Commodities rise in November

The Reserve Bank (RBA) released the Index of Commodity Prices today, with preliminary results suggesting a rise of 0.2% for November, for a total rise of 16% for the year (in AUD) and remain at record high levels. Preliminary estimates for November indicate that the index rose by 0.2 per cent (on a monthly average

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What’s between now and the RBA meet?

For those of you wondering, above is a list of the data flow between now next Tuesday’s RBA meeting. The only two of any influence will be TD Inflation and ANZ job ads. TD  monthly inflation was benign last month and there is no reason to expect that to change this month. ANZ job ads are unlikely


Roy Morgan consumer confidence slumps

Roy Morgan has released its weekly consumer confidence and confirming today’s lousy October retail sales number, the post June confidence pulse is just about exhausted: Consumer Confidence fell to 109.7pts (down 3.4pts in a week), according to the Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating conducted last weekend (November 26/27, 2011). Consumer Confidence is now 10.9pts lower


North Asia’s PMI blues

Bloomberg reports that China’s official PMI has confirmed the weakness apparent in the Flash PMI last week: China’s manufacturing contracted for the first time since February 2009 as the property market cooled and Europe’s crisis cut export demand, a survey showed. The Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 49.0 in November from 50.4 in October, the China Federation of Logistics and


Fund manager fat cats

A report by Morningstar sheds some interesting light on share funds that invest in large capitalised companies (for which read most super funds). It should be of great interest to anyone who is letting the professionals manage their savings. Unsurprisingly, given the lack of diversity in in the ASX, it shows that large cap fund maangers


China links

Courtesy of Sinocism: Stocks Rise as China Cuts Bank Reserve Ratio – Bloomberg – China will cut the reserve requirement ratio for banks by 0.5 percentage points from Dec. 5, according to a statement on the central bank’s website today. China military condemns US-Australia military pact – Yahoo! News – Prof. Gillis: Muddy Waters FMCN Report Attacks


Retail pulse fading

Fresh from the dreadful building approvals numbers, the ABS has served up lousy retail sales: That’s 0.2% growth for October and shows a clearly fading pulse from the mid year unleashing of pent up demand triggered by the plateauing of rates. I mooted last month that with the savings rate having plateaued, retail sales may


Chart of the Day: Exponential credit

Today’s chart follows on from yesterday’s RBA release of credit and lending aggregates (find here, with charts) and plots the total private credit (housing, personal, business, but not government) data since 1976: Added to the plot is an exponential trendline, with a superb fit until the GFC, where total credit growth has tapered from the


Lower dollar boosts manufacturing

The Australian PMI is out and shows a sideways movement of continued contraction at 47.8. There’s some good news, however, with new orders growing steadily towards expansion: We can’t tell precisely, but much of the improvement is coming from jumping export orders, the index for which has rocketed since the dollar came under pressure in


Europe solves the wrong problem

Yet another exciting night and , at least this time, the equities rally was based on something with substance. The news of course was this: The US Fed took three actions this morning to support global financial markets: the first and by far most important was lowering the interest rate charged on its dollar liquidity


Today, equities are right

We all know that the kind of jumps that we see regularly in the equity market these days are a symptom of its illness (at least, we all should). That is, in a healthy bull market, you don’t get 3%+ daily jumps almost ever. These kind of swings are typical of bear markets where the


Victoria’s budget black hole will deepen

Last week, I showed how the Victorian Government is overly addicted to property taxes and discussed how next year’s State Budget is likely to get hit hard by falling stamp duty receipts, which are likely to send the budget into deficit. Included in this article was the below chart showing the Victorian Government’s heroic forecast


Economics of piracy

Public debate over Internet piracy is riddled with contradictions and fingerprints of vested interests.  In the US, congress is considering the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), while in Australia, an alliance of internet service providers had their proposal to crack down on piracy rejected by the Australian content Industry Group (group of music, software and


China loosens

People’s Bank of China just cut the reserve requirement ratio by 50 basis points, effectively from 5 December 2011.  The last time when the RRR was changed was 14 June, which was a hike of RRR by 50 basis points.  RRR for large banks are currently standing at 21.5%, so the 50 basis points cut would reduce


