Latest posts


Robbed of common sense

From BS comes more  surplus obsession from the opposition: Claims the Labor federal government saved Australia from the negative effects of the global financial crisis (GFC) are a myth, according to the opposition. Opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb also disputes the government’s argument that the resulting levels of debt were due to its efforts to counter


What’s hitting the ASX?

As you can see the ASX is selling off today despite the very bullish tone set overnight and Asian markets following through. Materials are leading the falls for no apparent reason (beyond the deteriorating context of Chinese tightening). But rebar futures are trading up: Perhaps it was me publishing the steel PMI? 😉 Banks are


Trade deficit improves

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released trade data for the month of February, with Australia’s trade deficit decreasing to a seasonally-adjusted $178 million, from $1,215 million in January (revised upwards from $1,057 million). Analysts had expected the deficit to narrow to $1 billion. It was the 14th consecutive


Thermal coal standoff a blow to Newcastle?

The FT is reporting that thermal coal is caught in price standoff between Xstrata and Japanese utilities that is reminiscent of that which broke the iron ore contract system several years ago (non that there is any thought of that in the coal market): The rare stand-off comes amid a relatively well balanced seaborne thermal coal market.


New home sales say no to recovery

A fly has incommodiously landed in the recovery ointment this morning with the release of HIA new home sales, which fell heavily in February down 5.3%: From the HIA: New home sales stumbled in February, following four consecutive months of growth, said the Housing Industry Association, the voice of Australia’s home building industry. The HIA New Home


Macro Morning: Gold tanks

Last night was one of US dollar strength with USDJPY reversing yesterday’s weakness, Euro and GBP unable to sustain their up moves  and gold coming under intense pressure. The reason is hard to fathom given that stocks, especially in Europe were so strong. Perhaps it was news of a little bit of backsliding over the


Climate Commission sees changed weather

The Australian Climate Commission, which is a government funded institute which aims to inform about climate change, has released a new report declaring that: 1. Climate change is already increasing the intensity and frequency of many extreme weather events, adversely affecting Australians. Extreme events occur naturally and weather records are broken from time to time.


S&P record triggers megabear roar

As the S&P500 breaks through to an all time high today, Nouriel Roubini is out with a dire ruminations about the global economy. Much of it is sensible enough: Eurozone tail risks; Chinese imbalances and Japanese desperation. For Roubini the one beacon of hope is the US, where risks remain but on the whole: The


Weekly poll aggregation: Labor crash

Cross-posted from Mark the Ballot. This week we have a new Morgan poll and a new Essential poll. Both polls see movement away from the government. We start our analysis with the localised regression of all the polls (next chart). I would not pay too much attention to the end-point in this chart. In my opinion, LOESS is overly


Mining joins the election campaign

This morning is the official launch of the mining election campaign.  From the AFR: The government is believed to be looking at curbing business tax exemptions as part of its revenue sustainability drive. This prompted the Minerals Council of Australia to fire a fresh salvo on Tuesday with a new advertisement that tells the government


The morality of economics

Tyler Cowen has an article in the New York Times about the egalitarian tradition of economics.  It is genuinely an effort to promote economic analysis and rationale as THE tool for social analysis, since it is the only value-free objective way to look at society.  My experience in the profession gives me strong reasons not


Hong Kong property bubble about to pop?

By Leith van Onselen Over the past week, two separate reports have been released warning of an impending bursting of Hong Kong’s property bubble. The first, by ANZ Bank (full report below), argues that Hong Kong housing is significantly overvalued following a 23% increase in prices over the past year, compared with economy-wide growth of


What price bank liquidity?

By Leith van Onselen Early last month, the AFR’s Chris Joye wrote a timely article questioning the merits of, and processes around, the RBA’s Committed Liquidity Facility (CLF) for Australia’s banks: The Reserve Bank of Australia’s unique Committed Liquidity Facility – a little-known, taxpayer-backed “line of credit” to help banks overcome solvency crises – creates


Eurozone data stinks up again

The Cypriot drama is beginning to wane, but if you read the MoU you’ll understand that this story is far from over: The economic adjustment programme will address short- and medium-term financial, fiscal and structural challenges facing Cyprus. The key programme objectives are: to restore the soundness of the Cypriot banking sector by thoroughly restructuring, resolving


Links 3 April 2013

  Global Macro/Markets: The invisible assassin stalking oil demand (gas) – Business Spectator Bullish and bearish factors for gold – FT Alphaville North America: Complete Confusion Over the Trajectory of US Manufacturing – Pragmatic Capitalism Poll Finds Banks Are Too Big, Most Americans Say – Huffington Post Rosenberg beginning to see signs of inflation –


ASX at the close

It’s hard to remember a week where traders in all parts of capital markets will need to think tactically, but trade nimbly. Keep your friends close, and your stops closer as they say. Whether one looks in the commodity space, with copper at a seven-month low; or corn’s 12% fall in the last few days


RBA holds, retains easing bias

The RBA decided to hold today and again retained its easing bias: Statement by Glenn Stevens, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 3.0 per cent. Global growth is forecast to be a little below average for a time, but the downside risks appear


Mortgage arrears improve in January

From Moody’s: Moody’s Investors Service says that Australian prime mortgage arrears worsened in January compared to the previous month. As published in Moody’s just-released Global Structured Finance Collateral Performance Review, Moody’s says arrears in excess of 30 days in the Australian prime residential mortgage market were 1.52% in January, up from 1.44% in December but


LNG bust or FLNG boom?

The news today for LNG is good and bad. Fitch released a new report confirming what we already know, that Australian LNG projects are facing stiff headwinds: Fitch Ratings says that the increased costs and risks for Australian upstream liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects together with likely lower gas prices over the medium-term can result in