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Monthly chartathon

The Reserve Bank released its latest Chart Pack yesterday. As a technical analyst/chartist, I prefer a visual representation of data and have always found this series of charts fascinating. The whole pack can be downloaded here (1.28 mB or so) or viewed by section here. Although it covers many areas, I’m going to look at

Latest posts

36

No taxes, cheap houses

Following my recent post, Blame your leaders, in which I explained why high house prices are partly the result of high property taxes I was asked by a voice of sanity in my household: “How can you keep a straight face and propose that one of the demand driven causes of driving up house prices, is

23

China’s great iron ore pile

I won’t lie, the iron ore price has been making a goose of me for almost two years. At various points my forecast for big falls has almost been right but in total I have been clearly wrong. My prediction has been frustrated by tear away fixed asset investment in China, new market dynamics and

4

Has the RBA killed the dollar rally?

Over the past 8 trading days the Aussie has essentially traded a 1.0590-1.0770 range as the competiting forces in currency land played out. Friday’s spike after non-farm payrolls on the back of the euro’s bounce has not been sustained and as I write the Aussie has bounced off the bottom of the range overnight and

0

Trading Day: support broken

The S&P/ASX 200 dropped on the open, and at midday is down over 53 points or 1.16% to 4520 points. The correction has now wiped off just over 9% of price in the ASX200, just below the conventional 10% level of a complete correction. Asian markets are all down, with the Nikkei down over 0.4%,

2

The Metcash barometer

Given Metcash is the small operator within a large duopoly structure, and therefore relies in some measure upon system growth, we can take brokers’ attitudes as a good weather vane for sentiment towards the non-mining part of the economy. And it is pretty bearish. Southern Cross is claiming that the Eastern seaboard is already in

82

Carbon taxing equities

As a value investor and climate change agnostic, I have to admit I’ve been watching the carbon tax/ETS debate with a sort of detached interest.  Given the Federal government’s unparalleled skill at botching both policy PR and implementation, I had assumed that the ETS would go the way of FuelWatch, Pinkbats and Kevin Rudd’s stiff

24

Lurching

The reasons behind the RBA’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged yesterday have largely been ignored in today’s commentary. The radical alterations made to the accompanying statement have been overlooked, lied about or dismissed. Instead, pretty much to a man, media and bank economic commentary has stuck to its so far completely wrong assessment that

16

AFG sees a bounce

As my long term readers would know I have followed AFG mortgage data for quite some time. I am aware that it is not actual mortgage issuance, is susceptible to variations in AFG’s market share, seems to have a disproportionate spread across the states which doesn’t match their size, and also has a bizarre trend

120

Beware the housing elites

If there is one thing in this world that drives me crazy, it is social engineering based on ideology rather than an objective examination of facts. A classic example was on display in two related articles recently published in the mainstream media. Both articles relate to recent work undertaken by Dr Robert Crawford, an academic

40

Bullhawks vanquished!

After the frighteningly hawkish SoMP and minutes from last month, it appears the RBA has done a straight one-eighty and presented us with an extraordinarily dovish Statement. Let’s pull it apart: At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 4.75 per cent. The global economy is continuing its expansion, led

1

Trading Day: rates pause

The S&P/ASX 200 slipped on the open, down over 30 points or over 0.6% before this afternoon’s rate decision by the RBA. It is now at 4541 points and rising as a result. Asian markets are mixed with Japanese markets rallying, with the Nikkei up over 0.5%, but the Hang Seng dropping 0.7% and Singapore

20

Will Fitch pull the trigger ?

Back in May I noted that Fitch had this to say on their future strategy for dealing with Australian bank’s housing credit issuance. … Australian banks could have their credit ratings cut if they lower standards to boost mortgage sales as demand for home loans slumps. “If we do start to see signs of erosion

29

Boganomics upsets The Australian

There’s nothing quite like the pleasure of being misquoted in the national broadsheet. That’s the experience of the Boganomics team today with The Australian selectively quoting from Friday’s runaway success story, CateGate, which was picked up by the Fairfax press. The Australian’s Cut and Paste section ran a series of excerpts today under the headline: Friends,

29

Australian dollar gold standard

We have discussed the possibility that the Aussie has been re-rated by international investors and traders a few times here on Macro. We’ll won’t really know if this is true until the next big bout of market instability, but there is evidence that it is the case among long term holders such as central banks

