• Tag Archives Australia
  • This Flu Season Begins the Risk of a Pandemic 2018-2019

    A possible new pandemic is forming from a deadly strain of flu emerging from Australia and will be headed to the UK as the normal flow of travels would take it. Britain will perhaps be hit with the worst flu season in 50 years. Already, there are about 170,000 cases of flu reported in Australia which is more than double this season than usual.
    The strain of flu is called H3N2, and the number of flu deaths in Australia over winter has not yet been released, but it’s thought to be the worst in many years. The last major flu epidemic was in the 1968 pandemic which began in Hong Kong killing more than a million people worldwide. Flu pandemics have been linked to fluctuations in climate, and new research connects the world’s four most recent pandemics to the cyclical cooling of the Pacific Ocean near the equator.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Dec 29, 2017.


  • Asian Stocks Slide On iPhone X Demand Fears; US Futures Flat In Thin Holiday Trading

    For the second day in a row, most Asian markets – at least the ones that are open – were dragged lower by tech stocks and Apple suppliers, with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index down 0.2% led by Samsung Electronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing in response to the previously noted report that Apple will slash Q1 sales forecasts for iPhone X sales by 40% from 50 million to 30 million. Most Asian equity benchmarks fell except those in China. European stocks were mixed in a quiet session while U. S. equity futures are little changed as markets reopen after the Christmas holiday.
    Away from Asia, stocks remained closed across the large European markets, as well as in parts of Asia including Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines and New Zealand. Japanese benchmarks slipped from the highest levels since the early 1990s, helping to pull the MSCI Asia Pacific Index down, while shares in Dubai, Qatar and Russia were among the big losers in emerging markets. S&P 500 futures were flat as those for the Dow Jones slipped. The euro edged lower with the pound – although there were no reverberations from Monday’s odd EURUSD flash crash which was only observed on Bloomberg feeds, while Reuters ignored it even if the FT did note it…

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 26, 2017.


  • 2018’s Number One Risk

    To find the market’s biggest weakness, a good place to look is at the most crowded movie theater with the smallest exit.
    European bonds.
    ***
    You’ve probably seen the charts of European high yield floating around, so I won’t reproduce it here. Yields in the low 2s for BB credits. There was also a European corporate issuer that managed to issue BBB bonds at negative yields a few weeks ago. I think that might have been the top.
    No shortage of stupid things these days:
    Bitcoin Litecoin Pizzacoin Canadian real estate Swedish real estate Australian real estate FANG Venture capital But European bonds are potentially the stupidest. Maybe even stupider than bitcoin!
    Although there is nothing stupid about it – the ECB has been buying every bond in sight, and there’s lots of money to be made frontrunning central banks.

    This post was published at Mauldin Economics on DECEMBER 21, 2017.


  • Freedom of Religion under Attack?

    The attack upon religion in Australia is not what one would call a direct assault. It is also not unique to just Australia. This is simply the way prosecutors expand the envelope of power. They look at a single issue and seek to address that issue alone. They rarely look at the implications beyond their immediate objective.
    Take FACTA in the USA. The objective is to catch people avoiding taxes by putting their profits offshore. They begin with that assumption and ignore the fact that NOT everyone doing business offshore is to hide taxes. They then obstruct businesses from expanding globally. In my own case, despite the fact that we do business around the globe, because I am an American, I cannot open an account anywhere outside the USA because nobody wants to deal with the FACTA reporting back to the USA. My only solution is to go public since an American citizen can no longer own and operate a multinational business privately. Here we have a law designed to get tax evaders, but it blocks the legitimate business from operating. The only exception is the multinational corporation.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Dec 19, 2017.


  • Freedom of Religion under Attack by Australian Gov’t

    OK, believe it or not, the Australian government wants sweeping changes in the Catholic Church and other organizations, including making celibacy voluntary for clergy, but the real kicker is that they want priests to report people who confess sins in church. Politicians no longer have respect for religion or the beliefs of people. To them, there is no God, only their power. This is getting really insane.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Dec 17, 2017.


  • Swedish Housing Bubble Pops As Stockholm Apartment Prices Crash Most Since June 2009

    Even though Sweden’s property bubble is not the longest running (that accolade goes to Australia at 55 years), it is probably the world’s biggest with prices up roughly 6-fold since starting its meteoric rise in 1995.
    ***
    Of course, as we noted last month when the SEB’s housing price indicator, which measures the difference between those who believe prices will rise and those who expect them to drop, took its first substantial tumble, the era of the steadily inflating housing bubble in Stockholm may finally have come to an end.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 15, 2017.


