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Markets Live: Horror week for shares

Date

Patrick Commins

Shares and the dollar dropped as increasingly nervous investors fled riskier assets and piled into gold and bonds on rising geopolitical worries.

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That’s it for Markets Live today.

Thanks for reading and your comments.

You can read a wrap-up of the action on the markets here.

Have a great weekend and see you all again Monday morning from 9.

 

After tumbling 1.3 per cent on Friday the Australian equity market has wiped off 3.6 per cent over the past six sessions, shedding $40.5 billion in value. Global markets were rattled as United States President Barack Obama authorised air strikes on Iraq.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 2.2 per cent to 5435.3 points, in what was the worst week for the local sharemarket since March.

If Aussie shares fall for a seventh consecutive session on Monday it will be the market’s longest losing streak since an eight-day run of falls, more than four-years ago, that ended on July 2, 2010.

“News that the US ordered air strikes on Iraq just added to the geopolitical risks, coming from Ukraine and Gaza, that have seen volatility return to the market as investors awaken from their complacency,” Quest Asset Partners portfolio manager Michael Evans said.

In domestic news, the Reserve Bank of Australia elected on Tuesday to keep the official cash rate at its record low 2.5 per cent for the 12th month in a row. The decision was widely expected, but after jobs numbers for July released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday showed unemployment at a 12-year high of 6.4 per cent as traders upped their bets that the RBA will cut rates this year.

The big four bank stocks, which have enjoyed a two-year rally amid record low interest rates all moved at least 3 per cent lower over the week. Citing concern about credit growth amid high unemployment, Bell Potter strategist Charlie Aitken advised clients on Friday to sell the big banks and re-invest in cheaper stocks.

Read more.

The Australian dollar slid to a two-month low after the Reserve Bank of Australia released its economic outlook and rising geopolitical tensions saw global investors flee high-yielding assets for safe haven currencies.

The dollar fell as low as US92.44¢ on Friday morning, after the RBA downgraded its inflation forecasts by 0.75 percentage points to a range between 1.75 per cent to 2.75 per cent.

In late afternoon trading the local unit was fetching US92.48¢.

“The RBA’s concerns about the high dollar are still there,” Janu Chan, senior economist at St George said. “But it’s about time markets reassessed potential geopolitical risk and that’s what traders were looking at more.”

US President Barack Obama’s authorisation of air strikes against ISIS rebels in Iraq, also hit the Aussie hard.

“The immediate reaction has been out of risk currencies and out of commodity currencies like the Australian dollar,” Michael McCarthy, senior currency strategist at CMC Markets.

“There’s further concerns now about global growth prospects. A clear knock-on effect here is a higher oil price and a choking off of a very fragile recovery in Europe.”

Investors flooded into safe haven currencies, with the greenback near its strongest in almost six months and both the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc climbing.

Official trade data out of China showed exports jumped 14.5 per cent last month, more than double expectations, but the dollar didn’t seem overly interested.

Read more.

The Aussie dollar has weakened against the greenback.

The Aussie dollar has weakened against the greenback. Photo: Bloomberg

And here are the best and worst performers for the day, with gold miners at the top of the pops.

Two recent reporters - REA Group and Henderson - were punished today. Not a great portent for earnings season, which starts in earnest next week.

Best and worst performers in the ASX 200 today.

Best and worst performers in the ASX 200 today.

Behind the surprise surge in unemployment yesterday there was one group that looks to have suffered the most: the youth.

Young unemployment has reached 20 per cent, according to the ABS: a pretty startling number.

But before we begin worrying about those crazy youths overthrowing the government, Deutsche Bank’s chief economist Adam Boyton has moved to calm nerves surrounding a youth crisis.

“That 20 per youth unemployment rate does not mean that 20 per cent of young Australians are unemployed. And it does not mean that 20 per cent of young Australians are looking for work.”

“The youth unemployment rate is 20.4 per cent; but only 5.0 per cent of all 15-19 year olds are unemployed and looking for a full-time job.

Around 92 per cent of 15-19 year olds are in either full-time education or some form of employment – giving a "not in education, employment or training" [unemployment] rate, or NEET, of around 8 per cent.”

Official stats on youth unemployment are worse than they look - Deutsche Bank economists estimate only 8 per cent of 15-19 year-olds are not in education, employment or training (the red line, or NEET).

Official stats on youth unemployment are worse than they look - Deutsche Bank economists estimate only 8 per cent of 15-19 year-olds are not in education, employment or training (the red line, or NEET).

Phew, what a week. Today's 1.3 per cent drop in the ASX 200 brings the run of losses to six days and the month-to-date decline to 3.5 per cent - what you might call "Awful August".

The benchmark index was 74 points down today to 5435.3, while the All Ords fell 71 points to 5429.6.

Banks weighed the heaviest, with CBA, Westpac and ANZ all down 1.8 per cent, while CBA declined 1.5 per cent.

Woolies was 1.6 per cent lower and Wesfarmers 1.3 per cent.

BHP was the single biggest drag on the index, dropping 1.9 per cent. After its blockbuster report yesterday, Rio could only manage a gain of 0.2 per cent.

Gold miners at least enjoyed the increased attention being paid to the precious metal, with Newcrest advancing 1.7 per cent.

With equity markets are in full retreat, the running of the bond bulls has recommenced.

It's been a strong day for Aussie 10-year bonds as geopolitical tensions combined with the RBA's weak outlook for growth to send yields lower. The Aussie 10-year bond rate plunged to 3.32 per cent, its lowest level since June last year (see chart) as traders priced in a greater chance of local interest rates staying lower for longer.

With talk of US airstrikes in Iraq, sanctions in Russia and a breach of ceasefires in Gaza has also driven the US 10-year rate lower, to below 2.40 per cent from 2.56 per cent at the start of the week.

Like rats from a sinking ship... investors are jumping back into bonds, driving the 10-year Aussie government bond yield to its lowest levels in 14 months.

Like rats from a sinking ship... investors are jumping back into bonds, driving the 10-year Aussie government bond yield to its lowest levels in 14 months.

Malaysia Airline System will be privatised as part of a restructuring plan to keep the carrier in business after its two plane disasters this year.

The carrier said its majority investor, state-run Khazanah Nasional will offer 27 sen for each share in the company it does not own, amounting to nearly 1.4 billion ringgit ($470 million) to take the troubled airline private.

Khazanah, which owns 69.37 percent of the carrier, will undertake a comprehensive review and restructuring of the airline, which has suffered two jetliner disasters this year.

Malaysia Airlines' shares were halted from trade before the announcement on Friday.

"We reiterate that the proposed restructuring will critically require all parties to work closely together to undertake what will be a complete overhaul of the national carrier on all relevant aspects," Khazanah said. "Nothing less will be required in order to revive our national airline to be profitable as a commercial entity and to 

Read more.

The carrier's reputation has taken a hit this year after the twin tragedies of MH370 and MH17.

The carrier's reputation has taken a hit this year after the twin tragedies of MH370 and MH17. Photo: AP

Global ratings agency Moody’s has blamed risky projects and volatile market conditions for the failure of two Australian mining companies just three years after they entered the high yield debt market.

A third mining company, St Barbara, which has assets in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, is at risk of defaulting, the agency said in its first ever report on Australia’s growing list of high yield, or junk rated issuers.

The agency said that the amount of existing junk rated debt on issue in the global bond market from Australian companies had grown by close to 10 times to $US20.5 billion in just three years with mining companies among the most active of the 22 issuers.

Mining firms such as Fortescue Metals and Atlas Iron were lured to the international high yield market in 2010 “in part fuelled by international debt investors’ search for increased diversity of holdings and higher yields,” according to Moody’s.

But the failure rate has been high. Two companies Mirabela Nickel and Midwest Vanadium have recently defaulted on a combined $US730 million of bonds – the first two Australian mining bonds in a decade to default. A third issuer St Barbara faces a battle to avoid default and the issuer at the most risk of missing debt payments.

