Chris Becker

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Chart of the Day: Labour pains

Today’s chart comes from Goldman Sachs, and may help the robust discussion occuring on the retailing post of yesterday: The chart, compiled by the International Finance Corporation, compares in USD per month, the minimum wage for a 19 year old worker or apprentice. Norway is almost off the chart, whilst Australia at just above $1500

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Trading Day

Note: Coverage of overnight markets will now be done as “Market Morning” before the Asian markets open. Trading Day will focus on the Asian session and Australian stocks. Following the fizzle of the ECB bazooka last night, the S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 1% at the open and finally closed 1.2% or 48 points down to

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Australia is not growing at trend

The majority of reporting by the Australian financial media and associated economist punditry, focuses almost solely on a quarterly snapshot of growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is usually done in scattergun fashion, alongside a raucous display of big numbers on capital expenditure or other cherry picked data, then annualised into the beyond. What

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Another retailer warns of falling sales

              Following in the footsteps of Billabong and JB Hi-Fi, outdoor specialist retailer Kathmandu (KMD) has warned that Christmas sales are below expectations and that its first half year earnings are probably going to be lower than the previous year. Mirroring the recent falls of the other embattled retailers,

9

Market Morning

Santa dropped some coal into European stockings last night, as the ECB “backdoor QE” appeared to be a fizzer. Sovereign downgrades (Hungary to junk), bad GDP reports (Italy to go into recession alongside Spain) and slow growth forecasts (UK particularly) jumbled the “everything is now fine” meme alongside the US Congress’ delay in funding payroll

1

Taylor sticks with 2012 recession call

An interesting interview of John Taylor, CEO of FX Concepts, on Bloomberg, where he makes the call for a European recession, highlighting that Germany should be helping out more trying to weaken the Euro. Further, that the US will go into a mild recession next year, but not much stimulus available on the table. He

11

Chart of the Day: Inequality in USA

Today’s chart, leading on from the “Indignant Billionaires” story in FT today, comes from Jesse’s Cafe Americain blog and succintly shows the gains in real family income across the US by percentile, with a huge divergence in the post-WW2, Bretton Woods era: Not only is the gap widening, but more importantly, US real incomes have

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Trading Day

Note: Coverage of overnight markets will now be done as “Market Morning” before the Asian markets open. Trading Day will focus on the Asian session and Australian stocks. Following the lead on overnight markets, the S&P/ASX 200 Index rallied strongly on the open and maintained the high, closing up 2% or 86 points to 4139

8

Market Morning

Note: Market Morning is an update on overnight markets that was previously performed late in the afternoon in the “Trading Day” post. This will be more timely and provide our readers with an overview before the Asian risk markets open. Risk markets surged overnight, with two factors at play: first in Europe, a very successful

15

Should I stay or should I go now?

According to the December Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment survey, it appears most Australians will stay at home for Christmas, but those who intend to travel, no surprise, will be heading overseas. The so-called “staycation” option outweighs travelling by 69% to 31% – but in context, the latter stat has been slipping, with 38% travellng in

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Chart of the Day: US unemployment falls

Today’s chart comes from Calculated Risk again and on the back of last nights excellent housing starts number which has ignited the long awaited Santa Rally, examines the current US unemployment rate, vs. the recession high: Obviously there has been aggregate improvement in the number, although this is the underreported U-3 measure, not the realistic

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Trading Day

Note: Coverage of overnight markets will now be done as “Market Morning” before the Asian markets open. Trading Day will focus on the Asian session and Australian stocks. After yesterdays walloping, the S&P/ASX 200 Index closed down just over 2 points to 4060 today, after absorbing another night of turbulence on risk markets. As I

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Brokers very bullish

With the Aussie share market still battening down the hatches and the 85% probability of a Santa Rally sinking hopes each day, its interesting to see what the consensus is saying about where the market should be. The table below comes from ASXIQ who has collated the median price targets of analysts and brokers followed

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ACTU releases first jobs report

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has released its inaugural Jobs Report, and is packed full of fascinating charts, analysis and details on the Australian job market. The summary highlights the sideways economy of 2011 (which has only grown 0.53% per capita since March 2008) – highlights added: Employment rose by 40 400 in

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Fitch: Mortgage arrears by postcode