December 1 links: Central banks ride to the rescue

Down: Treasuries, $US Flat: ore Up: euro, Aussie, gold, metals, energy, CRB, grains Contagion: 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 Germany 2


Trading Day

The S&P/ASX 200 Index, after a volatile session, finished up 17 points today, its third positive day in a row, to 4119 points, arguably on the back of end of month window dressing as all the gains came in the last 20 mins of the day. The next target for the local bourse is resistance


Invisopower! gives way to blog power

One of the joys of the blog form is that it the work of a collective mind. Not a borg collective of automatons but a group of specialist individuals and readers that can contribute their various skills and insights to a much clearer understanding of what the hell is going on. This stands in stark


The full R.P. Data report

As H&H mentioned earlier today RP data release their latest home value index report (available below). RPData took a fairly bullish stance on the previous month’s data, but I did note at the time that I felt it was premature: RPData’s bullishness is premature given this is a single month’s data and we all know


More European financial chicanery

A couple of stories out of Europe that I didn’t catch in my morning post. The changes to the EFSF has been ratified by the European Finance ministers: Euro area Finance Ministers agreed on 29 November on the terms and conditions to extend EFSF’s capacity by introducing sovereign bond partial risk participation and a Co-Investment


Comparing house price declines

Back by popular demand, here is my chart on the respective rates of decline for Australian housing now versus the 2008 experience (which obviously reversed)  and the US experience in the GFC. Obviously this is a limited sample and is not intended to suggest that local housing is on the same path as the US.


China links

Courtesy of Sinocism: China’s online supermarkets, a great entry-platform for internationals – xinhua-China’s flagship literature magazine launches English version – Pathlight: New Chinese Writing – MW Reiterating Strong Sell on FMCN | Muddy Waters Research – Focus Media Responds Further to Muddy Waters Allegations — SHANGHAI, Nov. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ – – South Asia’s water: Unquenchable thirst | The Economist –


Invisopower! detected

Regular readers, especially those going back to my inglorious days at Business Spectator, will no doubt be celebrating with me that someone in the MSM has donned the invisibility detection glasses and seen the Predator-like shimmering fog surrounding the banks wholesale funding. Something that I dubbed Invisopower! late last year. Michael West is on the case:


Capex rocket takes off

Capex is out and is the one positive Australian story that just keeps on giving. First the September quarter actual spending estimates: The trend estimate for total new capital expenditure rose 8.2% in the September quarter 2011. By asset type, the trend estimate for buildings and structures rose 11.3% and equipment, plant and machinery rose


Credit growth weak during October

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) released Financial Aggregates data for October today: Total credit provided to the private sector by financial intermediaries rose by 0.2 per cent over October 2011, after rising by 0.5 per cent over September. Over the year to October, total credit rose by 3.5 per cent. Housing credit increased by


Macquarie sees “white collar recession”

Macquarie is predicting a white collar recession in Australia, raising its forecast for unemployment to 6%: Our economics team recently moved its unemployment forecasts to 6% on the view that Australia will experience a “white collar” recession. The team sees upside risk to 7% in the event that retail, manufacturing and tourism sectors also decide


New home sales rise from the floor

New home sales have posted a modest 5.5% bounce in October. They are still languishing, however, as shown in the above chart. As Ross “pull no punches” Gittins would say, off to the Pilbara with you builders. Full release from the HIA below: 2011-10 NHSS National Media Release


House prices continue to melt in October

R.P.Data results for October are out and it’s an ongoing Spring thaw, 0.5% down for the month seasonally adjusted, with an adjusted figure for September doubling the fall to 0.4%. Here’s the chart: And raw: And the R.P. Data House Price Index over time: As well as, real house prices: And finally, state by state


House prices to rocket on frog

You know the Melbourne housing market is in trouble when (h/t LBS): Developers say property prices in Melbourne’s urban growth corridors may skyrocket because of an endangered frog. A draft report released under new Federal environment laws has recommended some growth areas be off-limits to developers to protect the growling grass frog. Developers say the plan,


European trade contagion hitting China

A few weeks ago I posted on European trade links to the other major economies. In the post a produced the following chart on Chinese exports to the EU27: So, the EU is China’s largest export destination. Now, from Bloomberg today comes this: Slumping shipping costs show exports to Europe from China are “falling off a cliff”