  • Sweden: More Signs The World’s Biggest Housing Bubble Is Cracking

    We like to highlight that although Sweden’s property bubble is not the longest running (that accolade goes to Australia at 55 years), it is probably the world’s biggest, even though it gets relatively little coverage in the mainstream financial media.

    A month ago, we noted that SEB’s housing price indicator suffered its second biggest ever drop, falling by 39 points, only lagging a steeper fall from ten years earlier. This month the indicator, which shows the balance between households forecasting rising or falling prices, fell into negative territory, dropping to -5 from +11 in November. Households expecting prices to rise has almost halved from 66% In October, to 43% in November and 36% this month. The percentage of households expecting prices to fall has risen from 16% in October, to 32% in November and 41% this month.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 12, 2017.


  • Key Events In The Coming Week: Jobs, Brexit, PMI, IP And More

    The first full week of December is shaping up as rather busy, with such Tier 1 data in the US as the payrolls report, durable goods orders and trade balance. We also get UK PMI data and GDP, retail sales across the Euro Area, as well as central bank meetings including Australia RBA and BoC monetary policy meeting.
    Key events per RanSquawk
    Monday: UK PM May To Meet EU’s Juncker & Barnier Tuesday: UK Services PMI (Nov), RBA MonPol Decision Wednesday: BoC MonPol Decision, Australian GDP (Q3) Friday: US Payrolls Report (Nov), Japan GDP (Q3, 2nd) The week’s main event takes place on Friday with the release of November’s US labour market report. Consensus looks for the headline nonfarm payrolls to show an addition of 188K jobs, slowing from October’s 261K. Average hourly earnings growth is expected to slow to 0.3% M/M from 0.5%, while the unemployment rate and average hours worked are expected to hold steady at 4.1% and 34.4 respectively. Hurricane induced volatility should be absent from the November release, and consensus points to a headline print much more in-keeping with trend rate.
    Other key data releases next week include the remaining October services and composite PMIs on Tuesday in Asia, Europe and the US, ISM non-manufacturing in the US on Tuesday, ADP employment report on Wednesday and China trade data on Friday.
    Focus will also fall on Wednesday’s Bank of Canada (BoC) interest rate decision, with the majority looking for the Bank to leave its key interest rate unchanged at 1.00%, although 3 of the 31 surveyed by Reuters are looking for a 25bps hike. Following the BoC’s back-to-back rate hikes in Q3, interest rate markets were pricing in a 40-50% chance of a hike at the upcoming decision, that has now pared back to 25% as the BoC has sounded more cautious in recent addresses, highlighting that it expected the economy to slow (GDP growth moderated to 1.7% in Q3 on a Q/Q annualised basis, from 4.3% in Q2) while stressing that it remains data dependant. RBC highlights that ‘the BoC has been focused on the consumer’s reaction to the earlier hikes and is content to wait-and-see for the moment. Wage growth – another key metric for the central bank – has improved in recent employment reports (reaching the highest level of growth since April 2016 in November’s report). Despite its softer tone, the BoC continues to stress that ‘less monetary stimulus will likely be required over time’ and as a result the statement will be scoured for any changes in tone. At the time of writing, markets are pricing a 57.2% chance of a 25bps hike in January, with such a move 91.0% priced by the end of March.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 4, 2017.


  • Loonie Soars After Canadian Data Crushes Expectations, 14 Sigma Jobs Beat

    The loonie just exploded by 100 pips following a barrage of Canadian eco data, including GDP and employment, both of which crushed expectations.
    September GDP rose 0.2% ,/ vs exp. 0.1%, and up from -0.1% in August, which means Q3 annualized GDP will be 1.7%.
    But it was the jobs data which was particularly noteworthy; in fact it was borderline “Australian” in how ridiculous the print was: the employment rate in November was 79.5k, up from 35.3k last month, and 8 times higher than the consensus estimate. Not only was this the highest print since 2012, it was also a 14 sigma beat!

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 2017.