Moody’s explained that several key risk factors explained the defaults of these companies. It cited project execution risks, the unpredictable nature of ore bodies, customer concentration and thin liquidity buffers, or cash reserves, that can be depleted rapidly.

St Barbara faces “significant pressure” unless its Pacific assets begin to generate a free cash flow. Its rating was downgraded one notch from to Caa1 B2 in November last year.

Atlas Iron is at a lower risk of default because it faces fewer risks. Fortescue Metals, which is one of the largest Australian issuers of high yield debt, has fared better for investors and has experienced upgrades in its debt – despite scares in 2012 when the price of iron plunged. However the company announced earlier this week that a lull in the iron ore price would slow down the pace of its debt repayments.

Tabcorp’s full-year result on Thursday was almost bang on consensus, but analysts have more than made up for a lack of drama with juicy analysis and crystal ball theories today.

The relatively straightforward result has delivered an upgrade, a downgrade, a thought bubble that the company could more than triple the value of its online business by funnelling activity through the ACT, and beating of the drum for every gaming bankers’ dream: an asset swap between Tabcorp and its gaming peer, Tatts Group.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Mark Bryan says recent changes to the betting industry’s competitive landscape and regulatory shifts mean a tie up of Tatts and Tabcorp’s wagering division would make sense.

Morgan Stanley analyst King Goh has crunched the numbers on the value Tabcorp’s online business. Goh reckons it is worth $454 million to $681 million, which is 15 to 23 per cent of his overall valuation.

But Goh says if Tabcorp funnelled its existing online turnover through the national capital’s low tax, low fee regime, which it is able to do following its recent acquisition of ACTTAB, it could lift EBITDA margins from the current level of 10 to 15 per cent, up to 30 to 40 per cent.

This would lift the value of the online business to a whopping $1.7 billion to $2.4 billion.

“To be clear, there are significant impediments and risks to such a scenario becoming reality, but it is interesting food for thought,” he adds as a disclaimer.

The gaming and wagering company’s result has moved Credit Suisse analyst Larry Gandler to upgrade his rating to “outperform”.

Gandler says Tabcorp has lifted its wagering margin, as consumers shift their betting to online and fixed odds away from the lower margin tote products. “These trends should continue,” he says.

But JP Morgan analyst Matt Ryan downgraded the company to a “neutral” rating because the stock is trading about 2 per cent lower than his target price of $3.64, on a forward price to earnings multiple of 17-times. “Despite the solid result, we have made a valuation call,” he says.

Shares in digital real estate business REA Group have dropped by 7.7 per cent, despite the company delivering a strong full-year earnings result.

REA shares were at $43.23 in mid-afternoon trading after reaching as low as $42.65 after the operator of the country’s No. 1 property website, realestate.com.au, said underlying net profit in the year through June rose 37 per cent to $149.88 million.

Alice Bennett, an analyst with Commonwealth Bank, said that while the result was impressive, REA’s shares had been priced to overdeliver, given they have traded above 40 times earnings.

“The result was more or less in line with consensus and the company’s shares are priced for perfection,” she said. “It’s a pretty savage reaction.”

The bank had forecast underlying net profit of $149 million for 2013-14, and revenue of $438 million.

News Corp owns 61.6 per cent of the popular web site that competes with Fairfax Media’s domain.com.au.

REA grew its revenue from depth listing products by 69 per cent to $220 million. Depth products cost more money and highlight and enhance listings, among other things.

Moelis & Company analyst Todd Guyot downgraded his recommendation on REA to “hold” as he described the result as lacking any “positive surprise” compared with consensus expectations.

Mr Guyot pointed out that the share price had rallied by about 40 per cent over the past year.

Read more.

Savage reaction: REA Group's shares were priced for perfection, analysts said.

Savage reaction: REA Group's shares were priced for perfection, analysts said. Photo: Louie Douvis

Here’s a good one: Deutsche Bank strategists reckon analyst sentiment is a contrarian indicator for future market returns.

That’s right, when the smartest guys in the room are bearish – and they are, as the chart below shows - it’s time to buy.

Of course, it’s not quite that simple. The DB analysts use a variety of measures to test sentiment and gauge what that might mean about the future path of the sharemarket. Generally, they are contrarian indicators, in the vein of buy when people are fearful, sell when they’re greedy. To summarise the research:

- Analyst sentiment is low: a good sign.

- Investor sentiment looks high: perhaps a bad sign.

- Market data suggests neutral sentiment: “consistent with decent gains”.

- Retail investors (based on consumer sentiment) are upbeat: a good sign.

“On balance, the sentiment measures we look at are consistent with moderate gains in the equity market,” they write.

Analysts are negative on the sharemarket - a good sign for future returns, write Deutsche Bank analysts.

Analysts are negative on the sharemarket - a good sign for future returns, write Deutsche Bank analysts.

President Vladimir Putin's attempt to strike back at the West with a ban on food imports will miss his biggest adversaries. Judging from trade data, the hardest hit will be the former Soviet countries closest to Russia's borders.

It’s hard to know exactly which products will be affected and how thoroughly Russian customs officials will enforce the restrictions, which are meant to apply to dairy, fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood. That said, it's possible to get a sense of the potential impact using an admittedly imperfect mix of 2013 data from Russia and the International Monetary Fund.

The effect on Russian imports from some countries could be significant. Almost 80 percent of Norway's annual exports to Russia, which consist largely of fish, fall into potentially sanctioned categories. The number for Australia is 34 percent: According to Russian data, the country is a big supplier of dairy and fruit products.

For most of the larger countries, though, the hit to exports will be negligible compared with the size of their economies. Even for Norway, the potentially lost exports make up only 0.2 percent of gross domestic product. For countries such as Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, the damage could be more noticeable -- from 0.3 percent to 0.6 percent of GDP.

In short, if Putin wants to hurt the likes of the US and Germany, he's missing his target. If he wants to reprimand his eastern European neighbours for joining the West, he has chosen a more appropriate weapon.

While a third of our exports to Russia could potentially be affected by Putin's import restrictions, that would only equate to tiny fraction of GDP, as this Bloomberg chart shows.

While a third of our exports to Russia could potentially be affected by Putin's import restrictions, that would only equate to tiny fraction of GDP, as this Bloomberg chart shows.

The Commonwealth Bank financial planning scandal appears to have claimed its first executive scalp with the retirement of business and private banking boss Grahame Petersen this morning.

No replacement has been announced for Mr Petersen, who ran the bank’s financial advice business between 2006 and 2011, when bad behaviour by planners including ‘‘Dodgy’’ Don Nguyen was at its height.

He was replaced by Annabel Spring, who remains in the role and is unaffected by Friday’s executive reshuffle.

In June, a scathing Senate inquiry report reported allegations of fraud, forgery and a management cover-up within the CBA’s financial planning division and called for a Royal Commisison into the scandal.

The bank was forced to widen its compensation scheme for clients who lost money because of dodgy financial advice and in July appointed former High Court judge Ian Callinan to chair a review panel.

As late as early July, Mr Petersen was being promoted by the bank as among its up-and-coming crop of executive talent, featuring in a lengthy profile of the CBA’s ‘‘new breed of tech-savvy execs’’ in the Financial Review’s Boss magazine.

‘‘Whoever is the leader of the particular structure is describing what needs to be achieved: the big picture why,’’ he told Boss. ‘‘But the how is now a matter of delegation. We describe what is to be achieved but empower our people in terms of how it should be done.’’

In its June report, the Senate inquiry expressed ‘‘grave concern’’ that compliance controls within the CBA’s biggest advice arm, Commonwealth Financial Planning (CFPL), were still weak.

Read more.

Walking away: Commonwealth Bank executive Grahame Petersen.

Walking away: Commonwealth Bank executive Grahame Petersen. Photo: Louise Kennerley

The Chinese trade data seems to have cheered local investors - despite a fall in imports - and has also pushed mainland Chinese sharemarkets higher, while Japan has suffered a nasty sell-off as the Bank of Japan confirms no change to its monetary policy.

