lay off the carbs.

    • SupperannuationMEMBER

      I bought when I read they have an African strategy. Don’t know what the strategy is but i am up a lot.

      • To be honest I listened to a lot of crypto spruikers on YouTube and that was a powerful argument for me. A lot of people in poor countries don’t have bank accounts or can’t get access to 1. As it’s deemed too risky for banks.

        But I noted when I was in Africa a lot of people traded phone credit as a form of digital currency. I feel it’s the third world that will really adopt crypto because it’s a form of currency banks don’t own and are not the gatekeepers to it.

  3. Long-running This Week in Virology, in which interviewers and interviewees are all microbiology experts. They had a show with three guests from the WHO team that went to Wuhan and another show with a top US specialist. Bottom line: there is zero evidenced-based reason to suspect the virus originated in a lab and a vast array of solid, time-tested scientific evidence to think it originated in nature. The lab thesis is merely a possibility, nothing more, no better evidenced than the possibility that future scientists travelled back through time or advanced aliens travelled from far space to release the virus (there is only the anonymous, unevidenced, scientifically worthless claim of US intelligence to the contrary). Most illuminating: the scientific investigation of its origins is still in its early stages and we are almost certainly years from the definitive answer (assuming we ever get one). All we’re hearing in the media about the lab release hypothesis is basically sensationalistic rubbish, most probably pushed out at us as part of the anti-China drivel now being spewed 24/7.

    So were right back to WMD level propaganda to misinform the unwashed so some can make political hay …. remind me again how many Americans are dead due to ineptitude again ….

    • RomulusMEMBER

      Would one of those esteemed WHO scientists with absolutely no conflicts of interests be Peter Daszak?

      He also questioned the security standards at the Wuhan facilities. In 2016, some of the scientists including Shi and the EcoHealth director, Peter Daszak, used the NIH funding to conduct experiments in Wuhan on live coronaviruses in a biosafety level 2 lab, according to published details of the work. BSL-2 facilities are usually used for work of only moderate risk, where researchers can experiment at open benches wearing only lab coats and gloves.

      SARS & MERS were quickly and easily proven to be from natural sources. Would help the CCP to show verifiable evidence of the same as well you would think?

      Occam’s razor applies here.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Bwaaahaaahaahaa!! Occam??

        Never before observed: gain of function enhanced natural viral pathogen

        Been there, done that: zootic transmission


        • RomulusMEMBER

          So nothing about Daszak’s conflict of interest? No? …thought as much

          Occam razor = chabuduo at the Wuhan Virology Institute

        • Never before observed: gain of function enhanced natural viral pathogen
          Yikes you are right Mig.
          Theres never been a successful coronavirus vaccine or a human mRNA vaccine either. Hopefully they will occur some time soon but science tends not to change and evolve.

          • migtronixMEMBER

            I didn’t say nothing about the efficacy of the vax.

            Data on the other hand…

          • Jumping jack flash

            seems like there are cases of fully vaccinated people still able to transmit the virus.
            To be fair they did say this was one untested possibility. We are still learning.

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        Even if the Covid Virus in Whu Han is proven to be a Lab enhanced Virus, there is no proof of how it got there.
        e.g. An enemy of China could have brought it to Whu Han and released it near the Virology esablishment.
        There were certainly other nations Virologists working on similar projects.

      • A little more on occam, the nearest horseshoe bat habitat is 1500km from wuhan, the bat lady herself said wuhan was a highly unlikely place for zoonotic transmission( before being dissapeared for a while). Yeah people eat bats, there not that highly prized as a food option that they ship them 1500km

    • SweeperMEMBER

      As per last nights discussion; it makes no difference.
      China is responsible for the rapid spread of the virus into an international pandemic, misleading on human to human transmission, silencing doctors, waiting 6 full days before informing after the regime had the information, allowing travel during Lunar new year, allowing international travel until March (including to Italy), trying to encourage other States to act against their own interest by complaining about border closures, destocking the west’s PPE, selling faulty medical equipment, reluctance to have a full early inquiry etc. etc etc.

      WMD? It was the Chinese regime who misled. You’ve got that comparison all wrong.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Bwaaahaaahaahaa 6 full days???

        You’re in Hellbourne. We were lied to for MONTHS

      • I’m not the one talking in absolutes when there are none to be had, one way or another, facilitated by a desired outcome which has no scientific relativity.

