Australian Shares


Investing in a sideways market

There is always media chatter about what markets are going to do in the short to medium term.  It’s most intense at the end of each year, as the financial pundits stare into their crystal balls and attempt to divine the direction of the All Ords, FTSE, Nasdaq, S&P 500, Nikkei and every other major


Trading Day: steady?

The S&P/ASX 200 opened 30+ points sharply down, reacting to overnight markets (it was closed Monday) but then reversed and at midday is up nearly 9 points or 0.19% to 4573 points. Asian markets are generally up, with the Nikkei up 0.16%, the Hang Seng steady and Singapore also barely up. Other risk assets are


With a whimper

With bearish sentiment growing in the stock market, shifting to an intelligent defensive position is paramount in order to prepare for the next uptick. In many respects, equities should be a good buy: earnings multiples are low, gearing is low, interest rates are not especially high. The market is pricing in some significant weakness, and,


Australian Market Weekly Wrap

The S&P/ASX200 Index closed the week slightly lower at 4562 points, a 0.4% fall, extending a 400 point or 8.2% loss from the mid-April high of 4971. This move is identical to the February/March Japanese earthquake correction signaling very high volatility in the local bourse. SPI Futures put the opening price for the market on


Bull, muddle, bear?

The problem with finance and economic analysis is that it mostly relies on history. Their bias is the assumption that nothing is new; that everything will or should, return to a norm. They are ahistorical, in other words. So let’s try something a bit different. Scenarios of the future. We will begin with a report


Trading Day: a reversal in risk?

The S&P/ASX 200 opened sharply higher, reacting to the first up day in six on overseas equity markets, and at midday is up 15 points or 0.34% to 4564 points. Asian markets are generally up, with the Nikkei up over 1.2%, the Hang Seng continuining its decline, dropping 0.5% and Singapore and NZ steady. Other


Equities spotlight: Bluescope Steel

Following on from this week’s article about the affects of a carbon tax on equities, today we shine the spotlight on Bluescope Steel. The Business Bluescope (BSL) is one of Australia’s leading suppliers of metallic coated and steel building products and is the owner of the Port Kembla steelworks.  BSL is also one the world’s largest


Macquarie capitulation?

Macquarie Group is trading at less than a third of its peak and, to make matters worse, Citigroup has issued a sell recommendation. Morningstar has, by contrast. issued a buy, but we will come to that later. At first glance the fundamentals look OK. The forward dividend (unfranked) is 6%, the forward earnings multiple is


Trading Day: no reaction to jobs

The S&P/ASX 200 opened higher, shrugging off bad job data, and at midday is up 10 points or 0.2% to 4546 points. The correction has now wiped off just over 9% of price in the ASX200, just below the conventional 10% level of a complete correction. Asian markets are mixed, with the Nikkei down over


Trading Day: support broken

The S&P/ASX 200 dropped on the open, and at midday is down over 53 points or 1.16% to 4520 points. The correction has now wiped off just over 9% of price in the ASX200, just below the conventional 10% level of a complete correction. Asian markets are all down, with the Nikkei down over 0.4%,


The Metcash barometer

Given Metcash is the small operator within a large duopoly structure, and therefore relies in some measure upon system growth, we can take brokers’ attitudes as a good weather vane for sentiment towards the non-mining part of the economy. And it is pretty bearish. Southern Cross is claiming that the Eastern seaboard is already in


Carbon taxing equities

As a value investor and climate change agnostic, I have to admit I’ve been watching the carbon tax/ETS debate with a sort of detached interest.  Given the Federal government’s unparalleled skill at botching both policy PR and implementation, I had assumed that the ETS would go the way of FuelWatch, Pinkbats and Kevin Rudd’s stiff


Trading Day: rates pause

The S&P/ASX 200 slipped on the open, down over 30 points or over 0.6% before this afternoon’s rate decision by the RBA. It is now at 4541 points and rising as a result. Asian markets are mixed with Japanese markets rallying, with the Nikkei up over 0.5%, but the Hang Seng dropping 0.7% and Singapore


Shoppers warming up

The medium term performance of the share market (ex-resources) depends heavily on household’s willingness to spend. The savings rate is rising as “disleveraging” occurs, but that is in the past. What maters for stocks is what will happen in the future and Royal Bank of Scotland is detecting some positive signs. Unlike America, where high


Trading Day: Monday 6th June

The S&P/ASX 200 continues to slip, down 15 points to 4567, after following Wall Street’s losses over the weekend. Asian markets are down even furthera, with the Nikkei down 0.94%, the Hang Seng down 1.31% and Singapore down 0.42%. Other risk assets are steady and even rising, with the AUD at 1.0744 against the USD,


