Trading Day

The S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped again today, starting the week slowly and on very low volume, with mainly positive leads from other Asian markets. The bourse finished down 14 points or 0.3% at 4225 points: As I explained this morning, the market needs to clear the 4300 area (the upper breakout of the symmetrical triangle

Latest posts


Time for a euro bounce?

As we all know, the euro has been under pressure again lately, as well it might, given moribund politicians and problems with Club Med (PIIGS as we call them now). But for me, one of the main themes this year may divergence between markets and economics. That is is possible is no surpsie for those of us


The BoQ warning

Back in October last year I noted that the Bank of Queensland (BoQ) had been placed on negative watch by Moody’s Investors Service. On Friday of last week Moody’s finalised that watch with a downgrade: Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the ratings of Bank of Queensland Limited (“BoQ”) by one notch, upon conclusion of its


Greece lines up Portugal

Another weekend…. and we are still waiting for an outcome on Greece. The chief negotiators from Institute of International Finance (IIF) have left the country yet we still haven’t heard anything that sounds remotely like a deal. FT reports that the brinkmanship hasn’t ended but there doesn’t appear to be too much wiggle room left: Private owners


CPI previews agree: weak

CPI is out Wednesday and several of the major banks have put out previews today. It is no surpise that all are calling for a weak reading. It’s what I expecrt as well. CBA uses a novel approach of gauging the relativities of spending patterns within their own credit card data to predict a 0.45


China links

Courtesy of Sinocism: Retraction | ChinaHush– why does chinahush wait until saturday afternoon of the start of the chinese new year’s holiday to publish this?//On July 1st ChinaHush published an internet article written by author by the pen-name Wayne Bruce, stating that Mr. Jamie Shorter was deported from China in May for Internet stalking.Mr Shorter


PPI pushes case for rate cut

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released Producer Price Index (PPI) data for the December quarter, which has registered only a 0.3% quarterly increase in final (stage 3) prices – below consensus forecasts of a 0.4% rise – and an increase of 2.9% over the year: The 0.3% in final (stage 3) prices


Picking bottoms again

Craig James had the boffins at Commsec create an analog daily chart of the All Ords, comparing the February-March 2009 bear market bottom to the current December 2011 (incorrectly shown as 2010) to January 2012 daily period. The implication is that the current period is analagous to the Feb-Mar 2009 bottom, which then preceded to


The ‘big girl’s blouse’ jobs debate

In theory it’s the job of media to hold other institutional powers to account. The truth is much more complicated because the media must choose a standard against which to make the judgments that constitute that account. Sure, some of those values are self-selecting: democracy, law and order, social standards etc. But even here you


Data vault

Australian Data TD Inflation Index The TD Inflation index posted its biggest monthly gain since March 2011, rising by 0.5% in December after it fell by 0.1% the previous month however the three-month annualised rate is still rather weak at 1.5% while the annual rate edged up from 2.1% to 2.4%. The trimmed mean also rose in  December by a


2012 Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

The 8th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey has just been released and, once again, it ranks Australia as having one of the most expensive housing markets out of the countries surveyed. This year’s report assesses 325 markets in seven countries: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


Crunching RPData’s revisions

Following is a guest post from regular commenter Nathan Webb: You could be easily forgiven for not noticing that RPData’s house price series is subject to revision. The revisions are usually difficult to find and seldom referred to in R.P.Data commentary. Nonetheless, they are there and run the numbers to see what they can tell us


US gas debate vital to Oz

The US economy has shown some signs of stabilisation over the past few months.  For example, retail spending appears to be revisiting a growth path.  According to some commentators, the US economic green shoots appear robust and healthy, while I remain cautious about projecting anything more than muddling though, with a drawn-out grinding improvement in


January 23 links: SOPA fail

Global  Seven ways to fix the system. Martin Wolf United States Week ahead for Dow. Calculated Risk FOMC preview. Calculated Risk Fed to reveal all. Gavyn Davies Q4 GDP forecasts. Calculated Risk Hollywood must regroup after losing net battle. LA Times Yeh, like give up Europe: Euro shorts get longer. All Star Charts The no-brainer trade of


Economics is people not arithmetic

The non-reaction of the markets to the ratings agencies downgrades of European debt underlines a persistent characteristic of the markets that is all too often forgotten. Especially by economic commentators. If it were simply a matter of extending the arithmetic of current economic performance into the future, then economic predictions would usually be right. On


Weekend Musing: Are Electric Cars really Green?