        Especially when one considers – “Another rule of thumb that people might recognize from evolutionary biology is always look at costly signals. If you’re shutting down a city of 10, 11 million, you’re not just doing this randomly.” •

        A Sociologist’s Methodology for Pandemic Predictions and Public Health Messaging – An interview with Dr. Zeynep Tufekci

        Lastly when mouthing the term Science as part of ones rhetorical flair one might consider citation and attribution, some then are concerned about the unwashed’s diminished respect for this pursuit.

      • SweeperMEMBER

        You are focusing on the origin of the virus when what matters is the initial response.

      • Ronin8317MEMBER

        The part about China allowing travel during Lunar New Year is wrong : Luna New Year in 2020 is Jan 25th, and the lockdown happened on the 23rd : 24th is the day most people move. They should have shutdown earlier, however they didn’t think it’ll get that bad until it got beyond any possibility of containment.

    • darkasthunderMEMBER

      Well, yes, good points I suppose, until you go looking for a intermediate host animal to support the zoonotic theory and find there isn’t one identified to date. And no pangolins don’t cut it, our last common ancestor is more than 60M years ago, they are too far removed to be useful viral intermediaries. Every other recent pandemic has had a proximate and easily identified intermediary.

        • desmodromicMEMBER

          All flu originates in birds (18 subtypes (H1-H18)), a few subtypes can infect humans (predominantly H1, H4, H5, H7, H10), and, with one exception, all recent pathways of infection include an intermediary, usually pigs. So most new or novel flu strains originate where people, pigs and poultry live in close quarters, e.g. SE Asia. The one exception is thought to be the 1918 pandemic that went directly from birds to humans, hence it was novel and more lethal.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        The fvcking minks in fvcking Denmark in fvcking June 2020 showed mammalian reservoirs were possible!


    • Point me to a peer-reviewed scientific article that explains the PRRA mutation.

      For those who don’t know, PRRA is a genetic insertion used in laboratories for gain-of-function (quicker virus replication) purposes. It is present in the SARS-CoV-2 virus but not present anywhere else in the ancestral tree.

  4. Banana ManMEMBER

    As pathogens mutate, do they tend to get more virulent as they become more transmissible?

    • Completely unqualified guess.
      Mutations are random. Some might, some might not. The one that do are the ones that we’ll find out about.

      • “It’s complicated”
        In 1950, a single strain of myxoma virus of South American rabbits (Sylvilagus brasiliensis) was released in Australia as a biological control agent against European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Frank Fenner, realizing this would be a grand experiment in virulence evolution, set in motion a series of experimental studies to monitor the subsequent evolution of viral virulence. These studies involved measuring the lethality of virus isolates taken from the field in standardized laboratory rabbits. The work showed that the original highly lethal strain, with a case fatality rate (CFR) of close to 100%, was rapidly replaced by strains with case fatality rates of 70–95% or lower, and sometimes even less than 50%. Fenner and colleagues then went on to show that this attenuation was favored by natural selection because, by killing hosts so rapidly, highly virulent viruses had shorter infectious periods than more attenuated strains, which did not kill so rapidly (6–10). This work became the bedrock of the mathematical theory of virulence evolution developed in the 1980s (11–19), and it remains so because the combination of temporal field sampling and controlled experimentation demonstrating the relevant trade-offs is unique for a disease of vertebrates.
        However, the story did not end with virulence declines. Genetic resistance rapidly evolved in the rabbit population, demonstrated by testing field-caught rabbits with a standard virus. For instance, a viral strain that once killed 90% of rabbits caught at Lake Urana was killing only 26% of rabbits caught at the same location 7 y later (20, 21). This increase in host resistance apparently halted and then changed the direction of viral evolution because viral lethality began to climb, although with extensive regional variation and frequent changes in virulence grade across the MYXV phylogeny (22). Most notably, strains with case fatality rates of less than 50% became extremely rare. More virulent viruses likely have longer infectious periods in resistant rabbits because they are less readily controlled by innate and adaptive immune responses (23, 24). Highly virulent and immunosuppressive viruses can overcome genetic resistance, indicating this evolutionary pathway is open to the virus (25, 26).

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      Mutations can go either way. The mutation in combination with environmental factors and the qualities of the host choose which variant becomes dominant.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Nonsense! I said last year lockdowns would engender mutations that can escape the lockdown parameters. Did you motherfvcker? No

        • Arthur Schopenhauer

          There were no lockdowns in India, until after these variants were widely spread. Not sure what your point is.

          Edit: And I’m hating lockdown too!

