Chris Becker


Weekend Links

Markets: Dollar: USD surges on Euro slump, AUD slips, bonds up Treasuries, $US Undollar: gold stalls, stocks slip away, metals fall euro, gold, metals, ore, grains, Aussie, energy,CRB Sovereign Yields: Greece 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Portugal 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Ireland 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Spain 2 Year 5


Trading Day

A very positive day on Asian markets today, as optimism abounds, with the S&P/ASX 200 Index up nearly 15 points to 4195, after reaching 4200 points intraday. This level of resistance remains key, and the market could still retrace back to its rising support line as it routinely tries to clear it: This supports a


ANZ stays the course

ANZ announced their first “Interest Rate Review” today, independent of the RBA, with variable interest rates for retail mortgages and small businesses left unchanged. In the press release, ANZ CEO Philip Chronican gave the reason behind the decision: In coming to our decision this month we wanted to be clear that these higher interest rates


Market Morning

Risk markets continue to be dragged sideways like a husband through a shopping mall, where overnight in Europe, Spanish and Italian debt auctions were very successful with yields falling sharply, the Italian stock market jumping more than 2% on the result. However the news was a bit more muted in the US, with a double


QBE’s poor timing

Yesterday QBE Insurance Group (QBE) shocked the share market with a huge profit warning: QBE Insurance Group foreshadowed a 40%-50% fall in annual profit for calendar 2011 following a late spike in catastrophe claims. QBE said its US$1.28bn profit in 2010 could be chopped in half, partly because the claims bill generated by severe floods


Chart of the Day: The Big Mac Index

Today’s chart comes from The Economist, highlighting their “Big Mac Index”: …is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity: in the long run, exchange rates should adjust to equal the price of a basket of goods and services in different countries. This particular basket holds a McDonald’s Big Mac, whose price around the world we


January 13th Links: US data drags

Markets: Dollar: USD slips, Euro climbs, AUD steady Treasuries, $US Undollar: gold climbs, stocks flat/slightly up euro, gold, metals, ore, grains, Aussie, energy,CRB Sovereign Yields: Greece 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Portugal 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Ireland 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Spain 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Italy 2


Trading Day – QBE drags

The risk on rally continued to slip on Asian markets today, as official Chinese inflation numbers showed a fall to an almost Western level of 4.1% for the year. The dramatic fall in the price of QBE Insurance, due to a profit downgrade (a review will be posted tomorrow on MacroBusiness) only with general uncertaintly


HIA dispels the doom

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) Economics Group has released a note on where it sees dwelling prices heading for 2012. Strangely for an economic review the language appears very defensive and subjective, e.g “slice and dice”, “no bloodbath”, “bleating”, “yacking”, and “peddle” whilst the all too familiar words like “softening” and “price moderation” are dragged


Business stress at record high

Dissolve released their quarterly and year end corporate insolvency and restructuring Business Stress Report yesterday and it makes for sobering reading. According to Dissolve, last year was the worst on record for corporate insolvencies. This has not resulted in higher bad debt/impairment charges for the banks on 2010, but the level is still highly elevated


Market Morning

Mixed night on risk markets, where in Europe, Germany’s 2011 GDP growth at 3% did little to settle nerves as the data also suggested a contraction for the Euro’s strongest economy, whilst the good anecdotal news from the US Fed Biege Book failed to set US equities markets on fire as corporate earnings season rolled


Chart of the Day: Hibernating Bears

Today’s chart comes from the AAII Investor Sentiment Survey via Avid Chartist, showing that % Bearish sentiment amongst US investors is close to the lowest reading in 5 years. According to the latest survey (week ending 4th January), bullish sentiment is up 8.3% to 48.9%, whilst bearish is down 13.7% to 17.2% – it looks


January 12th Links: Keep it Easy

Markets: Dollar: USD back up, AUD drops, EUR falls, T-bonds up Treasuries, $US Undollar: crude drops to $100, gold breaks out above $1640USD euro, gold, metals, ore, grains, Aussie, energy,CRB Sovereign Yields: Greece 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Portugal 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Ireland 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Spain 2


Trading Day

The risk on rally continued on Asian markets today, with the S&P/ASX 200 Index up 0.8% or 35 points to 4187 points. On the daily charts, the local bourse has hit local resistance at 4200 points, and could retrace to its rising support line whilst still supporting a short or medium term rally thesis, where


Bottom picking is for monkeys

Fairfax’s Chris Vedelago has published a marvellous piece of journalism at Domain today: Counting eggs before they hatch It’s amazing how little it takes to get some people in propertyland very excited. Not long after RP Data-Rismark released its November property price data the industry was buzzing with “news” that the much-anticipated recovery for the residential real