  • Australian Banks – First The Housing Bubble Bursts, Now A Public Inquiry

    We keep returning to the subject of Australia and the growing signs that its bubble economy is bursting. Earlier this month, we discussed how the world’s longest-running bull market – 55 years – in Australian house prices appears to have come to an end. We followed this up with ‘Why Australia’s Economy Is A House Of Cards’ in which Matt Barrie and Craig Tindale described how Australia’s three decades long economic expansion had mostly been the result of ‘dumb luck’.
    As a whole, the Australian economy has grown through a property bubble inflating on top of a mining bubble, built on top of a commodities bubble, driven by a China bubble.
    Last week, in “The Party’s Over For Australia’s $5.6 Trillion Housing Market Frenzy”, we highlighted some scary metrics for Australia’s housing bubble – notably how the value of Australian housing is more than four times gross domestic product – higher than other nations with housing bubbles, e.g. New Zealand, the UK and Canada. Two days ago, we noted the number of Australians optimistic about the year ahead had plunged to a record low.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 30, 2017.


  • Breslow: “The Answer To This Question Will Drive Just About Everything”

    Having passed the first hurdle this morning (PCE did not drop further), The Fed’s December hike is now locked and loaded, but, as former fund manager Richard Breslow notes, at the end of the day, the real elephant in the room is if, when and how fast the big central banks shift toward policy normalization. Everything else is derivative. Get this one right and quibbling over some sector rotation or the relative prospects of the Australian versus New Zealand dollars pale in comparison.
    The answer to this question will drive just about every other market.
    Via Bloomberg,
    It’s an interesting issue to contemplate as we wind down a year when sovereign yields, with the exception of China, have been moribund, at best.
    All eyes have correctly been on the yield curves but it could very well be that the focus needs to change.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 30, 2017.


  • As Australia’s Housing Bubble Bursts, Optimism For The Year Ahead Crashes To Record Low

    Zero Hedge readers might have noted our increasingly bearish tone on all things Australian – economic that is, since the cricket team just whipped the English in the first test match in Brisbane. The focal point of our concern is the housing market and, earlier this month, we discussed how the world’s longest-running bull market – 55 years – in Australian house prices appears to have come to an end. We followed this up with ‘Why Australia’s Economy Is A House Of Cards’ in which Matt Barrie and Craig Tindale described how Australia’s three decades long economic expansion had mostly been the result of ‘dumb luck’.
    As a whole, the Australian economy has grown through a property bubble inflating on top of a mining bubble, built on top of a commodities bubble, driven by a China bubble.
    Last week, in “The Party’s Over For Australia’s $5.6 Trillion Housing Market Frenzy”, we highlighted some scary metrics for Australia’s housing bubble cited by Bloomberg. In particular, we showed how the value of Australian housing is more than four times gross domestic product. This is higher than other western nations, like New Zealand, Canada and the UK, which are experiencing their own housing bubbles. The ratio of house values to GDP in the US seems positively tame in comparison.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 28, 2017.


  • The Party’s Over For Australia’s $5.6 Trillion Housing Frenzy

    Early this month, we discussed whether the world’s longest running bull market – 55 years – in Australian house prices had come to an end. This was UBS’s view following the October 2017 monthly report on Australian house prices from CoreLogic suggested that measures to tighten credit standards and dissuade overseas buyers (especially Chinese in Sydney and Melbourne) have finally begun to bite. As CoreLogic’s summary table shows, Sydney prices fell in October, for the second month running, and poised to lead national prices lower.
    ***
    We followed up that discussion with ‘Why Australia’s Economy Is A House Of Cards’ in which Matt Barrie and Craig Tindale described how Australia’s three decades long economic expansion had mostly been the result of ‘dumb luck’.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 24, 2017.