Here's the scorecard so far today around the region:

  • Japan's Nikkei -3%
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.2%
  • Hang Seng China Enterprises -0.5%
  • Shanghai Composite +0.1%
  • Taiwan's TAIEX -0.9%
  • Korea's KOSPI -0.9%
  • Jakarta Composite -0.2%
  • Kiwi NZX 50 -0.8%

Chinese official trade data for July is out, and the headline figures show a bigger-than-expected surplus of $US47.3b, up from $US31.6b in June, and well ahead of the consensus forecast of $US27.4b, on Bloomberg numbers.

Annual export growth was 14.5 per cent, from 7.2 per cent in the year to June and ahead of forecasts of 7 per cent growth.

Imports shrunk 1.6 per cent over the year to July - June's comparable figure was 5.5 per cent growth. The market had been expecting 2.6 per cent annual import growth.

The Aussie dollar added 0.1 US cent or so on the announcement and is now at US92.6c.

Sydney stockbroker Charlie Aitken, who also sets the strategy for $25 billion of funds under advice at Bell Potter, is telling clients to sell bank stocks after a two-year rally.

Aitken has used this week’s shock unemployment rate as a trigger to start selling banks and look for other stocks that could do better.

“I don’t think it’s the end of the bull market, you would only think that if rates around the world were going to rise sharply, but it certainly needs monitoring and I am genuinely concerned about some of the price action we’ve seen. It looks like we’re in for a corrective phase,’’ Aitken said.

He also thinks there is a disconnect between what the sharemarket is thinking earnings will be for this financial year and what is happening in the real economy. He suspects current consensus earnings growth for 2015, at around 9 per cent, is too high and will have to be trimmed back to around 7 per cent.

But the well-known bull isn’t selling everything just yet.

Rather than the banks, these days Aitken is more interested in stocks that are unloved, have underperformed and are high up on the short sellers’ list.

In no particular order they include BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Crown, IAG, Iluka Resources, Santos, AMP, and Sims Metal Management.

Income and dividends were the key, but now, after a golden run that has seen the banks return 55 per cent including dividends since August 2012, compared to 38 per cent for the benchmark S&P ASX 200 index, including dividends and 15 per cent from resources, Aitken thinks too many Australians own the banks.

“While the big four Australian banks are 30 per cent of the ASX200, in my view some SMSFs have over 50 per cent of their money in Australian banks. There is a monumental private investor overweight in Australian banks and my point today is I simply don’t think that bet will work. In fact, I think it will generate relative underperformance,” he said.

Read more at the AFR ($).

Bank shares (blue line) have far outstripped resources since late 2012, but Bell Potter reckons the days of bank outperformance are over.

Bank shares (blue line) have far outstripped resources since late 2012, but Bell Potter reckons the days of bank outperformance are over.

Reporting season has been going for less than a week and hedge funds have already been caught out by a better-than-expected result.

Cochlear jumped 10 per cent when it released its result on Tuesday, as some funds rushed to close positions in the ASX’s most shorted stock.

In search for the next crowded trade, Credt Suisse has updated its watchlist.

Credit Suisse defines a crowded trade as a stock where long-only institutions and hedge funds are trading in the same direction. It says crowded short trades are prone to reversal risks in the lead-up to and during reporting periods.

“We believe that this is due to news arrival during these periods, which is not as bad as expectations built into the price,” the broker told clients.

Companies to watch on the short side are Primary Health Care, QBE Insurance Group, Graincorp and GPT Group, according to Credit Suisse.

The ASX 200 has taken a lurch lower following the RBA's statement of monetary policy and the news that President Obama has authorised airstrikes in Iraq.

The benchmark index is now 0.7 per cent lower, or 36 points, at 5472.7.

That's below the 50-day moving average of 5490 (pink line in the chart below) and approaching the 100-day MA of 5464 (the green line).

The 200-day MA is at 5388.

The ASX 200 has crashed through the 50-day moving average and is heading towards the 100-day MA.

The ASX 200 has crashed through the 50-day moving average and is heading towards the 100-day MA.

The Aussie has taken another leg down after the RBA downgraded its outlook for inflation and GDP in its latest statement on monetary policy, adding weight to the view the central bank is not in any rush to raise rates.

The Aussie reached as low as US92.45c, and most recently trades at US92.48.

The next test is China's trade data, which will be out today.

Traders have sold down the dollar after the RBA lowered forecasts for inflation and GDP growth.

Traders have sold down the dollar after the RBA lowered forecasts for inflation and GDP growth.

The Reserve Bank of Australia cut its growth and inflation forecasts amid a steeper drop in mining investment and reiterated interest rates will remain on hold.

The outlook reflects “the opposing forces of the decline in mining investment and ongoing fiscal consolidation on the one hand, and the strong growth in resource exports and the support from very low interest rates on the other,” the RBA said in its quarterly monetary policy statement in Sydney today. “The unemployment rate is likely to remain elevated for some time.”

The central bank projected gross domestic product of 2 percent to 3 percent in the year through June 2015, down from a range of 2.25 to 3.25 percent forecast three months earlier. On core inflation, the RBA lowered its forecast to 1.75 percent to 2.75 percent from 2.25 percent to 3.25 percent in May, the statement showed.

Australia’s jobless rate in July jumped above the US level for the first time since 2007, underscoring a division in policy outlook between the Federal Reserve, which markets bet will tighten next year, and the RBA’s flagged period of stability for its record-low benchmark. Australia is losing its developed-world-beating status as the mining investment boom that powered it through the global financial crisis wanes.

Mining investment is expected to decline much further as large mining projects are completed,” the RBA said today. “The exchange rate remains elevated, particularly given the recent declines in commodity prices.” The central bank said the outlook for the terms of trade over the rest of 2014 is “a little lower” than forecast three months ago.

US President Barack Obama has authorised airstrikes in Iraq, Bloomberg is reporting.

Jetstar Group chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka has defended the low-cost carrier's investments in Asia, saying the region represents a vital part of the future of the airline over the long term.

"We can sit back and dismiss all of this as an Asian distraction or we can play an active role in the world's largest growing aviation market and that is our choice. Asia is anything but a distraction," she said at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit on Friday, responding to critics of the investments which have been mostly loss-making to date. 

Jetstar has arms in Singapore, Vietnam and Japan and is seeking approvals to set up Jetstar Hong Kong. In February, Jetstar froze growth in its Singapore arm as a result of tough market conditions that have led to losses in that market.

"It was a clear signal the market was overcooked," she said. "All low fares carriers in Singapore have since announced similar moves. South East Asia is on the path to correction which is great."

Ms Hrdlicka said the outlook for Jetstar Japan, which has been operating for two years, was particularly bright. The carrier is now the fourth largest domestic carrier in Japan in a market which grew by more than 8 per cent last year as a result of the introduction of budget airlines.

However, Jetstar Japan has yet to produce a profit. Ms Hrdlicka said Jetstar was realistic about the ability of the Asian ventures to do so within a few years of starting up.

"Like any investor we expect a return but we also understand we are investors in Asia and success is a long-term proposition and we are very mindful of how we think about our investment dollars, she said. "So too are our partners."

Jetstar has a minority stake in all of its Asian ventures to enable it the ability to access international air rights. It has a seat on the boards of the carriers, but independent management teams report to the board.

Read more.

"Asia is anything but a distraction": Jetstar chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka has defended investments in Asia.

"Asia is anything but a distraction": Jetstar chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka has defended investments in Asia.

The flight from junk bonds is accelerating. (See Wednesday's post at 3:08 for more.)

Investors pulled $US7.1b out of funds which invest in the risky class of company bonds - the largest weekly outflow since 1992, reports Reuters-Lipper.

Here's some context from the FT:

Despite being among the riskiest debt securities in markets, junk bonds – which are sold by companies with fragile balance sheets and a higher probability of default – have experienced a multi-year bull run.

But as the Federal Reserve ends its quantitative easing programme in October, a recent warning from chairwoman Janet Yellen, who said valuations for high-yield bonds “appear stretched”, has triggered a flight out of the sector.