Fitch has released its latest mortgage arrears report for end of September 2011, with marked declines across the country since the March report. All states and territories showed improvement, overall delinquencies fell from 1.77% to 1.42%, according to Fitch on “account of stable interest rates”. Notably, the 10 worst performing regions were the same in

1

Market Morning

Note: Market Morning is an update on overnight markets that was previously performed late in the afternoon in the “Trading Day” post. This will be more timely and provide our readers with an overview before the Asian risk markets open. Risk markets fell overnight, most likely due to the comments by ECB President Mario Draghi

3

Chart of the Day: US deleveraging

Today’s chart comes from Calculated Risk and calculates the Mortgage Equity Withdrawal (MEW), as a percentage of disposable income. This is derived from the Fed Flow of Funds Data, as explained: This is an aggregate number, and is a combination of homeowners extracting equity (hence the name “MEW”, but there is little MEW right now!),

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Trading Day

The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed down almost 100 points or 2.43% to 4060 today, after falling sharply in the morning and following the news of the death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. However, its not the death of a despot that has driven markets down. As I suggested last week, the market appeared

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No super for you (updated)

With the end of the calendar year approaching and with the market still oscillating around its lows, super funds are scrambling to put a good light on their meagre returns. The news today for non-self managed funds was foreboding: Research firm Chant West estimates that the average fund will have shrunk in value by around

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Billabong dries up

The slow death march of the retailers continue, with Billabong (BBG) added alongside JB Hi-Fi today, announcing an estimated $20-25 million or approx. 25% drop in earnings (before interest and tax) for the six months ending December 2011, compared to the same period in 2010. The clothes manufacturer and retailer noted that this estimate is

2

Chart of the Day: Global banks

Today’s chart comes from a compendium of 100 charts compiled by Goldman Sachs (via Zero Hedge). There is plenty amongst there, but to my mind, this is the most interesting (this morning at least), and shows the growth in market cap and change of the top banks around the world, color coded by region since

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Trading Day

The S&P/ASX 200 Index closed up nearly 20 points or 0.47% to 4159 today, after a small rally in the afternoon session. The bourse is still within its short term downtrend channel as seen in the daily chart below: The weekly trend, which clarifies the daily noise of the market, shows the downtrend from April

14

Retail downgrade

JB Hi-Fi (Code: JBH), arguably the best retailer in the country, yesterday announced a 5% downgrade of earnings before interest and tax, even on the back of opening new stores, as price deflation of its core goods continued amidst stagnant spending patterns. The downgrade was announced after the close and as a result, the share

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Chart of the Day: Return to normalcy

Today’s charts comes from a recent BBC News collection of “top economists” favourite charts. I’ve selected two that resonate. The first is from Vicky Pryce, FTI Consulting and essentially charts how the breakdown of the EU is just a return to normalcy, as 10 year bond yields go back to pre-EU integration levels, reflecting the

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Trading Day

After another day of “risk off” in Asian markets, the S&P/ASX 200 Index falling sharply at the open, slumping by midday and recovering slightly, but still finishing down 50 points or 1.2% to 4139: It seems likely, save a Santa Rally, that the market will continue to retrace back to the 4000 support level in

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Where is the Santa Rally?

The Santa Rally meme has been spread through the mainstream media and the various bullhawks, particularly Clifford Bennett who called it on the 1st December, to finish the year a bit more joyfully. First what is “The Santa Rally”, how statistically significant is it, and what are the chances of it occurring this year? I’ll

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Gold blows up

Gold last night was the vanguard in a wide retreat of undollar risk assets, falling over 5% to settle at $1574USD per ounce before the Asian spot session opens shortly this morning. As I prefaced in my Trading Day posts this week, on Monday it had appeared the precious metal had formed a reversal head

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Trading Day

After another night of risk off, the S&P/ASX 200 Index fell at the open and then rallied in the afternoon before slipping right at the close, down only 2 points to 4190 points: Although there is some support at the 4150 point mark, it is likely the market will retrace back to the 4000 support

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Chart of the Day: Lazy Germans

Today’s chart comes from Global Macro Monitor via The Big Picture, comprising international data compiled by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and shows that: average number of hours worked for an employed person in Italy – 1,778 hours in 2010 – is 25 percent higher than that of Germany’s 1,419 hours. Although they acknowledge there maybe