  • Mueller Subpoena Spooks Dollar, Sends European Stocks, US Futures Lower

    Yesterday’s torrid, broad-based rally looked set to continue overnight until early in the Japanese session, when the USD tumbled and dragged down with it the USDJPY, Nikkei, and US futures following a WSJ report that Robert Mueller had issued a subpoena to more than a dozen top Trump administration officials in mid October.
    And as traders sit at their desks on Friday, U. S. index futures point to a lower open as European stocks fall, struggling to follow Asian equities higher as the euro strengthened at the end of a tumultuous week. Chinese stocks dropped while Indian shares and the rupee gain on Moody’s upgrade. The MSCI world equity index was up 0.1% on the day, but was heading for a 0.1% fall on the week. The dollar declined against most major peers, while Treasury yields dropped and oil rose.
    Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index fluctuated before turning lower as much as 0.3% in brisk volumes, dropping towards the 200-DMA, although about 1% above Wednesday’s intraday low; weakness was observed in retail, mining, utilities sectors. In the past two weeks, the basic resources sector index is down 6%, oil & gas down 5.8%, autos down 4.9%, retail down 3.4%; while real estate is the only sector in green, up 0.1%. The Stoxx 600 is on track to record a weekly loss of 1.3%, adding to last week’s sell-off amid sharp rebound in euro, global equity pullback. The Euro climbed for the first time in three days after ECB President Mario Draghi said he was optimistic for wage growth in the region, although stressed the need for patience, speaking in Frankfurt. European bonds were mixed. The pound pared some of its earlier gains after comments from Brexit Secretary David Davis signaling a continued stand-off in negotiations with the European Union.
    In Asia, the Nikkei 225 took its time to catch up to the WSJ report that US Special Counsel Mueller has issued a Subpoena for Russia-related documents from Trump campaign officials, although reports pointing to North Korea conducting ‘aggressive’ work on the construction of a ballistic missile submarine helped the selloff. The Japanese blue-chip index rose as much as 1.8% in early dealing, but the broad-based dollar retreat led to the index unwinding the bulk of its gains; the index finished the session up 0.2% as the yen jumped to the strongest in four-weeks. Australia’s ASX 200 added 0.2% with IT, healthcare and telecoms leading the way, as utilities lagged. Mainland Chinese stocks fell, with the Shanghai Comp down circa 0.5% as the PBoC’s reversel in liquidity injections (overnight net drain of 10bn yuan) did little to boost risk appetite, as Kweichou Moutai (viewed as a bellwether among Chinese blue chips) fell sharply. This left the index facing its biggest weekly loss in 3 months, while the Hang Seng rallied with IT leading the way higher. Indian stocks and the currency advanced after Moody’s Investors Service raised the nation’s credit rating.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 17, 2017.


  • Why Australia’s Economy Is A House Of Cards

    Co-authored with Craig Tindale.
    I recently watched the federal treasurer, Scott Morrison, proudly proclaim that Australia was in ‘surprisingly good shape’. Indeed, Australia has just snatched the world record from the Netherlands, achieving its 104th quarter of growth without a recession, making this achievement the longest streak for any OECD country since 1970.
    ***
    I was pretty shocked at the complacency, because after twenty six years of economic expansion, the country has very little to show for it.
    For over a quarter of a century our economy mostly grew because of dumb luck. Luck because our country is relatively large and abundant in natural resources, resources that have been in huge demand from a close neighbour.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 15, 2017.


  • Two-Thirds Of The Top Primary Silver Miners Suffered Production Declines In 2017

    It has been a rough year for many primary silver miners as two-thirds have suffered declines in production. Also, many high ranking silver producing countries are also experiencing a pronounced reduction in their domestic silver mine supply. According to the data put out by World Metal Statistics, Chile’s silver production is down 20% in the first eight months of the year, while Australia is down 19%, Mexico declined 2% and Peru by 1%.
    The Silver Institute will be releasing their 2017 Silver Interim Report shortly which will provide an update on current silver production and forecasts for the remainder of the year. However, I believe global silver production will take a hit this year due to several factors including, falling ore grades, mine closures, and strikes at various projects.
    For example, Tahoe Resources was forced to shut down its Guatemalan Escobal Mine in July due to a temporary suspension of its operating license by the country’s Supreme Court. However, even after the Guatemalan Supreme Court reinstated Tahoe Resources Escobal Mine’s license in early September, an ongoing road blockade has hampered the ability of the project to continue mining. Regardless, Tahoe’s silver production declined a stunning 6.7 million oz Q1-Q3 2017 versus the same period last year.

    This post was published at SRSrocco Report on NOVEMBER 13, 2017.


  • London House Prices “Battered From All Sides”

    This week we discussed Algebris Investments’ ranking of the world’s largest financial bubbles. London property ranked second on the list, behind Australian property (see here). There is growing evidence the former is bursting. In its October 2017 survey, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported the largest proportion of respondents seeing a drop in London house prices versus the previous month since 2009. The net balance at nearly two thirds (-63%) in the capital contrasted sharply with a national average which was marginally in positive territory (+1%). The RICS data corroborated yesterday’s Bank of England’s regional agents’ report which highlighted ‘signs of excess supply in London and the South, but some excess demand in most other parts of the United Kingdom’.
    ***
    According to Bloomberg.
    London’s housing market is being battered from all sides. A survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed a price gauge at its lowest level for seven years, and far below the national average.
    Real-estate agents are more pessimistic about the market in the capital than any other region, with contributors flagging a potent mix of concerns, including Brexit uncertainty, the Bank of England’s interest-rate hike and the government’s budget later this month.
    Speaking to the FT, RICS’ chief economist gave his take on what’s causing the weakness, surprisingly only referring to Brexit indirectly.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 10, 2017.


