ASX at the close

Stan Shamu for Chris Weston, Chief Market Strategist at IG Markets Asian stocks have given up some of yesterday’s gains with the excitement from China’s stimulus actions swiftly waning. After a lacklustre US trade which saw equities mostly flat, Asia was always going to struggle for leads. Japan has been a standout with a recovery

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Will increased CSG lower domestic gas prices?

By Leith van Onselen Santos chief executive, David Knox, has today implored Australia’s authorities to support coal seam gas (CSG) extraction, arguing that it is essential to ensure that supply can catch-up to demand, which is expected to triple on the East Coast as the Gladstone LNG export plants come on line, in turn lowering


Why the minimum wage is good for business

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Last week Australia’s Fair Work Commission increased the national minimum wage to A$16.87 an hour from 1 July, 2014. The usual suspects rolled out the usual arguments denouncing this initiative, and Treasurer Joe Hockey joined them, arguing it will cost jobs and hurt employment growth. The Australian Financial Review led on


Coal pain spreads along the supply chain

By Leith van Onselen I wrote yesterday how the slump in coal prices, which have more than halved since 2012, is spreading beyond the affected miners onto other players in the supply chain. Yesterday, it was rail freight operator, Asciano, that was in the firing line, with coking coal producer, Anglo Australia, seeking to renegotiate


Unemployment expectations continue to trend lower

By Leith van Onselen Westpac has today released its consumer unemployment expectations report for June, which registered a 1.1% fall – the third consecutive monthly decline. However, despite the improving trend, Westpac maintains its view that jobs growth will be insufficient to soak-up the rising population, suggesting the nation’s unemployment rate will continue to rise,


ANZ-RM consumer confidence also fails to bounce

By Leith van Onselen When consumer sentiment tanked after the Federal Budget, I along with many other analysts believed that the impact would be largely temporary and would swiftly recover most of the lost ground once the “sticker shock” from the Budget wore off. Today’s release of the Westpac-Melbourne Institute’s Consumer Sentiment index for June


Miners drag down a quiet ASX

by Chris Becker Coming up to lunch in the Asian session and the ASX200 is down around 0.3% while the SPI futures stand at around 5458 points or down 20 points. Instead of a small gain today following gains in Europe and US markets – check out my Macro Morning post for more – it’s


Shoe box apartments are no affordability cure

By Leith van Onselen The Age has published a useful summary of a new report by the Melbourne City Council, which slams the increasing number of ‘shoe box’ apartments being constructed in Melbourne’s CBD, which would breach the minimum size requirements of many other international cities: A scathing report from Melbourne City Council shows some


Forget gold, go platinum!

by Chris Becker With all the bearishness surrounding gold (and silver) we sometimes forget the other precious metals, namely platinum and palladium. For those unaware, palladium’s (XPD) main use is in catalytic converters and in fuel cell technology. But what’s caused the recent breakout (see charts below)? Supply. From WSJ: Palladium prices neared a 13-year


Weather whinge continues for retailers

by Chris Becker Is this the start of a consumer confidence campaign or just a general whinge? From the SMH: A balmy winter across the eastern capitals and a tough federal budget are playing havoc with retailers, leaving them stuck with unwanted winter stock and shoppers missing from the stores. And any recovery for the


World Bank cuts its global growth forecast

By Leith van Onselen The World Bank has released its Global Economic Outlook report, which has cut its global growth forecast to 2.8% for the year, from its 3.2% forecast in January. According to the Bank, accelerated growth in the US and Europe will be more than offset by weakness in developing nations, whose growth


Macro Morning (gold rocket)

by Chris Becker Let’s look at what is shaking up in macro markets around the world. First of all, gold and silver jumped last night on the NYMEX open, the “undollar” finishing up nearly $9 per ounce to $1260: Was this because of a jump in official Chinese CPI, which recorded a higher than expected


How foreign property buyers have dodged FIRB

By Leith van Onselen The Australian has published a great report today describing in detail how: foreign property buyers side-step the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) rules precluding foreign non-residents from buying pre-existing dwellings; how FIRB has, since 2010, failed to prosecute any foreign buyer for breaching the foreign ownership rules; and how FIRB is


Aussie to parity moon: Morgan Stanley

by Chris Becker The respite has only lasted a year or so, but the calls for Aussie dollar to be back to parity are now coming thick and thin. Yesterday, Morgan Stanley released new research predicting the Aussie dollar would regain parity with the US dollar by year’s end, echoing recent predictions from Westpac and


Daily iron ore price (Vale record)

by Chris Becker Find below the most recent prices for iron ore – another red day with all markets off half a percent or so: I’ll have some better charts up a bit later today in a technical note about Aussie iron ore miners. But wait – good news everybody! On the back of record


Australia’s housing data cull will cut transparency

By Leith van Onselen SQM Research last night released its weekly newsletter, which contained some interesting commentary from managing director, Louis Christopher, on the recent omission of first home buyer statistics by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), as well as the flagged culling of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) property price index due


Copper rorts impact widens

Cross posted from Investing in Chinese Stocks Following from yesterday, unless some of the ports run an extremely tight ship, I’d guess that this problem could be everywhere there is copper stored in China. I’m honestly a bit surprised that many foreign banks were still making loans based on copper collateral given that this scam


Links 11 June 2014

Global Macro / Markets: Austerity and the Employment Rate – CEPR Unmasking the father of high frequency trading – Fortune The Great Insanity In Context (200 Years Of European Bonds) – Zero Hedge The macroeconomic effects of asset purchases – VOX North America: Lean Retirement Faces U.S. Generation X as Wealth Trails – Bloomberg U.S. Job


ASX at the close

Stan Shamu for Chris Weston, Chief Market Strategist at IG Markets Asia is mixed today with the ASX 200 leading the way early after having missed out on trade yesterday due to a bank holiday. Emerging markets remain the main focus of the week after China pumped out another round of positive economic data from


Chart of the Day: Commodities

by Chris Becker Today I want to have a big picture look at commodities but through the lens of technical analysis, looking at some major miners like BHP-Billiton (BHP), broader commodity price indices and the specific commodities themselves. First, let’s start with the DJ-UBS Commodity Price Index, which tracks 22 commodities traded as futures (except aluminium,