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Alan Kohler
Stephen Koukoulas - US Inflation In Focus
Added On - 3/12/2018 6:04:35 AM
All eyes will be on the US inflation data as it will help frame expectations for interest rate hikes from the US Federal Reserve.
The People's Republic Of Australia
Added On - 3/9/2018 3:42:22 PM
The National Accounts on Wednesday did not, and never do, break out how much of the GDP was due to China, but it's a lot. What with resources exports, education and tourism as our three main exports, Australia rather depends on the autocracy to our north.
Stephen Koukoulas - GDP Leads Bumper Week
Added On - 3/5/2018 7:34:38 AM
It is a blockbuster week ahead for economics. There will be data on new building approvals, monthly inflation, the balance of payments, retail trade, GDP and international trade. On top of that is the monthly meeting of the RBA Board which is next to no chance of adjusting official rates from the current level of 1.5 per cent.
Amazon In Oz
Added On - 3/2/2018 3:33:25 PM
You might remember that when they launched last December, everyone was asking: 'Is that all there is? Is that it?' That's because its prices were high and the range was limited. Well, they were just taking their time.
Stephen Koukoulas - Business Investment
Added On - 2/26/2018 8:06:37 AM
The top tier economic data continues to roll out. This week the market mover will be the private new capital expenditure survey, business investment in other words.
James Grant
Added On - 2/23/2018 2:29:17 PM
James Grant, editor of the 35-year-old Grant's Interest Rate Observer, has been in Sydney this week and on Thursday he put on a lunch for his Australian subscribers, of which I have been one for a long time.
Stephen Koukoulas - Australian Wages
Added On - 2/19/2018 8:11:25 AM
The news next week on wages will be huge. Not just for judgments about the purchasing power of consumers, but vitally from a more medium-term inflation outlook given that most firms' wages bills are a driver of future selling prices.
Beats and Misses
Added On - 2/16/2018 3:04:37 PM
Week one of the reporting season saw nine companies beat expectations (CSL, RMD, TWE, JHG, AGL, IEL, MGC, NWS, MIN) and six companies miss (CBA, AMP, TAH, NVT, AQG, RIO).
Stephen Koukoulas - Employment Data
Added On - 2/12/2018 6:46:13 AM
With the labour market such a pivotal issue for markets and policy makers alike, the next monthly update will be delivered by the ABS on Thursday.
Added On - 2/9/2018 4:06:19 PM
The American President's first comment on the 7% fall of US shares prices earlier this week, having taken credit almost daily over the past year for its rise, was a magnificent piece of Trumpery.
Stephen Koukoulas - The RBA Returns
Added On - 2/5/2018 8:16:03 AM
It is a busy week for economic data but the highlight is likely to be the RBA Board meeting on Tuesday.
Headwinds For Comyn & Comm Bank
Added On - 2/2/2018 2:40:45 PM
The problem for Comyn, and CBA shareholders, is that the stock has not been downgraded enough to properly reflect its problems.
Stephen Koukoulas - Inflation Data In Focus
Added On - 1/29/2018 7:30:19 AM
The December quarter consumer price index is the proverbial blockbuster data release on Wednesday. With the market pricing in two interest rate hikes by the middle of 2019, the momentum on inflation will be key to determining if such expectations are valid.
Yield and Risk
Added On - 1/26/2018 4:17:34 PM
The US 10-year Treasury yield - the benchmark-of-benchmarks - popped up to 2.67% this week, breaking above the 2.6% is reached just after the November 2016 election. Might this be time for yield investors to strike, and take advantage of high yields - say, NAB's 6.8%, fully franked, not to mention Telstra's 8.7%, also 100% franked?
Stephen Koukoulas - European Central Bank
Added On - 1/22/2018 7:52:43 AM
The European Central Bank meets this coming Thursday and while no one expects any change in monetary policy settings, the sharp and increasingly broad based pick up in economic activity is likely to see at least some commentary cover this increasingly favourable news.