Tale of two corrections

The past 2 years of volatility on the ASX200 is similar to those of us who witnessed or have intently studied prior market corrections. As opposed to the usual bullhawks and “everything is fine” brigade, stock markets actually experience more sideways movement than rallies over their history. The 2000-2002 post-tech bubble market is eerily similar


Weekly Aussie Market Wrap

The S&P/ASX200 Aussie Index closed at 4583 points, down 100 points or 2.1% for the week, continuing its correction from the mid-April high of 4971 points, or a 7.8% loss. Closing SPI futures from overnight had the ASX200 trading at 4543, 40 points down from Friday’s close. Overnight risk markets remain in a bearish phase,


Trading Day: slippery slope

The S&P/ASX 200 continues to slip, down 12 points or 0.25% to 4585 points, after following Wall Street again overnight. Asian markets continue to sell off, with the Nikkei down 0.32%, the Hang Seng down 0.5% and Singapore down 0.3%. Other risk assets are mixed, with the AUD down but steady at 1.0672 against the


Trading Day: falls across the board

The S&P/ASX 200 suffered one of its worst days dropping over 105 points or nearly 2.5% to close just under 4600 points, after taking strong leads from the falls on Wall Street overnight. Asian markets were also heavily sold off, with the Nikkei down 1.6%, the Hang Seng down 1.7% and Singapore down 0.52%. Other


Some QEasy charts

With the ructions in overnight markets given the poor state of data coming out of the US and continued sovereign debt issues in Europe, l thought I’d show how this is playing out visually in the important markets. There are a couple of “standout” charts that underline what is really going on: US 10 year


Trading Day: GDP jitters

The S&P/ASX 200 is down 2 points or 0.04% to 4707 just after midday, after rallying strongly in overnight trade, but pulling back at the open this morning amongst the jitters around the negative GDP figures. Asian markets are also mixed, with the Nikkei down 0.2%, the Hang Seng down 0.2% and Singapore up 0.33%.


Profiting from debt: FSA

Following on from The Prince’s article on Australian debt, this week’s equities spotlight focuses on FSA Group Ltd – one of Empire’s favourite debt companies and a current constituent of our portfolio. The Business FSA Group Ltd (FSA) is the largest provider of debt solutions to individuals and businesses in Australia.  The operations of FSA can be split


Trading Day: has the selling stopped?

The S&P/ASX 200 is up almost 1% or 42 points to 4707 this afternoon. Asian markets are up strongly, with the Nikkei up 1.5%, the Hang Seng up 0.9% and Singapore up 0.32%. All risk assets are up, with the AUD just above 1.07 against the USD, whilst gold is at $1538 USD an ounce.


Profiting from debt

Much news and analysis has been made regarding the level of public debt around the world, particularly in the so-called PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain) European nations, although the US and the UK are in similar shape quantitatively. More than enough news has been made regarding Australia’s public debt, which is paltry in comparison,


Trading Day: Monday

The S&P/ASX 200 is down 22 points to 4662 just before midday. Asian markets are down mainly, with the Nikkei down 0.32%, the Hang Seng steady and Singapore up 0.14%. Most risk assets are up, with the AUD just below 1.07 against the USD, whilst gold is up to $1537 USD an ounce. WTI crude


Cash is king

The  global financial crisis was in my view the first symptom of what is a reckless attack on money itself. An attack undertaken by the supposed uber-capitalists, Ayn Rand disciples. It is thus especially dangerous because it is unintentional — the worst of all “unintended consequences”, as it were. The lingering sign of this attack


Trading Day: 27th May

The S&P/ASX 200 is up 25 points to 4684 just after midday, continuing to claw back some of this weeks losses. Asian markets are mixed however, with the Nikkei down 0.24%, the Hang Seng up 0.76% and Singapore also up 0.71%. Other risk assets are up too, with the AUD above 1.07 against the USD,


Equities Spotlight: Fleetwood

As we see in H&H’s article on the latest ABS Private Capital Expenditure, Australia appears to be marching towards the mining boom mk 2, spades in hand and singing “hi ho, hi ho”.  In light of the coming boom, we’re going to take quick look at a company that may tap into the rivers of boom


Trading Day – Thursday 26th May

The S&P/ASX 200 is up 36 points or 0.78% to 4626 points just after midday, reversing some of this weeks losses. Asian markets are up, the Nikkei 1.2%, the Hang Seng up slightly at 0.37% and Singapore steady. The AUD is above 1.05 against the USD, whilst gold continues to rise at $1529 USD an


Equity Spotlight: Graincorp

Profit Increase and Upgrade Graincorp (ASX Code: GNC) has posted an increase in FY11 net profit of 66%, in addition to lifting FY profit guidance to $145 to $165 million, a $30 million increase from previous guidance which put the figure between $115 and $135 million. The main reason behind the increased result was a