This week’s outflows also mark four straight weeks of redemptions from junk bonds, totalling $US12.6bn.

Reversals in junk bonds often sway sentiment in other risky corners of the market, including equities, and may hurt some companies’ ability to raise funds on capital markets.

The man in charge of building three multibillion-dollar LNG projects under construction on Gladstone’s Curtis Island has described the behaviour by about 50 people affiliated with the Construction, Forestry Mining and Energy Union strike action as “abusive, dangerous and illegal”.

Kevin Berg, the Gladstone general manager for Bechtel, the main engineering contractor for all three of the plants, says protesting union members kicked and spat at cars as well as throwing rocks on Thursday as part of a campaign to press for improved worker conditions.

“Not only did they place large rocks across the road, they kicked and spat at cars, threw rocks, and one person was pushed off of his motorbike during the picket action,” Mr Berg said.

“We are appalled at this behaviour and outraged that the CFMEU, which says safety is a priority, would behave like this. Many of the protesters who turned up prior to 4am were clearly under the influence of alcohol and even brought alcohol with them.”

The protest was a step-up in the campaign by four unions, including the CFMEU, for a change in work rosters at the three projects on Curtis Island. The action is threatening the schedule for bringing the huge projects under construction.

BG Group, the company with the most advanced of the three plants – which are together worth more than $70 billion – has said its target to begin production in the December 2014 quarter could come under threat depending on what action the unions take.

The other two projects, one involving Santos and the other involving Origin Energy, are also set to be affected.

However, the action appeared to be less serious than the outright strike by CFMEU members that was expected by some across the three LNG project sites.

Read more ($).

Commonwealth Bank is hunting for a new boss for business and private banking division after incumbent Grahame Petersen announced he will retire at the end of 2014.

Simon Blair, the executive in charge of the bank’s international finance services division, will step down from his role and the bank’s executive committee.

He has been replaced by Rob Jesudason, who is currently the head of strategic development at CBA. 

Commonwealth Bank is hunting for a new boss for business and private banking division after incumbent Grahame Petersen announced he will retire at the end of 2014.

He has worked for the bank for nearly 35 years, and for the past 10 years has been a member of the group executive committee in three different leadership roles.

Chief executive Ian Narev said Mr Petersen is “widely admired”, but had been discussing with him his intention to retire.

He was the head of wealth management from 2006 to 2011, the period in which a Senate inquiry into the Australian Securities and Investments Commission found Commonwealth Bank’s wealth arms had falsified customers details so they could tip their funds into risky investments and sell them loans they couldn’t afford.

Read more.

Shuffling the deck: CBA chief Ian Narev

Shuffling the deck: CBA chief Ian Narev Photo: Louise Kennerley

Illustration: Kerrie Leishman

Illustration: Kerrie Leishman

When Woolworths releases its full-year results on August 29 the focus won’t be on the fallout of the continuing price war with Coles, the debate over suppliers or petrol discounting but its hardware business, which has become an increasingly bloody battleground.

Since Woolworths moved into the home improvement market in 2010 to take on the Bunnings juggernaut, which sits in the Wesfarmers empire along with Coles and other Woolworths rivals, it has taken a lot of stick.

The howls of concern reached fever pitch last year when the supermarket giant revealed its home improvement business suffered losses of $139 million, 71 per cent higher than its budgeted loss of $81 million.  

This comprised a $157 million loss from its Masters business, compared with a forecast loss of $119 million, and a lower-than-expected profit from its Danks business of $18 million instead of an expected $38 million.

David Errington at Merrill Lynch has been one of the earliest – and biggest - sceptics of the group’s push into Masters. He predicts it will make a 100 per cent loss of $195 million in 2014, ballooning to $265 million in 2016 – the year the company has promised it will break even.

The challenge for Woolworths will be to convince the market that the losses are under control and aren’t getting any worse.

Interestingly, in the past few weeks a number of broking houses have started to push out the break-even date to 2019.

Read more.

The benchmark index has slipped firmly below 5500 as banks retreat, while Rio Tinto enjoys a boost after yesterday's blockbuster results.

The ASX 200 is 23 points, or 0.4 per cent, lower at 5485.7, while the All Ords is down a similar amount at 5477.8.

BHP is leading the falls, 1 per cent down, while rival Rio is 0.8 per cent higher and Fortescue is 1.7 per cent down.

The big four banks have slumped early, by between 0.5 and 0.8 per cent. Macquarie is 1.3 per cent lower.

Henderson is 5.8 per cent lower after reporting results post-market close.

Losses are spread across sectors, aside from gold miners and utilities.

The head of the Financial Services Council, John Brogden, has accused the Grattan Institute think tank, and Financial System Inquiry chairman David Murray, of sloppy use of data to back their arguments that superannuation fees are too high.

Mr Brogden said critics had not taken into account Australia’s more active management, choice and life insurance options when comparing costs to international pension schemes.

“Sadly, neither [critics] have used vigorous or accurate data and in the area of international comparisons, both failed to recognise fundamental important, unique and individual features of the Australian superannuation system,” Mr Brogden said.

The lobby group, which is holding its annual conference Cairns, represents retail and wholesale fund managers and super funds.

The interim report of Mr Murray’s inquiry last month noted the difficulties comparing fees across funds, especially internationally.

It said “operating costs and fees appear high by international standards” and “the evidence suggests there is scope to reduce costs and improve after-fee returns”.

Mr Murray’s report cited the Grattan Institute’s Super sting paper that found the benefits of scale over the past decade have been largely offset by higher fund expenses.

Grattan director Jim Minifie told the conference ahead of Mr Brogden’s speech that the “super cost curve has shifted up” and “our fees and expenses are high compared to best practice”.

Mr Brogden said “focusing on cost alone is both dangerous and lazy” and it was disingenuous to compare Australia’s fully funded defined contribution system with unfunded defined-benefit schemes in Europe, which “have totally different asset allocation and return profiles”.

Read more.

 “Focusing on cost alone is both dangerous and lazy.”: Financial Services Council chief John Brogden.

“Focusing on cost alone is both dangerous and lazy.”: Financial Services Council chief John Brogden. Photo: Andrea Francolini

James Packer’s Macau joint venture has announced a weaker than expected interim result overnight, which could put pressure on Crown Resorts shares on Friday and extend losses spurred by the company’s plans to develop a new casino in Las Vegas.

Melco Crown, in which Crown and its joint venture partner Lawrence Ho both control stakes of 33.6 per cent each, reported a 20 per cent fall in net income to $US143.6 million ($155 million) in the three months ended June 30. The result delivered earnings per share of US26¢, which was below consensus of US36¢.

Quarterly revenue fell 7 per cent to $US1.2 billion, below consensus of $US1.3 billion.

The company blamed lower spending by high rollers, but said mass market expenditure was strong, especially at its City of Dreams casino. Mass market table game revenue at City of Dreams increased 20 per cent to $US1.3 billion in the second quarter.

Melco also revealed that employees in its Taiwan office had been indicted for allegedly violating banking and foreign exchange laws.

The result was sure to rattle investors, but not even the announcement of a $US500 million share buyback could hold up Melco’s share price. Melco shares on the Hong Kong exchange fell 4.8 per cent to $HK78.65 ($10.95).

Chief financial officer Geoffrey Davis told analysts there was no “formulated plan” for the buyback strategy and said it would occur at management’s discretion.

Crown will report its full year result, which will incorporate an equity accounted share of Melco’s profit, on Thursday August 14.

Read more.

Melco Crown's 'City of Dreams' casino: Weak results from Macau extended Crown's share losses that were kicked off when the company revealed its Las Vegas foray on Monday.

Melco Crown's 'City of Dreams' casino: Weak results from Macau extended Crown's share losses that were kicked off when the company revealed its Las Vegas foray on Monday. Photo: Bloomberg

Digital real estate marketing group REA group said its full-year net profit surged 36 per cent to $149.73 million from $109.71 million last year.

