Ain’t no bust ‘ere!

The AFR is running a blog from its resources conference in Perth  today and offering periodic headlines including the following: 2.13pm: Energy Minister Martin Ferguson says he hopes the iron ore price will stabilise around the $US120 a tonne mark. “That’s a real platform for us to sustain those projects,” he says. The high iron prices

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RBA bets houses can save the economy

Find below a speech this afternoon by Jonathon Kearns, Head of Economic Analysis at the RBA, on the outlook for dwelling investment. The Outlook for Dwelling Investment Jonathan Kearns* Head of Economic Analysis Address to the Australian Business Economists’ Lunchtime Briefing Sydney – 13 November 2012 Housing is important to all of us as a place to


NAB Survey paints a mining bust

If you wonder why I called for a rate cut in the last meeting, wonder no longer. Today’s NAB survey shows a bust is underway in mining: Business conditions stumble to weakest level in more than three years, with wholesale and manufacturing conditions especially subdued. Capex index points to further softening in business investment, credit


Lending finance lifted in September

By Leith van Onselen The ABS this morning released Lending Finance data for the month of September, which registered solid seasonally-adjusted rises across all categories: In seasonally-adjusted terms, the value of personal finance commitments rose by 2.6% and were up 4.2% over the year: The value of lease finance commitments also rose – up 10.1%


Greeks get time but not money

So here we go again. Greece needs even more money, and once again the EU needs to decide what to do about it. Eurozone governments will not agree to disburse more money to debt-ravaged Greece on Monday, despite the country approving a tough 2013 budget, because there is not yet a consensus on how to


Turnbull make sense on China

Well, one pollie has a brain anyway. From Malcolm Turnbull today: Continuity, rather than change, is the order of the day in Washington and Beijing. Barack Obama has been convincingly re-elected and while his party has picked up seats in both houses of Congress, the Republican opposition remains in the majority in the House of


The global energy revolution

Find below the executive summary of the International Energy Agency’s overnight release of its World Energy Outlook 2012.  There are some quite incredible factoids in this document including: the US is set to overtake Saudi Arabia in 2020 as the world’s largest oil producer the US is set to become energy self-sufficient unconventional gas supplies


China and Australia in bilateral currency deal

From the AFR: China’s central bank governor has indicated a long planned currency deal with Australia is set to go ahead, as it would provide greater stability to the growing trade relationship. The head of the People’s Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, said direct trading of the yuan and Australian dollar was a “natural outcome”,


Housing construction data worsens

By Leith van Onselen While housing finance data continues to improve, housing construction data is weakening, with the release of quarterly construction materials volumes by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Friday showing further weakness in volumes of concrete blocks, clay bricks and roof tiles – materials typically used in housing construction (see below chart).


No growth, high profits

Go to Tokyo, it’s said, and you’ll visit the future. The sentiment may apply mainly to Japan’s capital’s neon-lit Ginza district, its futuristic fashions or cutting-edge technology, but the future doesn’t look so bright if applied to measures of the Japanese economy, where quarterly gross domestic product, released yesterday, shrank 3.5% on an annualised basis,


Macro Morning: Holiday trade

Veterans day in the US is a holiday but stock and other markets remained open in the US overnight although you would be hard pressed to notice given the very tight ranges. Certainly Asia had an interesting session after the weak Japanese GDP data was released juxtaposing the better Chinese data from the weekend. We saw


BHP set to finish off the mining boom?

Is BHP a national champion? That’s the question unasked this morning by the AFR in its coverage of the big Australian’s plan to ship LNG to Asia from the US: BHP Billiton is considering shipping a portion of its US shale gas reserves to Asia, a strategy that would reshape the global gas industry and compete


Newspoll: Labor closes

Courtesy of Mark the Graph. The Australian has released the latest Newspoll survey of voting intentions.The headline result is in line with the changing fortunes since the Coalition’s peak at the end of April 2012. The Poll Bludger also has the details. What would this mean at the next election? If the national vote was 51-49, the 100,000 election


China’s retail rocket

Courtesy of Sober Look. The chart below from Trading Economics shows China’s total retail sales of consumer goods %YoY. The October number came in at 14.5% a bit ahead of expectations – definitely a strong result. Source: Trading Economics When looking at the year-over-year numbers, it is difficult to appreciate the notional increases in retail


China’s new lending falls sharply in October

The People’s Bank of China has published aggregate financing figures for October. Net new aggregate financing for the month of October amounted to RMB1.29 trillion, down from RMB1.65 trillion in September. Most components of aggregate financing fell in October compared with September with the exception of corporate bond issuance, which increased from RMB227.8 billion in September to RMB299.2


Links November 13

Global Macro Impact investing forecast to double. FTfm Speaking of impact, micro equity proposed where micro loans fail. McKinsey Moscow urges direct US-Iran talks. Financial Times As Syrian opposition groups strike deal in Qatar. Reuters Meanwhile, UN urges restraint in the Golan Heights. Jerusalem Post Gold bug alert: China could boost holdings. Bloomberg United States


ASX Shares Daily – November 12th

  By Chris Becker The wait and see mood post-US election continued in Asia today, although Chinese markets are up slightly, the very poor GDP numbers from Japan (worlds 3rd largest economy – I didn’t hear a peep out of the usual biased suspects about this result today) saw a sell off in the local bourse


Housing finance hits two-and-a-half year high

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released housing finance data for the month of September, which registered a seasonally-adjusted 0.9% increase in the number of owner-occupied finance commitments over the month. August’s results were also revised up by 0.4%: Arguably, the most important figure in the release is the


Housing high flyers move to macroprudential rules

By Leith van Onselen Goldman Sachs last week released an interesting report (below) on the stark differences that have emerged across developed country housing markets. The report essentially seperates the preformance of various housing markets into two distinct categories: ‘housing high-flyers’:where real house prices have increased strongly and are up cumulatively since Q1 2009; and


Dismantling our Asian neutrality

I’ve recalled for readers before a description offered by Paul Kelly about the John Howard view of Australia’s strategic bind vis-a-vis the US and China. Kelly used the old Yogi Berra phrase, “when you come to a fork in the road, take it”. That is, Howard was determined to not choose sides at all. He


Macro Morning: Chinese Data v the fiscal cliff

So is it going to be the fiscal cliff or improving Chinese data or Europe that dominates trade this week? Or could it simply be the poor and deteriorating price action in the US stock market that will dominate trade? University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment data on Friday was a welcome bright spot after the


Daily iron ore price update

Find above today’s iron ore complex table. Here are the charts. Spot and 12 month swap: The spread between them is running out of room for this price level: If you think about it, the spread makes a fair amount of sense. Current iron ore demand is boosted by restocking and Chinese leadership transition hopes.


Handing our production to autocracies

The fruits of our blinkered and ideological commitment to a strong dollar really are beginning to show. From the AFR: The Russian central bank has stepped up its purchase of Australian dollars, helping to explain the currency’s persistent strength despite recent interest rate cuts. The Central Bank of Russia has reportedly been buying Australian dollars


Chinese exports rise

China’s export growth continued to improve in October while import growth slowed again according to official data. Export growth accelerated to 11.6% on a year-on-year basis, up from 9.9% year on year (yoy) in September, and above market estimates of 10.0% yoy, while imports growth slowed to 2.2% yoy, down from 2.4% yoy and worse