Memo To RBA - Be Careful What You Wish For
Added On - 1/19/2018 3:08:57 PM
While some softening in the housing market is welcome, beware!
Stephen Koukoulas - MYEFO
Added On - 12/18/2017 10:48:47 AM
The Federal government is set to release the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook on Monday which will provide up to date news on the budget and Treasury's view on the health of the economy.
Commonwealth Bank
Added On - 12/15/2017 2:22:45 PM
The gradual emergence of CBA as the worst behaved Australian bank - in fact let's be honest, the only badly behaved one - is truly shocking.
Stephen Koukoulas - Labour Market Data
Added On - 12/11/2017 7:48:38 AM
With economic growth ticking higher, the next instalment of 'how's the economy going' will be with the labour market data next Thursday.
Amazon Damp Squib (So Far)
Added On - 12/8/2017 3:12:55 PM
Well obviously fears that Amazon would smash local retailers this Christmas have been unfounded, with a pretty low-key launch by the big US outfit this week. But any complacency is likely to be equally misplaced.
Stephen Koukoulas - How Strong Is The Economy?
Added On - 12/4/2017 7:59:28 AM
Next week is one of the big ones for the economy, with the two highlights being September quarter GDP and the meeting of the RBA Board.
Bank Royal Commission
Added On - 12/1/2017 3:42:25 PM
This is a significant negative for the banks, in my view. It will be expensive, distracting and unpredictable, and the recommendations and government response could end up being material, especially if we have a Labor Government by then (which seems likely).
Stephen Koukoulas - Business Capex
Added On - 11/27/2017 8:18:50 AM
With the RBA and Treasury effectively betting the house on a pick up in business investment, the Private Capital Expenditure survey will be vital to see whether the tentative signs of a turn in investment in the non-mining sector has continued in the September quarter and more importantly, continued in the business investment expectations for the next year.
A Post-Dividend World?
Added On - 11/24/2017 3:40:40 PM
During my interview yesterday with Andrew Thorburn, the CEO of NAB, he started talking about the coming competition from Google, Facebook and Amazon. He mentioned those three by name.
Stephen Koukoulas - Fed Minutes
Added On - 11/20/2017 8:13:17 AM
The minutes of the most recent meeting of the US Federal Open Markets Committee are to be released next week.
The Silence Of The Selfies
Added On - 11/17/2017 3:07:56 PM
The favourite stock of Australia's growing army of self-managed super funds is...Telstra. SMSFs own 18% of Telstra's market cap or $7.3 billion worth, which 2.5% of the $293 billion that 'selfies' have allocated to Aussie equities.
Stephen Koukoulas - Labour Market Data
Added On - 11/13/2017 7:53:43 AM
It's all about the labour market with the dual highlights being the Wage Price Index and the Labour Force.
ASX200 At 6000
Added On - 11/10/2017 3:18:58 PM
If the average experience applies to share prices, that means the bull market has 3-4 years to run and that prices will rise another 60% or so.
Stephen Koukoulas - Monetary Policy Outlook
Added On - 11/6/2017 7:50:23 AM
It has been seven long years since the last increase in interest rates in Australia. Since November 2010, the RBA has either left interest rates on hold at its regularly monthly meetings, or has seen fit to cut them.
The Market At 6000
Added On - 11/3/2017 4:09:57 PM
Occasionally the market PE ratio goes above 20 and below 10, but it always reverts back to the half-way mark of 15. So on a strict valuation basis, the sharemarket is probably a buy at a PE of 10 times, probably a sell at 20, and probably a hold at 15 - where it is now.
Stephen Koukoulas - 'Real' Retail Sales
Added On - 10/30/2017 8:38:04 AM
One of the biggest questions confronting policy makers and market watchers is the health of the consumer.
Added On - 10/27/2017 2:13:53 PM
I wrote a few months ago in The Australian that the Government would eventually have to write down the value of the NBN by $20 billion or so to $10 billion, and then sell it.