The operator of the country’s No. 1 property website, realestate.com.au, said underlying net profit in the year ended June 30 rose 37 per cent to $149.88 million from the year-earlier $109.746 million. Revenue rose 30 per cent to $437.46 million from $336.46 million.

News Corp owns 61.6 per cent of the popular web site that competes with Fairfax Media’s domain.com.au.

“Our excellent results reflect the underlying strength of this business and our robust strategy for local and international markets,” REA interim chief executive Peter Tonagh said.

“This year, we have been active on the acquisition front as well as investing more than $50 million in new technology, products and initiatives such as our Chinese site myfun.com.

REA grew its revenue from depth listing products by 69 per cent to $220 million. Depth products cost more money and highlight and enhance listings, among other things.

It was the company’s first result without former chief Greg Ellis at the helm. REA said his replacement Tracey Fellows would start on August 20, 2014, while Mr Tonagh will return to the role of non-executive director of the board. New chief financial officer Owen Wilson will commence in September.

REA will pay a final dividend of 35¢ per share, which means the full-year dividend will be 57¢, fully franked, or a 37 per cent increase on the previous year.

News Corp, completing its first full year as a stand-alone company, reported quarterly earnings that missed analysts’ estimates for the first time as it struggled in its transition from print to digital.

Profit, excluding some items, was 1 cent a share in the fiscal fourth quarter, compared with the 3 cents analysts estimated on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue fell 3.1 percent to $US2.19 billion, said the company, which split from billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s entertainment business last year. Analysts projected $2.14 billion.

Like many publishers, chief executive officer Robert Thomson is working to transform the company’s print properties into a digital business as well as expand around the globe. The company, which owns HarperCollins, finalized its purchase of romance publisher Harlequin Enterprises this month as part of its strategy to reap sales from foreign markets.

The news division, which publishes the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post in the US, and the Australian and the Daily Telegraph locally, continued to face difficulty at a time when advertising is fleeing print in favour of digital destinations. Sales in the division fell 6.3 percent to $1.56 billion as advertising revenue weakened.

Shares of News Corp fell 1.2 percent to $US17.42 at the close in New York.

Net income was $13 million, or 2 cents a share, compared with a loss of $1.12 billion, or $1.94, a year earlier.

Chairman Murdoch broke off News Corp at the end of June 2013 from his more profitable entertainment businesses, including Fox Broadcasting and cable network Fox News.

Rio Tinto looks set to deliver a "material increase" to shareholder returns within the next year, after unveiling a set of half-year results yesterday afternoon that were far better than expected.

The $US5.1 billion underlying profit for the first half of 2014, announced on Thursday, was well ahead of the $US4.56 billion analysts had expected, but it was the much lower spend on capital projects and reductions to the operating cost base that really pleased investors.

Rio chief executive Sam Walsh said improving shareholder returns was now "high up" on his agenda, and chief financial officer Chris Lynch hinted that could come at the full-year results in February 2015.

Rio had been expected to reach $US3 billion of cost reductions by Christmas, but revealed it had already exceeded that, cutting ongoing costs by $US3.2 billion since 2012. A further $US1 billion in cost reductions have been flagged over the next 18 months.

Shareholders will be paid an interim dividend of US96¢, which reflects Rio's policy of paying out half of the previous year's full-year dividend each August.    

Most analysts expect Rio to conduct a round of share buybacks rather than return cash in the form of a special dividend.

Capital spending during the past six months was also lower than expected, with the $US3.6 billion spent coming in well below the $US5.5 billion expected by RBC Capital Markets.

A reduction in the Rio workforce by 2200 also helped deliver the strong numbers, as did a weak spend on exploration and a lower-than-expected tax rate.

Read more.

<p>

US stocks fell, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to the lowest level since April, as concern that the Ukraine conflict is escalating offset better-than-estimated earnings and a drop in American jobless claims.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.6 per cent to 1,909.57, closing below its average price for the past 100 days for the first time since April. The Dow dropped 75.07 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 16,368.27, close to its 200-day moving average.

“The uncertainty over the situation in Ukraine has overshadowed the positive economic data we saw earlier today,” John Manley, who helps oversee about $US233 billion as chief equity strategist for Wells Fargo Funds Management in New York said. “The market has adapted to the positive data, but when it comes to geopolitical tensions, it’s hard to adapt. Tensions rise and we’re reaching the last level before the situation spins out of control.”

The S&P 500 has lost 3.9 per cent since reaching a record of 1,987.98 on July 24, and is about 60 points away from wiping out its gains for 2014. The US equities benchmark extended losses in afternoon trading, with the gauge falling below 1,905 for the first time in more than two months.

Data showed fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, sending the average over the past month to an eight-year low, a sign the labour market continues to gain momentum.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged Russia to “step back from the brink” by pulling back troops and halting aid for rebels.

European stocks fell to their lowest level in more than three-and-a-half months as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi warned that geopolitical risks in countries such as Ukraine could hurt the economic recovery, while Munich Re’s earnings missed forecasts.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index retreated 0.7 percent to 326.96 at the close of trading, for a second day of declines. The benchmark posted its first back-to-back monthly losses in two years in July as the crisis in Ukraine escalated. The measure has fallen 6.5 per cent from a six-year high on June 10.

“There is still uncertainty,” Soeren Steinert, who helps manage about $US26 billion as associate director for equities trading at Quoniam Asset Management GmbH in Frankfurt, said. “We’ve seen disappointing results today, notably Munich Re, and disappointing macro-economic numbers this morning from Germany. People are cautious about taking new positions.”

German industrial output expanded in June less than forecast as Europe’s largest economy came under pressure from political tensions with Russia. Production, adjusted for seasonal swings, rose 0.3 percent from May, when it shrank a revised 1.7 percent, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said. Output missed the average economist prediction of a 1.2 percent gain.

The European Central Bank held its benchmark rate at 0.15 percent today. Shares declined after Draghi said the risks to the recovery from conflicts including that in Ukraine are increasing.

“Heightened geopolitical risks, as well as developments in emerging-market economies and global financial markets, may have the potential to affect economic conditions negatively,” Draghi said at a press conference in Frankfurt today after the rate announcement.

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee also kept its key interest rate unchanged at a record-low 0.5 percent today.

Local shares are set to open lower amid a renewed global focus on the conflict between Russia and the West over Ukraine.

Here's what you need2know:

SPI futures down 23 pts at 5426

AUD at 92.69 US cents, 94.64 japanese yen, 69.41 Euro cents and 55.10 British pence.

• On Wall St, S&P 500 -0.6%, Dow -0.5%, Nasdaq -0.5%

• In Europe, Euro Stoxx 50 -1.2%, FTSE -0.6%, CAC -1.4%, DAX -1%

• Spot gold rose 0.5% to $US1311.99 an ounce

Iron ore adds 0.1 per cent to $US96.00 per metric tonne.

• Brent oil up 1.1% to $US105.74 per barrel

What’s on today:

• Australia RBA statement on monetary policy, Australia home loans, investment lending, foreign reserves

• Japan current account, Bank of Japan monetary policy statement

• China trade balance, exports and imports year-on-year

• US consumer credit, non-farm productivity, unit labour costs; UK trade balance.

Stocks to watch:

Australian Agricultural Co: Russia bans food imports from Australia

BHP may close Nickel West after low bids for the asset: AFR

Santos, Origin: Union starts industrial action against contractor Bechtel on Curtis Island.

• REA Group releases its results.

• The following stocks will trade ex-dividend today: Australian Foundation Investments; Boulder Steel, stock split; Namibian Copper rights issue; Newera Resources entitlement.

Read more.

Good morning and welcome to the Markets Live blog for Friday.

Your editors today are Patrick Commins.

This blog is not intended as investment advice.

BusinessDay with wires.

 

Quotes Search

Sort comments by:
  • "Packer sinks $400m in Vegas bet"

    "Sinks" being the operative word.