  • ALERT: WORLDWIDE Netflix Email Scam Is Targeting Millions Of Subscribers

    A new email scam is making the rounds and this one appears to be targeting Netflix’s millions of subscribers. The email threatens to shut down the users account if they fail to update their billing information.
    According to ABC News, the email asks its readers to click the link, leading them to a fake Netflix homepage and prompting them to enter their private information. According to MailGuard, an Australian cybersecurity firm, that includes billing information, so the scammers can access debit or credit card numbers.
    The well-designed, individualized, and fake email convinces customers to update their account information to avoid suspension. This results in stolen personal and credit card information.
    Action Fraud has enclosed an image of the scam email so it can be easily spotted.
    A well designed Netflix email targets some of the 110 million Netflix subscribers worldwide! Check out the steps: – Action Fraud (@actionfrauduk) November 6, 2017
    ‘Unfortunately, scams are common on the internet and target popular brands such as Netflix and other companies with large customer bases to lure users into giving out personal information,’ Netflix said in a statement to ABC News. Netflix says that the company will never ask for personal information in an email and advises its subscribers to be careful of any phishing emails that lead to false websites, according to its security page.

    This post was published at shtfplan on November 8th, 2017.


  • World’s Largest Gold Producer China Sees Production Fall 10%

    – Gold mining production in China fell by 9.8% in H1 2017
    – Decreasing mine supply in world’s largest gold producer and across the globe
    – GFMS World Gold Survey predicts mine production to contract year-on-year
    – Peak gold production being seen in Australia, world’s no 2 producer
    – Peak gold production globally while global gold demand remains robust
    Editor Mark O’Byrne
    ***
    Gold production in the world’s largest gold producer and buyer fell by nearly 10% in the first half of 2017 in what may be another indication of peak gold.
    Chinese mine production registered the largest drop globally to total 207 tonnes in the first half of 2017, down 23 tonnes, or 9.8% year-on-year. In the same period last year the country produced 230 metric tons.

    This post was published at Gold Core on November 7, 2017.


  • Global Stock Meltup Sends Nikkei To 25 Year High

    The global risk levitation continues, sending Asian stocks just shy of records, to the highest since November 2007 and Japan’s Nikkei topped 22,750 – a level last seen in 1992 – while European shares and US equity futures were mixed, and the dollar rose across the board, gains accelerating through the European session with EURUSD sumping below 1.16 shortly German industrial output shrank more than forecast, eventually dropping to the lowest point since last month’s ECB meeting. Meanwhile soaring iron-ore prices couldn’t provide relief to the Aussie as the RBA held rates unchanged as expected; Oil traded unchanged at 2.5 year highs, while TSY 10-year yields rose while the German curve bear steepened, both driven by selling from global investors.
    The Stoxx Europe 600 Index edged lower, erasing an early advance, despite earlier euphoria in stocks from Japan to Sydney, which reached fresh milestones. Disappointing reports from BMW AG and Associated British Foods Plc weighed on the European index as third-quarter earnings season continued. Earlier, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose as much as 0.3%, just shy of a 2-year high it reached last week. Maersk was among the worst performers after posting a quarterly loss, saying a cyberattack in the summer cost more than previously predicted. Spain’s IBEX 35 gains crossed back above its 200 day moving average. European bank stocks trimmed gains after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said that the problem of non-performing loans isn’t solved yet, though supervision has improved the resilience of the banking sector in the euro region. Draghi was speaking at a conference in Frankfurt.
    Over in Asia, equities rose to a decade high, with energy and commodities stocks leading gains as oil and metals prices rallied. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.8 percent to 171.40, advancing for a second consecutive session. Oil-related shares advanced the most among sub-indexes as Inpex Corp. rose 3.7 percent and China Oilfield Services Ltd. added 4.6 percent. The MSCI EM Asia Index climbed to a fresh record. The Asia-wide gauge has risen 27 percent this year, outperforming a measure of global markets. The regional index is trading at the highest level since November 2007. Hong Kong’s equity benchmark was at its highest since December 2007 as Tencent Holdings Ltd. advanced for an eighth session. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index closed at its highest level since the financial crisis.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 7, 2017.