Stephen Koukoulas - September Quarter CPI
Added On - 10/23/2017 8:33:54 AM
The September quarter CPI will take centre stage and it is likely to be a strong result.
Xi's China
Added On - 10/20/2017 4:11:12 PM
Further on the synchronised global upswing that is underway: it is the second one this decade where the spark for the rise in global growth came out of China rather than the United States.
Stephen Koukoulas - China Inflation
Added On - 10/16/2017 8:16:28 AM
The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is being held amid a week where there is a torrent of data on the Chinese economy.
Active ETFs
Added On - 10/13/2017 1:13:35 PM
There is now a dozen 'active ETFs' listed on the ASX (list below). What are they, and should you consider them?
Stephen Koukoulas - Housing Finance
Added On - 10/9/2017 7:37:32 AM
With the eyes of the Reserve Bank firmly on the housing market, the release of the housing finance data will be scrutinised for more clues on the extent of the cooling in demand for housing.
Healthy Health
Added On - 10/6/2017 12:58:41 PM
Guess which sector of the Australian market has produced the best long-term performance. Banks? Resources? Think again. It's health care.
Stephen Koukoulas - Retail Sales
Added On - 10/3/2017 11:24:31 AM
In a week heavy with data and the regular meeting of the RBA Board, there will be keen interest in the retail trade data for August. Making up close to one-quarter of GDP, trends in retail sales have an important influence on the strength of the economy.
The Oz Dollar Looks Vulnerable
Added On - 9/29/2017 2:00:25 PM
Famous last words, of course, but it looks like US78c was the Aussie dollar's peak and it could be downhill from here.
Stephen Koukoulas - US GDP
Added On - 9/25/2017 8:36:14 AM
Unless there are concrete signs of a further acceleration in GDP growth to around 2.75 per cent or more, the Fed is unlikely to hike more than once or twice over the next year.
China Downgraded
Added On - 9/22/2017 2:26:02 PM
Yesterday, Standard & Poors downgraded China's debt from AA- to A+. So far, mass panic has not ensued. Here is a sample of quotes on the matter.
Stephen Koukoulas - House Prices
Added On - 9/19/2017 2:07:38 PM
The quarterly official Australian Bureau of Statistics data on house prices will be released and as always, it will focus the discussion on the strength or otherwise of the housing market.
Blockchains & Bitcoins
Added On - 9/15/2017 5:08:51 PM
The related, but separate area of tech excitement at the moment is, of course, blockchain and crypto-currencies, and no one knows what's going to happen there either, although the interest in bitcoins has become slightly more macabre lately.
China's Currency
Added On - 9/8/2017 1:46:10 PM
As for China, and the doom scenarios about it, here's a chart of the renminbi US dollar exchange over the past 12 months:
Stephen Koukoulas - GDP Numbers
Added On - 9/4/2017 7:47:16 AM
A huge week for data and events looms, with the RBA Board meeting all but certain to leave official interest rates unchanged. More important for markets and economists will be the release of the national accounts which will include the GDP data up to the June quarter.
Added On - 9/1/2017 4:20:33 PM
It might be a good moment to talk about risk. I've written in the past that the problem with discussions of investment risk is that they usually mix up volatility and risk, which are, or at least should be, two different things.
Stephen Koukoulas - All Eyes On Jackson Hole
Added On - 8/21/2017 8:16:32 AM
The world's central bankers and a plethora of economists will gather at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA, for an annual get together.
Telstra's Nightmare
Added On - 8/18/2017 1:28:51 PM
When the GFC hit, David Thodey and Catherine Livingstone boldly declared that Telstra was an income investment and guaranteed the dividend, paying out 100%, and more, of profit. With the benefit of hindsight that was a terrible mistake.
Stephen Koukoulas - Where To For Wages?
