David Llewellyn-Smith


RBA commodity price index falls

The RBA commodity price index for July is out and shows a 2.4% fall for July: Preliminary estimates for July indicate that the index rose by 1.3 per cent (on a monthly average basis) in SDR terms, after rising by 0.3 per cent in June (revised). The largest contributors to the rise in July were


Roy Morgan unemployment stays high

Roy Morgan unemployment for July was just release and shows no easing in its recent spike: In July 2012 an estimated 1.171 million Australians (9.7%, unchanged in a month) were unemployed, and the Australian workforce* was 12,119,000, (up 110,000 in a month) — comprising 7,432,000 full-time workers (up 81,000); 3,516,000 part-time workers (up 27,000) and


The Kouk sees a glass chock full

Recently some folks have tried to convince us that housing is now cheap, given valuations are 2002 levels.  But that pales next to the following from The Kouk today. Apparently, our economy is the best since 1964! The current economic data in Australia are about as good as one could expect to see. Australia has GDP


ANZ cuts commodity price forecasts

Find below ANZ’s new commodity price forecasts, which include material downgrades to the iron ore complex. The ANZ team is excellent. Still, I can’t help feeling that an average price of $140 early next year is pretty bullish. ANZ Commodity Insight – Price Revision


Big miners begin to cut

This afternoon Rio announced that it would start: …cutting staff in Australia and closing its Sydney office as it battles falling commodity prices and threats to demand from Europe’s debt crisis. Some 30 support and services staff in Sydney and an undisclosed number of employees at the company’s much larger operations in Melbourne would be cut,


Billionaires blather

Today we have a splendid example of everything that is wrong with Australian political economy. Rather than debate several important issues thrown up the huge wealth accumulated by a small number of folks, we have the usual political and ideological tribalism that reduces the issues to a kindergarten game of name calling. Let’s start at the


North Asian PMIs sicken

I’ve reported already on the less than stellar China PMI today. The other North Asian export powerhouses have also reported today and in the last 24 hours and the tune they are singing is a dirge not a ditty. Although I’m sure that, like here, the only issue is shaky confidence and skepticism ;-), the


China’s PMI underwhelms

Chinese economic data continues to underwhelm with today’s July PMI print coming in at 50.1, 0.4 points below consensus: The PMI has not yet arrested its trend decline. And despite what various glass half full folks have tried to bamboozle us with, this means that Chinese manufacturing is again on the verge of contraction. And


Macro Investor 24 hour extension to special offer

Dear MB reader, Owing to yesterday evening’s site outage (yes, we are moving host), we are extending the Macro Investor founding subscriber offer for 24 hours. Macro Investor is MB’s sister publication, Australia’s only independent cross-asset class investment newsletter. It advises on stocks, trades, property and fixed interest strategies using a uniquely big picture methodology. The newsletter


Ore bounces

My call for a short term bounce in iron ore is firming up. Overnight we saw positive moves across the complex: And to the charts. For steel: As well as ore itself: Looks like the head and shoulders pattern may miss, which is good news to say the least. Nonetheless, I would caution against hopes


Links August 1

United States: Chicago PMI up a touch. PMI Conference Board consumer confidence rises. Reuters Case Shiller rises in May. Calculated Risk More inflation plz. The Economist The problem is that the kind of inflation the Fed can create is wrong: higher costs of living, no impact on wages… Faceberg or is that Faceplant sinks. Zero Hedge 


More confidence clap trap

NAB CEO Cameron Clyne is the latest luminary to appeal to a lack of confidence causing Australia economic problems. According to AAP, at an American Chamber of Commerce event Clyne said: “Part of the problem with this constant reference to two speeds is that people feel that if they are not in the express lane,


S&P downgrades Canadian banks on housing risk

From Bloomie: Canadian banks are underperforming global counterparts by the most in a year as record consumer debt and a housing market that’s vulnerable to a correction weakens their earnings prospects and risks a credit downgrade. Standard & Poor’s cut its outlook to negative from stable on seven Canadian banks July 27, including Toronto-based Royal Bank of


Final day for the Macro Investor special offer

Dear MacroBusiness reader, Today is your last day to take advantage of the Macro Investor founding subscriber special offer. Macro Investor is MB’s sister publication, Australia’s only independent cross-asset class investment newsletter. It advises on stocks, trades, property and fixed interest strategies using a uniquely big picture methodology. The newsletter compiles actionable recommendations from Chris Becker, Greg McKenna,


Ore breaks the neckline

Here’s your daily update ore prices. Not a lot of action yesterday but prices still fell on the spot market. In fact, they took out last year’s October low and the neckline on our scary head and shoulders pattern: The break is minor and may be bear trap but even so not encouraging. Neither is


A bull market in Canberra hubris

What is going on in our leadership elite? A series of recent statements by bureaucrats and pollies is adding up to an outbreak of serious arrogance. Perhaps it’s just the usual Canberran isolation. Then again, we seem to have contracted a quite serious case of policy-making hubris. All of it surrounds Australia’s relative economic out-performance,


New home sales off the canvas

HIA New Home sales for June are out and show a modest improvement: New home sales increased for a second consecutive month in June 2012 due to a spurt in multi-units, said the Housing Industry Association, the voice of Australia’s residential building industry. The HIA New Home Sales report, a survey of Australia’s largest volume builders, showed


Coking coal crunched

Just when you thought it might be safe to wade back into bulk commodities, coking coal gets crunched. From the ANZ Commodity Daily: Newc spot added 1.5% to USD82.8/t last week in light, macro-driven trade, while coking coal tumbled 9.7% to USD192.9/t as producers offered significant discounts to attract buyers. Despite the price cuts, buying interest is reported


Macro Investor new edition

Macro Investor Volume 1, Number 5 is up. Find below the contents page for you to consider a 21 day free trial subscription. Remember, we’re offering a once only “founding subscriber” offer to MB readers; a 20% discount until the end of July rounding the price down to $385. It expires tomorrow! Macro Investor Volume 1,


My oath, say bankers

From Banking Day comes this gem: Six of Australia’s most powerful executives have formed a company to improve ethical conduct at local banks and fund managers. The Banking and Finance Oath Limited (BFO), incorporated last month, will oversee and enforce a voluntary oath of conduct to be sworn by professionals employed across the Australian financial


Ore reaches the neckline

Here are Friday’s closing prices for iron ore: And the charts. First, Chinese steel: In short, prices fell again, despite rumours of monumental regional stimulus packages. There is clearly still fundamental weakness in the steel market. And for ore: The price of $116.20 is right on the neckline support of last year’s crash at $115.89


Macro Investor Week 4

The fifth edition of Macro Investor will be published 8.30 Monday morning. In the mean time, find below the contents page of the past week’s edition for you to consider a 21 day free trial subscription. Remember, we’re offering a once only “founding subscriber” offer to MB readers; a 20% discount until the end of July


Hockey hides the Abbott Declaration

From the AFR: Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey has defended the performance of the Foreign Investment Review Board and ruled out an overhaul of the national interest test under an Abbott government amid calls from within the Coalition for a more rigorous national interest test. …“I do not see any need for changes to the national