    Commenter
    Allan
    Location
    Prahran
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 4:46PM
  • "Horror week for shares"

    I thought it was delightful.

    Commenter
    Allan
    Location
    Prahran
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 4:44PM
  • Dicky Fuld called his insurance company and asked them what day he would be burgled. The insurance company said "get a grip" so Dicky cancelled his policy. The next week Dicky was Burgled. Poor Dicky.

    Commenter
    Allan
    Location
    Prahran
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 4:30PM
    • Clever Dicky ;-}

      Commenter
      Dicky Fuld.
      Location
      please warn us next time
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 4:46PM
  • WOW Aust market down same as Dow in points. Last week Dow went down 317 points, when next it goes up by 317 points I'll give odds of a million to one our market doesn't go up 317 points the next day. If I had a million people to take me on at a dollar I'd be a millionaire.

    Commenter
    ASX
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 4:19PM
  • Shorters - why didn't you warn us?

    Commenter
    Dicky Fuld
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 3:59PM
    • Your heart was tasty Dick. I used a spoon.

      Commenter
      Bye Bye Fiat Money
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 4:04PM
    • yes good point @dicky,surely they saw all this coming this week. very clever lot they are.

      Commenter
      no banks .. no party!
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 4:10PM
    • Why no warning?
      Read Allan - Prahrana - 10:51 this morn, Dicky dude. I'm afraid you cannot use that excuse for your insurance claim.

      *** But yeah, what a shocker was today, eh? ***
      Have a good weekend

      Commenter
      Snidery Plonker
      Location
      Port Phtevens
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 4:16PM
  • grab your goldies before close....

    Commenter
    Gold Balls
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 3:54PM
  • I moved the markets today.

    Commenter
    Bill Shorten
    Location
    Blue Collar Bill
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 3:53PM
    • I think it's safe to say that every time Shorten opens his mouth it's time to start shorting stocks...

      Commenter
      Dr No
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 4:11PM
  • CFE 15c stock. Paying 4c Div F/F. Yield is 26.66% GROSSED UP 38.08% ARE YOU KIDDING FANTASTIC. Last week company 20 Mill Assests Debts 80 Mill This week Company 80 Mill Assets NO DEBT.

    Commenter
    Steve
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 3:44PM
    • One of my long-term dogs howling for all it's worth. Surprised the price dropped today but probably die to the 4c f/f div being paid in 2 instalments with the first one going ex-div 6 weeks from now. Will top-up if its falls further.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 4:19PM
  • UXC hanging in there @BSB, give the dog a bone!

    Commenter
    cyril
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 3:44PM
  • The old jack up the futures in the last hour trick eh?

    Closed shorts, ready to get back in at any moment! Gonna be a late one tonight!

    Commenter
    GS
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 3:22PM
    • why don't you just add to them?

      Commenter
      toby
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:40PM
    • I've been adding all day since my first post this morning. I thought they'd do the silly run up in the last hour where I'd re-add near/after close. Done alright so far today, a few lost pts wont matter much overall!

      Commenter
      GS
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:49PM
  • ..what just happened?

    Commenter
    Lost and Insecure...
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 3:20PM
    • BLOODBATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Commenter
      Malvik
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 4:22PM
    • the market spoke :p

      Commenter
      worried33
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 4:24PM
  • When CBA announce their results next Wednesday the negative sentiment on the banks will suddenly disappear...

    Commenter
    Mal
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 3:17PM
    • CBA taking home owners for a ride. When jobs dry up, and they are, CBA will be most exposed. Smaller lenders (non big 6) will be hammered out and left to rust.

      Commenter
      Liberator
      Location
      SEQLD
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:39PM
    • @Liberator, you must have made a killing today? Nice work.

      Commenter
      Dicky Fuld
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 4:02PM
    • No - I missed 50% of today as I got in a little late on the down and I bailed not long after open for 18 points. I was only thinking 20-25 down for the day. I was wrong! Anyone who open-short today's market would have made a killing!

      Commenter
      Liberator
      Location
      SEQLD
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 5:03PM
  • Well, when we hit the highs a couple of weeks ago I said it was time for a correction of sorts. Looks like it's all happening right now.

    I'll be looking at what happens when this political tension subsides, then we will see how strong the Bulls are.

    If we see a strong rally in prices, pay attention to the volumes. If we get a day/week of high volumes but low price movement I'd be worried.

    Anyways, best of luck to everyone who holds anything!

    Commenter
    Scott
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 3:12PM
  • The reason Putin has banned food products coming in from neighbouring ex-Soviet states is that he wants to avoid the "spit-on-your-hamburger" effect.

    Commenter
    mitch of ACT
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 3:00PM
  • Gee. Anyone who bought TON at 90c and still holding must be kicking themselves.

    Commenter
    Gareth E
    Location
    Syd
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:57PM
  • Down 1.5% - it's the end of the world!!!!! Save the women and children!!!! (Also, sell your house because the property market is apparently crashing today as well).

    Commenter
    Bottom
    Location
    Feeder
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:57PM
  • I am beginning to think the correction is upon us!

    Commenter
    Allan Mitchell
    Location
    SEQLD
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:57PM
    • You think?

      Commenter
      Randy Bull
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:40PM
  • Time to buy some BHP calls? Couple more days like and then surely!!!

    Commenter
    Garryk
    Location
    Optionland
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:54PM
  • Today's bargains will be cheaper still on Monday. DOW futures down 75. The Dow dragged the rest of the world down from last night's trading and will repeat the exercise tonight as the factors that have led to the falls are not resolved. Looking for yield players where the falling price is increasing the yield. Stocks paying a good, steady dividend in the near future, but having a down day, are fair game.

    Commenter
    mitch of ACT
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:54PM
  • "If he wants to reprimand his eastern European neighbours for joining the West, he has chosen a more appropriate weapon."

    The whole article goes about how Putin is missing his mark only to in very last page come to correct conclusion that he isn't.

    Just like US sanction against Cuba, these are more design to hurt his little neighbors that have been quite loudly drumming against Russia for last decade.

    In Estonia the commemorate WW2 German invasion as "liberation" from soviets, and Poland has been most vocal in its calls for Russian sanctions.

    Latvia and Lithuania have passed laws barring use of Russian language and denying voting rights to those who only speak Russian even if they lived there for generations. Act that is clearly breach of human rights, but once again when west breaches human rights its different. (see Australian Assylim seeker policy or US torture policy, or french banning burqa )

    So while US-Russian geopolitical bickerring is continuing, it is the former Soviet states emboldened by NATO membership that are causing Putin most annoyance.

    Commenter
    DJ77
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:52PM
  • Ahhggrrr the pain!

    Commenter
    Rich Bull
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:46PM
    • but your rich?

      Commenter
      poor
      Location
      bear
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:10PM
    • I was richer this morning.
      But thanks for caring.

      Commenter
      Rich Bull
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:31PM
  • The ASX has gone mad. In one week we have lost two YEARS of growth. Example of Ridiculousness Hang Seng down 48 points and is 5 times bigger in points. Dow down same as us yet three times bigger. This is madness. Why over 5 years do we go down more than the rest and not go up with them. This is five years not since the budget. It keeps happening. Ridiculousness RIO reported yesterday afternoon and it's in the red. Are you kidding What the hell is going on.

    Commenter
    Peter
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:41PM
    • Sheer volume of the hedge fund shorts. Good for volatility at other times but hurts too many ordinary people on days like today.

      Pretty obvious and maybe something needs to be done about it. What can be done is another question!

      Commenter
      Allan Mitchell
      Location
      SEQLD
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:51PM
    • Are you forgetting that the ASX is merely the plaything of the Manattan fashionistas?

      And they heckled me when I said three days ago that another 100 points would be knocked off the index. He who laughs last laughs loudest!

      Commenter
      50BahtLeo
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:02PM
    • Good point Peter.
      We are a laughing stock. Still waiting for the mother of all mining booms to translate into stratospheric share prices!!! That ship has sailed, unfortunately. Near on impossible to make money in this market...which ever way u jump the market does opposite.