Added On - 8/14/2017 8:05:02 AM
The wages data will be vital for an assessment of both inflation pressures (or lack thereof), household income growth and the extent to which consumer spending can pick up from its current sluggishness.
Stephen Koukoulas - Housing Finance Data
Added On - 8/7/2017 8:38:01 AM
The extent of the cooling in the housing market will get a further update with the release of the housing finance data for June.
The New Commodity Rally
Added On - 8/4/2017 4:10:01 PM
Commodity prices have been rallying hard since mid-June. The Bloomberg index is up about 6% but more importantly for us, iron ore has surged 32% and coking coal the same.
Stephen Koukoulas - 'Real' Retail Sales
Added On - 7/31/2017 8:02:23 AM
While the event highlight next week will undoubtedly be the monthly RBA Board meeting (is it setting the scene for interest rate hikes or not?), the data highlight will be the retail sales data for June - and therefore the June quarter.
The Lowe-Down
Added On - 7/28/2017 1:48:33 PM
At some point, Lowe will have to give up and start hiking, to 'normalise' interest rates just like the Fed, but it's likely to take longer here because both interest rates and unemployment are higher.
Stephen Koukoulas - June Inflation
Added On - 7/24/2017 8:01:19 AM
The June quarter inflation data will set a framework for the next few months for analysis of inflation pressures and which biases on monetary policy the Reserve Bank of Australia should have.
Neutral Madness
Added On - 7/21/2017 4:45:02 PM
There was a bout of pure silliness this week after the Reserve Bank put out the minutes of its June board, including discussion of the 'neutral cash rate' - that is, the goldilocks rate, at which inflation and unemployment are both low and stable.
Stephen Koukoulas - Labour Force Data
Added On - 7/17/2017 8:39:24 AM
The all important labour force data for June will help verify the robustness of recent data on employment, hours worked and the unemployment rate.
The Week That Was
Added On - 7/14/2017 3:56:59 PM
The Bank of Canada shocked just about everyone this week with a decision to hike official interest rates for the first time in 7 years.
Stephen Koukoulas - Housing Finance
Added On - 7/10/2017 10:49:29 AM
With all eyes on housing, as always it seems, the housing finance data next week will provide the update on demand for borrowing for both investors and owner-occupiers, the average loan size and the extent first home buyers are participating in the housing market.
Alan Kohler - Europe
Added On - 7/7/2017 1:43:21 PM
I've been on about this for a while on theconstantinvestor.com, but the jury is now back: for the first time in living memory Europe's economy is now the best performing big one in the world.
Stephen Koukoulas - Interest Rates
Added On - 7/3/2017 8:31:16 AM
Tuesday sees the monthly meeting of the RBA Board and there is close to zero chance that official interest rates will be adjusted from the current 1.5 per cent. This will mean official interest rates will have been left unchanged for close to a year.
Spread Your Risks!
Added On - 6/30/2017 4:50:30 PM
I had three reminders this week about how important it is to diversify - to spread your investment risks.
Stephen Koukoulas - Job Vacancies
Added On - 6/26/2017 8:28:34 AM
After the recent run of favourable jobs data and the inevitable debate on the reliability of the monthly labour force data, some cross-testing of those results will come next week with the release of the ABS job vacancies series.
Inflation & Technology
Added On - 6/23/2017 5:09:57 PM
How does technology produce those higher living standards? Through lower prices.
Stephen Koukoulas - House Prices!
Added On - 6/19/2017 8:09:48 AM
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release the official measure of house prices for the March quarter next week and they will be cut and diced for clues about the heat or otherwise in the housing market.
Australian Employment
Added On - 6/16/2017 3:46:45 PM
The employment data looked great on Thursday - 42,000 jobs, unemployment down from 5.7% to 5.5%. Hours worked jumped 1.9%, taking the annual growth from 1.4% to 2.1%. Unfortunately it was rubbish.
