Chris Becker


Australia records more than 100K new COVID cases

Gold! Gold for Straya! With Queensland reporting more than 20,000 in the last 24 hours, on the back of more than 70,000 new cases for Victoria and NSW, the other State’s have piled in to make it a century… Here’s the full picture from the ABC: Victoria: 40,127 new cases (PCR: 21,693, RAT: 18,434) and 21 deaths; 946 in


Power forecasting the inevitable decline of coal

I love predictions, especially about the future, and apart from the boffin masters at Martin Place with their inflation dart throwing workouts, the chaps at the IEA (International Energy Agency) are not having a good decade. Here’s their forecasts for US coal generation in the last decade vs actual electrical production: Versus solar additional power


NSW and Victoria see big surge in COVID deaths

The two most populous States have seen a surge in COVID deaths in the last 24 hours with  42 Australians dying as case numbers continue to climb, now exceeding 70,000: Again its mainly younger cohorts reporting new cases (Victorian data below) The number of people in ICU/ventilators is thankfully not moving higher faster in NSW,


Macro Morning

The buy the dip crowd stepped in on Wall Street overnight following the previous session late bounceback as testimony from Fed Chair Powell on balance sheet adjustments saw USD weakness across the board that should result in higher risk taking here in Asia. The bond market firmed a little although the recent shorter term Treasury


Links 12 January 2022

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: U.S. reports 1.35 mln COVID-19 cases in a day, shattering global record – Reuters Wary Global Bond Markets Brace for the Supply Floodgates to Open – Bloomberg Bitcoin mining is being banned in countries across the globe—and threatening the future of crypto – Fortune Pfizer CEO says omicron vaccine will be


NSW and VIC see more COVID deaths as hospitals fill up

Another 24 Australians died of COVID in Victoria and NSW yesterday with the total number of new cases in the two most populous states exceeding 60,000:   In Victoria the number of people hospitalised continues to increase, now past the October Delta peak but no large uptick in those ventilated/ICU: But in NSW COVID-19 hospitalisations


Macro Morning

Wall Street was down over 2% overnight before a late bounceback saw it pare those losses as volatility across risk markets increases as the new year rolls on. The release of the latest US unemployment print last week continues to reverberate with 10 year Treasuries again up near the 1.8% level for new yearly highs


Links 11 January 2022

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Fed Unites Left and Right in Warning It’s Behind Inflation Curve – Bloomberg Philippines urges Indonesia to lift coal export ban – Al Jazeera Global spread of autoimmune disease blamed on western diet – The Guardian This new gauge says supply-chain woes may have peaked – MarketWatch Americas: Toronto


Macro Afternoon

Asian stock markets are having very mixed starts to the trading week with local and Japanese shares going nowhere in the wake of a wobbly night on Wall Street following the US unemployment print on Friday night. Despite some initial USD weakness, not all risk currencies are bouncing back with the Australian dollar still under


Macro Morning

Not a good start for the trading year for Wall Street with the release of the latest US unemployment print which was all over the place – not even 200K jobs created, far short of the 400K expected – but the actual rate fell and wage growth increased. This sent the bond market in a


Links 10 January 2022

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: The History and Policy Behind Mercantilism – The Ancient Economist More lawmakers and investors tap blue carbon offsets to mitigate climate change – Fortune Covid: Deadly Omicron should not be called mild, warns WHO – BBC China, Philippines suspend imports of Canadian beef following the discovery of mad cow


Macro Afternoon

Asian stock markets are having very mixed finishes to the trading week with a lot of internal and external macro pressures weighing on risk taking across the region as markets react to the very hawkish shift at the Federal Reserve. The USD remains the safe haven of choice with gold and the Australian dollar under


Australian dollar crushed by Pound Sterling

The Australian dollar was one of the biggest casualties overnight as the USD rose, despite solid moves on commodity markets, as the interest rate dynamic continues to outweigh the other factors. This keeps the Pacific Peso on a downward trajectory for 2022 so far, breaking the very nascent uptrend from the Xmas breakout period as


Previewing the US non-farm payrolls unemployment

It’s that time of month where traders gather round their screens to see what the full picture of US unemployment, and hence the direction the Federal Reserve will take in the following month with regards to monetary policy. 2022 is already going to be a bumpy ride with the release of the December minutes from


Macro Morning

Following the release of the Fed minutes in the previous session, indicating a much more hawkish bent as markets get ready for tonights US unemployment print, it was a case of wait and see on Wall Street overnight, although the bond market continued to weaken as interest rates rises firm throughout the calendar year ahead.


Daily iron ore price update (Olympic swing)

Iron ore prices continue to recover in the new year with spot prices up more than 2% as demand increases before the cut off of steel production during the Olympics:   More from Iron ore prices are rising on expectations of a recovery in Chinese demand after the Beijing 2022 Olympics next month. Top


Macro Afternoon

Asian stock markets are pulling back very sharply across the region in response to Fed minutes released last night which saw tech stocks and Wall Street in general press the sell button on almost everything. The USD remains the safe haven of choice with gold and the Australian dollar under a lot pressure alongside other


Fed spoils the party with faster taper

Risk markets took a big deep breath overnight with the release of the Federal Reserve’s December minutes, which showed a much more hawkish path ahead in 2022 for the bank followed by all other banks as labour market conditions and rising inflation spook the wonks. The Fed explicitly stated that it might need to raise


Dalio says avoid cash and bonds as autocracy rises

Investment guru Ray Dalio is all in on the Fed/ECB print orgazmo and says to borrow like no tomorrow: “This printing of money and buying of debt assets has driven interest rates so low that cash and bonds are stupid to own,” he wrote in a post on LinkedIn. “I think one should consider minimizing


Macro Morning

The New Year party was spoiled by the release of the Fed minutes overnight, indicating a much more hawkish bent as we head into the taper and “normalisation” of interest rates in 2022. This caused tech stocks to fall sharply, dragging down industrials on Wall Street and pushing 10 year Treasury yields higher to almost


Macro Afternoon

Asian stock markets are retracing across the region in response to the sharp falls on tech stocks overnight on Wall Street but it appears to be mean reversion more than an outright selloff at this stage. The Australian dollar remains under pressure alongside other risk currencies however, with Bitcoin still struggling at the $46K level


RBA Chart Pack for January 2022

The RBA released its monthly chart pack this morning with some end of year figures and as always its a fun flirtatious flick-through! Let’s look at inflation first, which is either transitory or out of control depending on your point of view, but that’s a steep curve higher for Yankee-land and Euro-Disney: The US and


US housing market soars as loans reach new records

And you think Australian property is booming? The US is having another mammoth surge in property values, helped along by debt of course. From the WSJ: Mortgage lenders issued $1.61 trillion in purchase loans in 2021, up from $1.48 trillion in loans issued in 2020 and marking the highest mortgage borrowing numbers ever recorded. The