      Commenter
      Ox
      Location
      Kensi Pk
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:11PM
    • @Peter we are performing worse than the others because the govt's of those countries are still in stimulatory mode. Our gov't has pulled in the horns and is intent on contracting the economy by reducing spending. Hence a weaker sharemarket, rising unemployment and in the end a worse deficit than what they started with as tax revenues decline but spending on the newly unemployed increases, despite the horrors of work-for-the-dole and 40 job applications a month.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:18PM
    • @mitch - the countries that are "stimulating" their economies by printing money are not doing well at all, they're heading for disaster. Japan's Abenomics is turning into a right nightmare for them, and there is less and less trust in the US economy. No mitch, borrowing and printing money is not responsible policy.

      Commenter
      Dr No
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:55PM
  • No good news on the horizon, market over valued, problems in the middle east, problems in the east, Aussie employment in the toilet . . .
    Not time to be buying. Sell Sell Sell before it's too late.

    Commenter
    Groundswell77
    Location
    GC
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:40PM
    • Agreed - sell, sell, sell!! A following-the-masses-strategy never fails!

      Commenter
      Bottom
      Location
      Feeder
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:55PM
  • Take that Putin

    Commenter
    Bill Shorten
    Location
    Take that Putin
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:36PM
    • yep, that worked well! Australian sanctions against the evil Russia....now our beef producers are going to pay for politicians meddling in world affairs.

      Commenter
      Ox
      Location
      Kensi Pk
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:15PM
  • amazing how much gets wiped off the markets when the smell of fear is in the air!

    shorters having an absolute picnic.

    Commenter
    Allan Mitchell
    Location
    SEQLD
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:34PM
    • dont over think it ...just panic sell asap

      Commenter
      no banks .. no party!
      Location
      fear ... is .. good!
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:48PM
  • Countplus (CUP) comeback on today of all days! I like that $1.55 price from the other day better!

    Commenter
    GS
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:33PM
  • whats dropping the market? my portfoilo looks better than most days lol.

    Commenter
    confused
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:32PM
    • shorten had a dig at vlad putin and the world has reacted negatively , that is all.

      Commenter
      no banks .. no party!
      Location
      panic n sell please.
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:16PM
  • I could be wrong, but i'm pretty sure it is the end of the world as we know it...

    please panic and sell.

    Commenter
    no banks .. no party!
    Location
    please panic and sell.
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:28PM
    • You need to make your mind up @ No banks no brains. A week ago you were long claiming no fear in the market. Today your short ?????

      Commenter
      Forry
      Location
      honesty best policy
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:09PM
    • yeah i agree with you...or do i? i dunno.
      please panic and sell like me.
      dont think .. act!

      Commenter
      no banks .. no party!
      Location
      dont think .. act!
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:33PM
  • Relief rally next week? I am really tempted to go long the index here (for say a day or two/rally of 1-1.5%), but maybe Monday.....

    I need more minerals.

    Commenter
    Bye Bye Fiat Money
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:27PM
    • do not over think this...panic and sell asap please

      Commenter
      no banks .. no party!
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:49PM
    • BBFM ,

      i can sell u some of mine! How about ABY, How many would u like?

      Commenter
      Ox
      Location
      Kensi Pk
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:18PM
    • @Ox
      XJO options plz.

      Commenter
      Bye Bye Fiat Money
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:31PM
    • @No Banks
      Meh, i'm short some banks anyway. I hope they sell down more

      But i'm tempted to go long the index..... its a tough call. I need a crystal ball.... :(

      Commenter
      Bye Bye Fiat Money
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:33PM
  • I am happy to be a non-home owner right now. They are going to take a bath (in blood) in the very near future. Take a look outside of Sydney housing market and you realise just how broken the market is. Not a good time to be a FHB all leveraged up... that ticking time bomb makes it hard to sleep! Ray White and all their bogus 'auctions'. Poor sellers being duped. Price at auction not meeting expectations? Oh really?

    Commenter
    Liberator
    Location
    SEQLD
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:11PM
    • Agreed, can't wait for the extra homes (i.e. apartments that are not being rented) to flood the market as sales in the next 12-24 months, pushing down re-sale value, and soon rents will go even lower.... Gonna be great time to look to jump in (especially renting).

      Commenter
      Bye Bye Fiat Money
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:25PM
    • If you are simply a home owner what difference does it make? Nice attempt at scaremongering.

      Commenter
      4Seam
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:26PM
    • 4Seam - did not read too far. So many leveraged to the hilt FHB's - it will be chaos. I smell panic selling coming to SEQLD... just a gut feeling. Do not alarm yourself.

      Commenter
      Liberator
      Location
      SEQLD
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:50PM
    • Helping a relative buy an apartment in Canberra for cash, so no debt. Prices down about 10-15% from where they were before Abbott started wrecking the place. Located within walking distance of offices & a Town Centre. Prices will probably fall another 10% in the next year or so but there's that dead rent issue to weigh against the certainty, luxury and pride of ownership. Prime location ensures good resale value when sanity returns to gov't.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:11PM
    • People have been scaremongering about home ownership for over a decade (and missed out on phenomenal growth doing it).
      The keep overlooking two simple facts. If house prices drop, most owners just take it off the market, keep making repayments and wait. But even those that want to sell find that the market rises and falls together. So even though you can only sell your $1m mansion for $750,000, you can then buy another $1m mansion for $750,000 elsewhere. The only loss is on paper (and real estate agent commissions).

      Commenter
      Peter
      Location
      Oz
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:20PM
    • Except Peter that if you sell a house for $750k that you bought for a $1million the bank will be coming after you for that missing $250k so you can only buy a house worth $500k, even less when stamp duty and commissions are taken into account.. Still I would rather own than rent.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:34PM
    • If you buy with cash - It would not matter what you pay as long as you like the place! I would wager only 2% of Australians could buy outright.

      Commenter
      Liberator
      Location
      SEQLD
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 5:06PM
  • Sell you Bulls..sell hard

    Commenter
    Putins
    Location
    2iC
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:04PM
  • ANZ is down.

    I'm about to buy some more, so expect it to drop further!

    Commenter
    Sadim
    Location
    Warning
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 2:00PM
    • Great trading/investing strategy...

      Commenter
      Bye Bye Fiat Money
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:11PM
    • will you keep buying when the housing bubble bursts?

      Commenter
      bye bye banks
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:46PM
  • Russia doesn't give two hoots about Australia's trade deficit.

    " Bill Shorten has launched a scathing attack on Russian President Vladimir Putin "

    Mosquito attacks bear.

    Commenter
    Allan
    Location
    Prahran
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 1:57PM
    • Bill Shorten... god help this nation should Labor win another term... or the Greens even worse! PUP - should be a banned organistation.

      Commenter
      Liberator
      Location
      SEQLD
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:13PM
    • Well I say, Putin's days are surely counted now that Bill Shorten is on his case.

      Commenter
      Dr No
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:17PM
    • Assuming anyone cared what Bill Shorten (or any other politician for that matter) said anymore...

      Commenter
      Bye Bye Fiat Money
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:17PM
  • BSB

    SUN results 13/08 on current price 6.1% ff div. Last div 50c expect higher this time.

    Medium term good buy with long and short options.

    All my opinion.

    Commenter
    Harry Rogers
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 1:53PM
    • That 50 cent dividend was actually 30 cents + 20 cent special. Not sure if the special dividend will be repeated this year but ordinary will probably increase - maybe to 35 or 40 cents. So do not expect 50 cents.

      Insurance result will be good as weather has been kind and bad bank has been sold off so might actually get a banking profit this year. Life business will drag but is smaller component.

      Commenter
      Foxxster
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:36PM
    • On the watchlist but keep sidelined and might jump after divd drop or before if price right. Solid performer and havent been a jolder yet. Radar on

      Commenter
      Bearshapedbull
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:44PM
    • Foxxster correect re Div I should have said.

