David Llewellyn-Smith


Daily coronavirus China update

Via Beijing comes the latest update: At 04:00 on February 9th, 31 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps reported that 3062 new cases were confirmed (2618 in Hubei), 296 cases were severely added (258 in Hubei), There were 97 deaths (91 in Hubei, 2 in Anhui, 1 each in


Chinese media: Virus much worse than admitted

Via CCP foghorn, Global Times, a little truth telling slipping out: It has become a crucial moment in the fight against the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) for Wuhan, Hubei Province, the epicenter. The virus so far caused over 30,000 infections nationwide and 811 deaths, as local authorities urged to bring everyone together who needs corresponding


ALP: Zero tax too high for gas sector

It’s wonderous the tricks a whore politican will turn to earn a quid, via Twitter this morning: Freshly minted Resources Minister Keith Pitt is off to an inauspicious start, threatening a big new tax on the Australia’s wealth-creating gas sector just two days after his swearing-in. The Morrison Gov’t is too focused on itself to


Sydney top end property to boom on virus!

Via the AFR, Sydney prestige is going to boom: Sydney’s top-end luxury property market will be buoyed by growing confidence, rising prices and improved supply with records set to tumble in the best-performing postcodes, according to national property valuer Herron Todd White (HTW). A record price of $25 million set two years ago is expected


Sickening China waves off copper

Via the FT: Copper traders in China, the world’s largest buyer of the metal, have asked miners from Chile to Nigeria to cancel or delay shipments as the deadly coronavirus outbreak hits demand. …“Coronavirus has had a huge impact on copper demand as downstream users [involved in processing raw copper] have stopped acquiring raw material,”


After RBA, Recessionberg puts stimulus cue in the rack

Several weeks ago I wrote: The formulation of the gathering catastrophe is simple. Coronavirus is loose in China. The Chinese Communist Party has declared war upon it and must win lest it jeopardise itself. As the virus explodes, the base case for that is now to progessively shut the country down for six-to-nine months. There


400 million locked down in China to fight coronavirus

First the latest update from Beijing: At 04:00 on February 8th, 31 provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities) and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps reported that 2656 confirmed cases (2147 cases in Hubei) were newly added, 87 severe cases (52 cases in Hubei) were newly added, and There were 89 deaths (81 in Hubei, 2 in


Westpac: RBA SoMP “surprisingly confident”

Via Westpac: The Reserve Bank has released its quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy (SMP). The report rounds out a full week for RBA communication that has also included the Governor’s decision statement following the Board’s February policy meeting, a speech on “the year ahead” and this morning’s semi-annual testimony to Parliament. The key themes throughout


Japanese cruise ship overrun with coronavirus

Yeh, it’s contagious: Another 41 people quarantined aboard a cruise liner off the coast of Japan have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of infected passengers to 61. The dramatic jump in fresh cases follows 10 positive diagnoses among Diamond Princess passengers on Wednesday, and a further 10 on Thursday. The new


Shell adds renewables to vertical energy gouge

One might ordinarily cheer this: Energy giant Shell has approved a 120MW solar plant in Queensland’s Western Downs region, two months after buying a stake in Australian renewable power developer Esco Pacific. Shell will buy supplies from the Gangarri project near Wandoan, due early 2021, with the same amount of electricity bought from the national


UBS downgrades Aussie GDP

Via the excellent George Tharenou at UBS: Q4 retail volumes bounce 0.5% (0.4% y/y), but reflects weak price pressure Retail volumes in Q4-19 bounced 0.5% q/q (UBS 0.2%, mkt: 0.3%, pre: -0.1%). But, this reflects slower than expected prices (0.4%), indicating weaker inflation pressure than CPI. Indeed, retail volumes remain poor at 0.4% y/y (after


As China heads back to work, coronavirus is out of control

The latest update and charts: At 04:00 on February 6th, 31 provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities) and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps reported 3,143 newly confirmed cases (2,447 in Hubei), and 387 newly cured cases (184 in Hubei), which were cancelled on the same day. There were 26,762 close contacts of medical observations. 962 new cases


Wrongfully wrong economists call end to RBA easing

Via the AFR: “For now better momentum has at least been demonstrated,” JP Morgan’s Ben Jarman said, “and this is sympathetic to the RBA’s characterisation of a gentle turning point, even if a new risk has arisen that could buffet the data significantly.” Goldman Sachs chief economist Andrew Boak went further, suggesting the RBA would


CCP keeps dead coronavirus doctor alive

Via Sinocism today comes a Weekend at Bernie’s: Reuters reports that the leadership is now considering delaying the upcoming “Two Meetings” scheduled for early March and quotes an official saying the outbreak may still not be contained in a month – China may delay annual meeting of parliament due to virus outbreak: “The focus remains on


Labor moves to plug LIT loophole

While Recessionberg fiddles. From Chirs Joye: Wow! Labor will push a legislative amendment in Parliament to shut down a loophole that allows fund managers to pay commissions to stockbrokers and financial advisers for selling newly-floated listed investment funds. Shadow cabinet has agreed to the plan by Labor’s financial services spokesman Stephen Jones, who is ramping


Westpac: Australian economy stalling

Via Westpac just now: A viral epidemic centred in China’s Hubei Province has escalated materially in recent weeks, resulting in the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring a public health emergency of international concern in late January. As at February 5, the WHO has reported around 25k confirmed cases across 25 countries with 492 deaths. Evidence


What the AMP bucket shop says about LIT commissions

Via the AFR: AMP failed to show the “corporate will” to stop former financial planner Rommel Panganiban from churning 49 clients into new AMP insurance policies and pocketing hefty commissions, the Federal Court ruled on Wednesday. The embattled wealth giant’s failings amounted to six breaches of the Corporations Act worth, by Justice Michael Lee’s determination,


Shane Oliver: “Australia may already be in recession”

Via the ABC: But AMP Capital’s chief economist Shane Oliver is not as sanguine. He told PM that the double-whammy of the bushfires and coronavirus have significantly increased the risk of Australia entering a recession within the 2020 financial year. Indeed, Dr Oliver said it is conceivable Australia may be there already. “It’s certainly possible


Recessionberg baffled by RBA spending call

Via The UnAustralian: The Morrison government is ­increasingly frustrated with ­Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe’s calls for it to spend more to lift the ­nation’s flagging productivity, after a confidential cabinet briefing from the RBA boss on Monday left ministers exasperated by an absence of detailed policy ideas. Dr Lowe in a speech on ­Wednesday


Coronavirus cases still rising in China

The latest update from Beijing: From February 0 to 2 on February 5, 31 provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities) and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps reported 3694 new confirmed cases, 261 new cured cases, and 21,365 close contacts who were released from medical observation on the same day. There were 640 new severe cases, 73 new


Coronavirus demand shocks. Oil first, iron ore second…

Via the FT: Chinese energy executives are projecting that the country’s oil consumption will plunge by 25 per cent this month as the deadly coronavirus outbreak paralyses travel and shuts down industrial activity in the world’s second-biggest economy. Executives at some of the country’s largest refineries expect that nationwide demand will fall by a staggering