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Trump takes a dump on relief as markets flump

Quelle surprise. His Royale with Cheetos has decided at the last minute to squash the long awaited yet extremely underwhelming stimulus bill from the US Congress, wanting more money in the stimulus cheques ($2000 vs the paltry “let them eat cake” $600) and removing a lot of riders and other “unnecessary” spending. From MSN: The

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Aussie mortgage growth launches

The RBA has released its private sector credit aggregates data for the month of November, which continued the strong rebound in mortgage growth. A chart plotting the long-run time series is shown below: Annual mortgage growth continues to trend higher, but remains low overall at just 3.4%. However, quarterly mortgage growth has rebounded hard, climbing

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Big Australia mouthpieces unite in propaganda spew

Leading ‘Big Australia’ mouthpieces have united warning of dire consequences unless Australia grows its population, including through mass immigration: The issue of a Big Australia has resurfaced in the wake of the government releasing its first Population Statement, which projects the nation will have 1.1 million fewer people by 2031 than it would have without

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NSW COVID infections grow to 103

NSW recorded another 8 new locally acquired COVID-19 infections with 7 linked to the Avalon cluster: This has taken Australia’s total active locally acquired cases to 103, all in NSW: The other 156 cases are international arrivals in hotel quarantine. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has flagged the following changes to restrictions across Sydney ahead of

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Auction market ends 2020 on a high note

SQM Research has released its final auction report for last weekend, which reveals the market ended 2020 on a strong note: While SQM’s auction clearances are always lower than its competitors (CoreLogic and Domain), they are running around their highest level since COVID hit in March when the property markets in Sydney and Melbourne were

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Quarantine failures highlight grave risk in rebooting immigration

The NSW Government’s hotel quarantine program is under scrutiny after a third case of COVID-19 was linked to returned overseas travellers. A nurse is believed to have contracted the virus while transporting a family from Sydney airport to a quarantine hotel, although health authorities have yet to determine the exact source of this infection. A

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Macro Morning

A mixed night on risk markets as the Asian close presaged downside volatility that didn’t eventuate on European markets, but kept Wall Street on edge with only tech stocks on the NASDAQ advancing as the latest US stimulus package didn’t do much to lift confidence. Commodities finally couldn’t find a bid with iron ore dropping

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Aussie property investors still on struggle street

According to The Australian, one-third of investor mortgages still deferred amid falling rental markets: Smaller banks are bearing the biggest burden from deferred investor loans, with Regional Australia Bank struggling with 86 of its investor loans in forbearance, according to APRA data. Even Westpac, NAB and CBA are among the 10 worst affected banks. Deferred

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Karma hits China after Aussie export ban

Karma has bit China in the backside, with its decision to banish Australia and blockade crucial exports causing blackouts in cities across the nation: The towering skyscrapers in Changsha have stopped glowing. The provincial capital of Hunan and home to more than 7 million people is without street lights, too. Lifts have been switched off,

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Daily iron ore price update (snapback from reality)

The iron ore complex finally took a deep breath yesterday, with prices tumbling across Chinese markets, as the Dalian exchange in particular listening to some steelmaker concerns that speculators are “ruining” (sic) prices. Spot iron ore was off by nearly 6% while futures fell back more than 3%: S&PGlobal were quick to share their view

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It’s time governments “came clean” on international student scam

The Australian’s Judith Sloan notes today that the higher education sector has expressed much angst about the fall in overseas student numbers as a result of border restrictions caused by COVID-19 and the impact this is having on higher education and the economy in general. However, while there may be positives associated with international students,

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Melbourne and Sydney property supply swells

Last week, the National Housing Finance & Investment Corporation (NHFIC) forecast that Greater Melbourne’s and Greater Sydney’s housing markets would be thrown into structural oversupply as immigration collapses: With the release of the June quarter population figures from the ABS, I have plotted population growth against dwelling construction across Victoria and NSW in order to

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Links 23 December 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Meritocracy isn’t an alternative to inequality — it’s a justification – MarketWatch Inflation is Eroding Purchasing Power and Hurting Millennials the Most – My Budget 360 Musk Inquires About Moving ‘Large Transactions’ to Bitcoin – Bloomberg Dollar climbs, sterling sinks as coronavirus lockdowns stoke haven demand – Reuters Walmart