11

Chinese banks feeling the heat

Following on from last night’s post on S&P’s recent report on China and commodities, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) yesterday released an interest report (available below) on the precarious position of the Chinese banking system. Here are some key extracts: Chinese banks’ aggressive credit expansion in the past two years greatly facilitated China’s strong economic recovery

14

Shoppers warming up

The medium term performance of the share market (ex-resources) depends heavily on household’s willingness to spend. The savings rate is rising as “disleveraging” occurs, but that is in the past. What maters for stocks is what will happen in the future and Royal Bank of Scotland is detecting some positive signs. Unlike America, where high

21

Demystifying the deficit

After a series of posts examining the fiscal woes of the United States (see here, here and here for example), I have refrained from posting on the issue for the past couple of months, mainly because I have little to add that I have not already said. In short, yes, the US has a longer-term

37

Will the US economy bounce?

There is a wealth of debate surrounding the US economy at the moment. The basic tenets of the debate can be summarised as bulls arguing that the current slowdown is the result of high oil prices whacking consumers and the Japanese tsunami whacking production. Bears are arguing there is a structural problem that these shocks

33

The secret to house price rises

Yesterday I posted my observations that rates of credit issuance are the main driver for housing price adjustments in Australia. I noted that when the rate of credit issuance rose for a month then prices moved upwards soon after, and the reverse was true for the downside. It was therefore important as a housing investor and/or home buyer to

112

I said nuclear, dammit!

It never ceases to amaze me how proponents of nuclear power can be against a carbon price, the very piece of policy required in this country to make it economic. At the moment, nuclear power remains significantly more expensive than fossil-fueled power, at around twice the cost. Yet Ziggy Switkowski, one of the country’s most

8

Ringing a bell at the top

Jonathan Chancellor was the property editor at the Sydney Morning Herald for many years until April this year. The Sydney Morning Herald’s legendary real estate editor Jonathan Chancellor has resigned and is set to launch his own rival property website. It is unclear who his financial backer is but the real estate guru today shocked his bosses

11

S&P on a China disaster

Late last week, Standard and Poors (S&P) released a 22-page report entitled The Potential Risk of China’s Large and Growing Presence In Commodities Markets, which warns that record high commodities may represent an unsustainable bubble at risk of correcting in the event of a significant slowdown of the Chinese economy  (hat tip Interest.co.nz for the

36

The market needs churn

There have been a vast number of discussions here and on many other sites about the future direction of the housing market. My own opinion, as I have stated a number of times, is that without some further government stimulus the market will continue its slide. This is mainly based on observations of the market

54

The new economic glossary

Regular readers will know that I am in the process of building a new glossary of terms to help describe Australia’s dramatically evolving contemporary economy. I’ve just added another today and it suddenly occurred to me that it is time to make it official. Here is the whole dictionary thus far: Politico-housing complex The great public/private

0

Trading Day: Monday 6th June

The S&P/ASX 200 continues to slip, down 15 points to 4567, after following Wall Street’s losses over the weekend. Asian markets are down even furthera, with the Nikkei down 0.94%, the Hang Seng down 1.31% and Singapore down 0.42%. Other risk assets are steady and even rising, with the AUD at 1.0744 against the USD,

29

ANZ job ads whacked

ANZ job ads for May are out and got thumped. As usual, the accompanying commentary comes with the rhetoric of boom ahead. I think it’s about time we called this what it is: Futureboom. The worse the data, the bigger the Futureboom, it seems: Total job advertisements on the internet and in newspapers decreased by 6.5% inMay to

22

Exchange rate exodus

On Friday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released data on overseas short-term tourist arrivals and departures. Once again, it provided stark evidence that some of Australia’s domestic industries, in this case tourism and retail, are hurting badly from the high Australian dollar. The below chart plots the monthly tourist arrivals and departures to/from Australia

1

Ups and Dow

As the US market starts to look rocky it is worth remembering that the rise over the last couple of years has been strong. The report by Prudential to which I referred on the weekend had some interesting insights into share valuations in America. It is not being driven by sentiment, it is being driven

6

In a parallel universe, the RBA holds…

Statement by Deus Forex Machina, Governor – in a parallel universe – Monetary Policy Decision At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 4.75 per cent. The global economy is continuing its expansion, led by very strong growth in the Asian region. Signs are emerging, however, of a slowdown