A guest post from reader and commenter “Pellicle” on the Electric Car. MacroBusiness welcomes interesting submissions on economic and related topics, subject to edit and less than 1500 words. Please use the “Contact” item on the menu above for your submissions. Lately it seems that with increasing frequency the idea of Electric cars comes up


Weekend Musing: Direct Democracy and Australia

Guest blogger Steven Spadijer, of Australian National University, completes his series on Direct Democracy. Part One is available here, and Part Two here. In this final post, we will be looking at how Direct Democracy protects federalism and how it might minimise the costs of a federal system. In the broader policy debate of “should


Weekend Links

Markets: Dollar: $US, flat Treasuries, ore, energy down Undollar:  euro, Aussie, gold, metals, CRB grains mixed. 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 Year 5 Year 10 Year Belgium 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year France 2 Year 5 Year 10 Year


Trading Day

The S&P/ASX 200 Index jumped on the open again today, but was slowly sold off before the 2pm turn when a flurry of bids were made, probably on positive leads from other Asian markets. The bourse finished up 24 points or 0.6% to finish at 4239 points: The market still needs to clear the 4300


European banks prepare to shrink

Although the headlines are quiet at the moment there is still quite a bit occurring behind the scenes in Europe. Obviously everyone is still waiting for a resolution of the Greek situation and that story is changing by the hour. The latest is that there is some sort of deal, but it won’t be available


China’s flash PMI flat

The January China Flash PMI is out and is virtually unchanged from at 48.8 versus 48.7 in December. To my mind the components are more encouraging with new export orders and backlogs of work reversing their declines and new orders markedly easing the pace of decline, suggesting that some rebound in demand lies ahead: Still,


Export prices supported by quarterly contracts

December quarter export prices are out and fared better than I thought they would. Down just 1.5%. This is a bit surprising because iron ore and coal make 50% of exports and both fell significantly. First an iron ore price chart: That’s a big fall, confirmed this week by Fortescue Metals, whose average spot price


Chart of the Week: Deleveraging

We end the week with 2 charts from a recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute “Debt and deleveraging”, which provide elegant snapshots of “progress” of debt and deleveraging by the 10 largest “mature” global economies. The first chart (but second in the report) shows the composition of debt by country. Notably Japan is leaps


China links

Courtesy of Sinocism: Why the feds smashed Megaupload – could US use this argument against online chinese video sites? two at least, youku and tudou, have some us presence through their us market listings, though those two have significantly cleaned up their acts w respect to us copyrights China rushes to jail activists before political handover


NAB pays for sterling

From Banking Day: Novelty value helped National Australia Bank sell a covered bond denominated in sterling overnight on terms better than banks in Britain can achieve. NAB priced the £500 million bond at 145 basis points over three-month Libor, Dow Jones reported and at the low end of price guidance. The bonds are secured over


Market Morning

Risk markets continued to rally last night, with the US dollar falling in response, although gold was subdued, as the US corporate earnings season rolls on, with good dataflow also continuning to buoy markets. In detail: The UK FTSE put on 38 points or 0.6% to finish at 5740 points, now above its resistance level


Is the Baltic Dry worth listening to?

From 4Cast comes this take on what the recent crash in the Baltic Dry means and whether it’s worth listening to. I must say, the correlation between the BDI and Chinese PMI is closer than I’d imagined. Perhaps it’s time to dust off the index…   Weakness in the Baltic shipping index is gaining a


Mining boom rhetoric dies with job cuts

Do you get the sense right now that the Australian economy is a little rudderless? If you do, I don’t blame you. This morning’s media coverage of yesterday’s jobs result is chock full of “surprises”, “shocks” and “unexpecteds”. I’m not sure why that’s the case. It’s no surprise at all. MB has been forecasting this


Melbourne rental vacancies skyrocket

It seems that Melbourne’s booming dwelling construction is having the desired effect, with the state’s rental vacancy rate hitting a seven year high of 4.4% according to SQM research: This compares to the national rental vacancy rate of 2.4%: In both charts, there is an unmistakable seasonal element to a December spike but, equally, there’s


Examining average hours worked

Yesterday’s analysis of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) December labour force data threw up the below chart showing how aggregate hours worked across the Australian economy rose in the month of December, but remains relatively flat compared with 12 months prior: Reader, Avid Chartist, requested that I provide a chart showing aggregate hours worked