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Macro Afternoon

Asian stocks are in full flight as the selling gains traction following the fallout from the UK lockout and the European lockdowns as the Congress stimulus package (let them eat cake basically) underwhelms. Bitcoin is levitating just under the $23000 level while gold has tried to regain its previous heights after the big roundtrip last

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Early super withdrawals edge closer to $36 billion

APRA published its early superannuation release data for the week ended 13 December, which revealed that only $152.9 million was withdrawn from Australia’s superannuation system, taking the total amount withdrawn early to $35.8 billion: According to APRA: Over the week to 13 December, superannuation funds made payments to 21,000 members, bringing the total number to

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Australian dollar cruises down as retail sales surge

The latest retail sale figures for November have not been received well on the local share market, with the ASX200 down nearly 1% while the Australian dollar remains under pressure after the big roundtrip in risk assets overnight. The Pacific Peso just can’t seem to get back to its former highs (and nominal yearly highs)

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Industrial relations omnibus bill to drive wages lower

New data from the federal Attorney-General’s department shows that 11.8% of workers in the private sector were covered by enterprises agreements in the September quarter. This compares with 13.5% in the previous quarter, and is the lowest coverage since 2017. The report also shows that annual wage growth for new agreements approved in the September

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Bitcoin squeezing out other cryptos as it zooms higher

The number of memes around financial assets – and their cryptozoological Frankenstein cousins – continues to mount as the world’s central bankers unleash as many acronymic “easing” programs they can to arrest the COVID economic depression. HODL was the classic one for Bitcoin, as it crushed under the weight of its first bubble in late

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91% of Aussies support international border closure

Roy Morgan Research has released a survey showing that 91% of Aussies support keeping the border shut to prevent the importation of COVID-19: Large majorities of Australians in all States, both genders and across all age groups agree travel restrictions between countries are acceptable in order to fight against the spread of Coronavirus. Agreement is

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Retail sales surged in November

From the ABS comes preliminary retail sales data for November: Key statistics The seasonally adjusted estimate rose 7.0% ($2,071.6m) from October 2020 to November 2020. In seasonally adjusted terms, Australian turnover rose 13.2% in November 2020 compared with November 2019. Victoria (21%) led the rises, with November seeing the first full month of trade following the easing of coronavirus restrictions in

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Productivity growth not population key to smart economy

Former foreign minister Bob Carr claims that the pandemic is an opportunity to challenge the view held by government and business that the only approach to population growth is “more”. Carr contends that Australia’s economic growth has been all about lifting population growth, rather than boosting productivity. He notes that population targets are set in

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NSW records 8 new COVID-19 cases

NSW recorded 8 new local cases overnight, 7 of which were related to the Avalon cluster and 1 which is a health worker whose source is under investigation. Victoria also recorded one interstate acquired case from Sydney’s northern beaches. Australia now has 95 active locally acquired cases. All of these are from NSW, 90 of

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More dud trade deals to offset ‘unfair’ China

The trade spat with China is being used by the Coalition as an excuse to launch a bunch of dud ‘free trade’ agreements (FTAs): Australia will pursue trade agreements with Israel, Switzerland, Norway, Middle East and Latin American nations next year to open up new markets amid China’s “unfair, unjust and unwarranted” targeting of exporters…

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How worrying is the new British COVID strain?

Reuters has posted a good explainer on the new COVID strain sweeping through Britain, which has prompted some neighbouring European nations to shut trade links to prevent transmission. The Cliff Notes summary is that this strain is far more infectious than other strains, but not more lethal. Vaccines are also thought to protect against this

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Daily iron ore price update (1 billion tonnes)

You can’t stop the iron ore juggernaut with spot Tianjin prices up nearly 8% while Dalian iron ore futures jumped nearly 10% as rebar futures also soared upwards on Monday trade: This is supposedly due to the Friday news of another landslide at a Vale mine in Brazil, which resulted in the death of one

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Frydenberg launches fake crackdown on illegal foreign property sales

In December 2018, a parliamentary committee into Managing Compliance with Foreign Investment Obligations for Residential Real Estate slammed the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for failing to enforce rules precluding foreign nationals from purchasing established Australian homes: Despite at least 877 breaches of the country’s foreign ownership laws being uncovered in Victoria, the Australian Taxation Office

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Macro Morning

Big round trip’s in prices across many risk markets overnight due to concerns over a new strain of COVID-19, leading to a leap in volatility that is sure to continue here in Asia. Despite a new round of stimulus from Congress, Wall Street is not convinced and remains lacking in confidence, as does Europe as