Bearing the bull on gold

Coming out of the new year, alongside other risk assets, gold has seemingly reversed its recent falls, climbing above $1620 as risk managers and robotic algo’s bid up risk on sentiment expectations from consensus building and reaction to continued positive dataflow from the US economy as 2012 gets underway. As always, the sentiment behind gold’s rise


Market Morning

Risk was back last night, as overseas markets reversed their sideways funk and bids were finally made to push undollar assets above their resistance levels. In Europe, good data from France and Germany gave the impetus for the biggest rises, whilst in the USA, the beginning of the US corporate earnings season, with a loss-making


Chart of the Day: Volatility is normal

Today’s chart comes from Trend Trader, who originally posted the chart on Twitter before it was swept up by the blogosphere and has been posted by Doug Short and Stocktwits. I’ll leave the explanation of this very detailed chart to Trends Trader: The DJIA chart below is the result of compiling a complete historical diary


January 11 Links: Risk on

Markets: Dollar: USD falls, AUD above 1.03, EUR stable Treasuries, $US Undollar: US/Euro stocks jump, gold breaks out above $1630USD euro, gold, metals, ore, grains, Aussie, energy,CRB Sovereign Yields: Greece 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Portugal 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Ireland 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Spain 2 Year 5 Year


Trading Day

Asian markets rallied today, as Chinese trade data for December lifted expectations, and local private equity deals and takeovers helped spur the action on the S&P/ASX 200 Index, up over 1% or 46 points to 4152 points. On the daily charts, the local bourse is climbing up above its rising support line, indicating a short


China trade slows but still strong

Another brace of data today, this time from China, as December trade data was released showing export growth slowing and the trade surplus rising, on falling imports. From the AFR: China’s export growth has fallen to its slowest pace since 2009, with weak demand from the ongoing European debt crisis likely to prompt Beijing to


Ore’s not well with iron ore

On the heel’s of the release of the RBA’s paper on the mining boom, and the excellent analysis by The Unconventional Economist, comes a Dow Jones Newswire piece, reposted at The Oz: Global demand growth for iron ore is set to slow in 2012, bringing down average iron ore prices from last year’s record high.


Market Morning

Overseas markets started the week mixed again, as the Atlantic split continues. In Europe, tensions were on Hungary and Italian debt, whilst the Germans paid their government to park their short term money (6 month bills were sold with negative yield). In the USA, very good consumer credit numbers gave the local bourses a bid


PIMCO says QE3 won’t work

PIMCO, the world’s largest bond fund, has made much ado about the US Fed’s Quantitative Easing (QE) programs in the past, but in this Bloomberg interview with CEO and co-CIO Mohamed El-Erian, their stance seems to have changed to that of observers who realise, past the risk-on rallies that they embibe, QE actually doesn’t do


Chart of the Day: Italian ECB funding

Today’s chart from Scott Barber, updates the ECB funding to Italian banks which topped 200 billion Euro in December, matched against the Italian 10 year bond spread over Germany (which just sold negative yield 6 month bills last night): And here are the Italian bank exposures to Italian bonds (in Italian, mesi=month, anni=year), and explains


January 10 Links: Atlantic risk split again

Markets: Dollar flat: USD slipped, T-bonds firmTreasuries, $US Mixed Undollar: US stocks up, Euro stocks down, AUD below 1.02, gold slips again euro, gold, metals, ore, grains, Aussie, energy,CRB Sovereign Yields: Greece 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Portugal 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Ireland 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year Spain 2 Year


Trading Day

Most Asian markets fell today on poor leads from their Atlantic cousins, as markets await another Sarkozy/Merkel conference tonight. The S&P/ASX 200 Index had a mixed day, falling on the open, blipping up on the retail trade data release, before finishing flat, down 3 points to 4105 points. On the daily charts, the local bourse


Retail bonds are dangerous – for share funds

An article in The Australian today highlights the rationale behind the current paradigm that “shares are best”, “debt is bad”. The global fixed interest head of Colonial First State (CFS), Warren Bird, sinks the notion that Australians should have access to a deep, mature and liquid corporate bond market: We should stop trying to artificially


Mining construction up, housing falls

The AIG released their December Performance of Construction Index (PCI) to complete the avalanche of local data this morning. Overall, the index lifted 1.4 points to 41 indicating improvement, but in aggregate this is still a contraction across the entire sector (a reading below 50 is contraction). Here are the key findings: The easing in


Retail spending flat in November (updated)

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the November 2011 Retail Trade this morning showing retail turnover was unchanged seasonally adjusted, following a rise of 0.2% the previous month. On a monthly basis, the trend estimate rose 0.3% following a rise of 0.3% in October and September, however seasonally adjusted, turnover was unchanged following the