Stephen Koukoulas - Get Ready For The Fed
Added On - 6/13/2017 8:05:54 AM
The US Federal Open Markets Committee will meet next week to determine whether or not to hike interest rates for a fourth time in this cycle. The market is pricing it in as a near certainty, which would take the Fed Funds rate (equivalent to the cash rate) to 1.25 per cent.
Added On - 6/9/2017 3:31:21 PM
I had dinner the other night with an endangered species: a fund manager who is overweight Aussie banks.
Stephen Koukoulas - All Eyes On GDP
Added On - 6/5/2017 7:54:01 AM
Next week is a busy one with the RBA meeting one highlight - the other is the release of the much-anticipated March quarter GDP result. Just how strong, or weak, was the economy at the start of 2017?
Donald Leaves Paris
Added On - 6/2/2017 3:07:31 PM
I must say I'm on board with Trump's opposition to the US paying billions of dollars into the Green Climate Fund for developing countries. America can't afford it, and most of it will probably be wasted anyway.
The Week Ahead With Stephen Koukoulas
Added On - 5/29/2017 7:55:58 AM
Next week is a busy one for fresh news on the economy. The private new capital expenditure data will be a particular highlight as the slide in Capex over the past four years gets closer to a trough. Or so the RBA, Treasury and all economists hope.
Retail's Bad Week
Added On - 5/26/2017 3:20:33 PM
It's been a bad week for retail alright, what with Topshop Australia going broke and word that Amazon is looking to open here earlier than expected, and is already chatting to grocery suppliers.
Stephen Koukoulas - Commodity Prices
Added On - 5/22/2017 8:39:29 AM
One vital factor for the Australian economy is commodity prices. These have been choppy in recent months, they remain higher than they were at the start of 2016, but are still well below the boom levels of 3 to 5 years ago.
Warren Bezos?
Added On - 5/19/2017 3:07:18 PM
Can Jeff Bezos do over the next 34 years what Warren Buffett did since 1983? I don't know, but maybe.
Stephen Koukoulas - Where To For Wages?
Added On - 5/15/2017 8:28:56 AM
One reason for the low inflation and moderate growth trends in the economy has been the sharp downturn in wages growth
The Budget Economics
Added On - 5/12/2017 4:54:37 PM
Economically, it's a bit too optimistic, but nothing unusual in that. In particular the forecasts for wages growth look far too high - 2.5% next year rising to 3.5% in 2019-20 and then 3.75% in 2020-21, which gets the budget back to surplus.
Stephen Koukoulas - Rates On Hold
Added On - 5/1/2017 8:23:07 AM
The monthly meeting of the RBA Board on Tuesday is almost certain to leave official interest rates on hold at 1.5 per cent, a rate first reached in August 2016.
Anywhere But Oz?
Added On - 4/28/2017 3:34:34 PM
This is a hard thing to say, and I don't do it lightly, but we may be at the point where you'd be better off investing anywhere but Australia.
Stephen Koukoulas - All Eyes On Inflation
Added On - 4/24/2017 8:28:13 AM
It will all be about inflation. The March quarter consumer price index on Wednesday will be a dominant guiding force for the markets and the Reserve Bank of Australia.
The New Globalisation
Added On - 4/21/2017 12:29:47 PM
I interviewed Richard Baldwin, professor of international economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva


 › Friday At The Close
 › Why Codan Satisfies My Inner Geek
 › Australia's Foreign Debt Problem
 › Oil And Water: Under Threat
 › Next Week At A Glance
 › Market At Midday On Friday
 › NCM - Macquarie rates the stock as Underperform
 › BXB - UBS rates the stock as Buy
 › OSH - Citi rates the stock as Sell
 › ACCC Stymies Aurizon Rail Sale
 › Kiwi GDP Comes In Lower Than Expected
 › Newcrest Confirms Cadia Delays May Be Extensive
 › Chinese Tilt Lights Up Lithium Play Altura
 › Friday At The Open
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