          • migtronixMEMBER

            Pffffft ! India did everything right up to mid Jan. All those religious ceremonies were ok’ed in December 🤦‍♂️

  5. migtronixMEMBER

    Where did you come from
    Where did you go
    Where did you come from
    Cotton cloth dollars tho

  6. Just a Few Clots

    DLS has extended the timeline for the commodity bust from early H2 2021 to end of the year now.

    I suspect it will be pushed out to 2022 eventually I suspect!

    • migtronixMEMBER

      You always dank in a broken ass stan
      Who’s lookin good today?
      Who’s lookin good in a crypto way?

    • The Travelling Albatross

      See ya later AlligatoR Dan Dan
      See ya later AlligatoR Ban Ban

      ** Disclaimer: AlligatoR isn’t a relative to JohnR

  7. migtronixMEMBER

    The explanation requiring the least complication is usually correct…

    “God done it”

    Occams razor me that….

    • 50% of a person’s lifetime healthcare system usage is in their final 5 years of life.
      We talk about a ‘death boom’ from the baby boomers, but in reality its going to mean a lot of busy hospitals along the way.
      Every flu season is going to be a killer. COVID is really just a little bit more killer.
      Voluntary euthanasia is basically a necessity just to keep the system functioning. Legalising marijuana too so that more people with pain, arthritis etc. can self-medicate at home.

      • Just a Few Clots

        COVID will just bring forward deaths there will be less strain on the system after the dry tinder is sacrificed.


          More logically: more diseases equals more strain on the system.

          But yes. Once Covid is in it’ll kill and sicken some folks proper. A health system with some capacity to deal and widespread vaccinations would derisk it a bit tho.

          • Just a Few Clots

            Once it’s spread it will bring forward deaths for people in their 80s and 90s with already significant health problems, but the healthy that survive will generate antibodies.

        • The Travelling Albatross

          Yea, you and I grow it to make a living no no
          Government grow it to pi$$ the money yea yea

      • RobotSenseiMEMBER

        Getting someone into and being seen in the ED is never the problem. Getting people out of the ED and into ward beds is.

        You will see in the next 10-15 years a huge push to keep as many people at home as possible, particularly in a) the non-frail elderly, and b) the very frail elderly.

  8. Just a Few Clots

    World death rate

    Year Death Rate Growth Rate
    2021 7.645 0.430%
    2020 7.612 0.440%
    2019 7.579 0.440%


  9. NSW reworks Primary school math curriculum
    But its it worth the trouble?
    Surely if we were interested in simply having one of the best math curriculums we’d simply adopt the Singapore system. It’s proven, it’s straight forward and it’s up to date. Why look elsewhere?
    Unless we’re really not wanting to have a good math curriculum., hmmm suddenly everything makes sense.
    Not sure wtf they’re thinking

    • Strayans too dumb for that.

      Unless it’s got a red oval ball shape painted on the book or framed in terms of flipping houses, it’s just not gunna fly

    • The Australian school system is appalling up to year 11 (with variation among states); interesting to see if it can be made even worse.

      • interesting to see if it can be made even worse.
        Yep that’s my worry
        It would seem like a no brainer to come to some agreement with Singapore to provide us with experienced Primary school math teachers and in exchange we will have the right to send them PE teachers or history teachers or maybe just woke teachers.
        So easy yet so unlikely…wonder if we totally F it up before we fix it up…pity we’re talking about the education of our children.

  10. Container freight update …

    … Cheap money and bad business go hand – in – hand …

    Container ship scores ‘off the charts,’ ‘fantasy’ charter rate: $135,000/day … Greg Miller … Freightwaves Com

    Record charter rate highlights extreme vessel shortage — a major negative for cargo shippers

    In a sign of just how frenzied the container market has become, a freight forwarder is reportedly paying $135,000 per day for a short-term charter of the S Santiago, a 15-year-old container ship with a capacity of 5,060 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

    “Charter rates for short employment … have gone out of control,” said Alphaliner in its new weekly report.

    “Depending on the sources, the ship would have obtained anything between $100,000 and $145,000 per day, an absolute historic high. The name of the charterer has not been fully confirmed, although it is believed to be a forwarder.” … read more via hyperlink above …

    Transatlantic shippers get a taste of the Pacific as container rates rocket … The Loadstar

    Container shipping: Records keep falling as industry enjoys best markets ever … Hellenic Shipping News

    More supply chain havoc after outbreak near ‘pivotal’ Chinese port in Yantian … Dileepa Fonseka … Stuff New Zealand