      Commenter
      Harry Rogers
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:48PM
  • Don't you just hate it that, when on a big down day like today, the prices of the stocks that you are prepared to spend serious money on are flat or positive. Bad in the sense that they are still just beyond what you are prepared to pay but good in the sense that others confirm your opinion that they are worth the risk.

    Commenter
    mitch of ACT
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 1:52PM
    • What's worse is when the shares you want to sell are also down so you don't have enough cash to buy the good ones on the dips. What a dilemma.....

      Commenter
      doglover
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:13PM
    • not really. because it culls the bad eggs from the good eggs.

      Commenter
      birdy
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:15PM
    • @mitch.

      I agree with you. Today is one of those days that tests the resiliency of our share holdings. Furthermore today's situation may also help us to identify which holdings to get rid of when the market goes back up.

      Commenter
      CafeBlanco
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:22PM
  • how is that chinese debt doing??
    this will be the real killer imho ..sell asap!

    Commenter
    no banks .. no party!
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 1:47PM
  • Why should the markets be so edgy. After all Obama is set to save Iraqi Christians from the zealots. Vlad is in the same position. The coming invasion was delayed only by the airline incident.

    Commenter
    Wally
    Location
    Flynn
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 1:37PM
    • Stuff em all.
      Don't think. Just sell.

      Commenter
      Putin
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:09PM
    • I think the market realises that ISIS won't be beat by airstrikes alone. They can melt into the general (sunni) population easily while continued airstrikes by Obama will be costly, both in monetary and human terms. As long as Obama refuses to cooperate with al-Assad and the Iranians, he can't win this one.

      Commenter
      Dr No
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:11PM
  • Just when you think your lot is bad, one look at the Nikkei and you realise someone is doing it tougher, down 463 points or 3.05%, yikes!

    Small consolation I know but need to grateful for small mercies!

    Commenter
    Allan Mitchell
    Location
    SEQLD
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 1:33PM
  • Anyone have 60 billion in cash handy, like me?

    Commenter
    Warren Buffett.
    Location
    Omaha
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 1:33PM
  • Short CBA $80.5, Long SLR 48c gift!

    Commenter
    Happy
    Location
    Trader
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 1:32PM
    • kicking myself for not jumping in earlier this week!

      Commenter
      worried33
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 1:44PM
  • Sorry Australian youth. LNP and Labor have decided foreign owned companies (LNP and Labor donators) are far more important than you. You can work for the dole.

    Commenter
    JohnBB
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 1:31PM
    • The Government is just following big Australian business. Coles / Woolies will push the boundaries of extortion until no Australian farm or supply chain exists. Services / Utility providers will continue to off-shore as many jobs necessary to turn a buck. Banks will be propped up by FIRB allowing full ownership of Australian property... whilst Australian workers pay for the roads and service to the cities these properties abide. I can go on all day with country killing issues, but, no one cares.

      Commenter
      Liberator
      Location
      SEQLD
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:39PM
  • You have to laugh. Charlie telling his clients to sell banks and put the money where it will do better, eg in the unloved, short-sellers targets. There is are good reasons why those stocks are unloved and there are good reasons why the banks are preferred. No matter what is happening in the economy banks keep on making very good money and paying very good dividends with what seems like very little effort. The banks are sitting there as middlemen, taking a cut from just about every financial transaction that flows over their wires. For just about everybody else making money is a hard slog. I'll keep my level of bank investments Charlie and may even top-up as your advice drives them down.

    Commenter
    mitch of ACT
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 1:26PM
    • Charlies advice stopped driving anything long ago.

      Commenter
      JohnBB
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 1:46PM
  • how's the fear..gotta love it!
    sell sell sell asap.

    Commenter
    no banks .. no party!
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 1:21PM
  • The "Gold Standard" must be reinstated!..The gold market must be redefined an divided into two. Real, solid, 'metallic gold' and 'paper gold'. At the moment the price is "rigged" simply by virtue of the fact that thousands of tonnes of non-existent gold are being bought and sold around the world that doesn't even exist in real metal, it only exists on worthless paper and computer screens.

    Commenter
    zac48
    Location
    Melb.
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 1:18PM
  • US trading currently snoozing with DOW futures at 72... just wait until they wake up! Let's get this over with!

    Commenter
    GS
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 1:17PM
    • That should read "US *tradERS"

      Commenter
      GS
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 1:39PM
    • hahahah what's your rush @GS!

      Commenter
      no banks .. no party!
      Location
      drop you good thing.
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 1:44PM
    • I want the pain to end at 4PM and not have to watch the futures all night thinking how bad Monday will be.... plus I have some nice shorts open too and can see 5400 b/w now & Monday morning! :)

      Commenter
      GS
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:12PM
  • Stop-loss orders must be going off like firecrackers on 4th July. Probably explains the increasing rate of the fall. Which raises the question as to whether this is a genuine fall or being engineered to trigger stop-loss orders so as to pick up stocks cheaply ahead of reporting season starting seriously next week. I know that there is a lot of uncertainty over global tensions, then local unemployment, then an incompetent gov't but the magnitude of the fall does seem a little overdone.

    Commenter
    mitch of ACT
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 1:14PM
  • Could this be the beginning of the house price correction I have been hoping for for the last 2 decades ?!
    I certainly hope so.

    Commenter
    FHB
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 1:05PM
    • just have to wait one more decade though.

      Commenter
      just
      Location
      sayin'
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 1:14PM
    • I hope so. Never in our short history have we been so in need of a recession as now.

      Commenter
      Dr No
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 1:20PM
    • FHB, I sure hope so.....Jump you bastards, jump.

      Commenter
      zac48
      Location
      Melb.
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 1:20PM
    • Maybe two more decades.

      Commenter
      DR
      Location
      syd
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:54PM
    • it will only be a matter of time before we see a correction in house prices. even if the bubble bursts it won't be as bad as the USA since Australia doesn't have a credit crunch.

      Commenter
      bullshapedbears
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:12PM
  • Markets dive, RBA downgraded its outlook for inflation and GDP....who would be surprised after Treasurer JOE BALONEY'S absolute sledging of our economy from day 1 after the election. Well done Tony; well done Joe; the age of enlightenment is over.

    Commenter
    repoman
    Location
    Dorrigo NSW
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 1:02PM
  • We have the problems with the European Zone, where the DAX has fallen 10% on economic performance, pressuring other markets PLUS the geo-political situation including Iraq (where and what a surprise - NOT), the Ukraine and the Middle-East among other not reported internal conflicts (whilst we have the political milage being sought over the plane going down, ignoring the political issues of that region).

    PLUS we have the private debt we have (a house mortgage debt the same size as our GDP and private debt at 170% of GDP) whilst this far-right "government" plays its political game ignoring that our GDP remains below trend by over 1% (just over 2% against a long term trend of 3.5% since 1901) and the economy continues to require stimulation to keep people in employment (in an over 70% Service Industry economy) and able to service their debts.

    We have a government attempting to gain political milage from a "Budget emergency" because Public debt is 13% of (languishing post 2007) GDP - not focusing on GDP growth, job creation and improving government revenues (to adjust the debt as a percentage of GDP).

    What we have is the idealogical focus on "trickle down" economics (refer the Budget and the impact on who?) and the "the most effective form of regulation is self regulation" presentation, noting the position on abortion, same sex unions et al by Bernardi, Abetz, Brandis and the other hard right idealogs who dominate the Liberal Party Malcolm Fraser correctly asserts is no longer the Liberal Party.

    And the markets suffer, along with our superannuation accruals as Brogden (a former Liberal Party leader - they seem to be everywhere!) refutes that we are levied with very high management fees.

    When is the next election?

    Because it is this mob or us.

    Commenter
    Tony
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 12:52PM
    • You seriously suggesting the other disastrous mob will fix anything? They're both killing us.

      Commenter
      JohnBB
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 1:22PM
    • The day a vested interest agrees that they are making too much money the sky will go as black as sin and the trumpets will sound to signal the end of time.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 1:33PM
    • Feel better now? hate to disappoint you but you are over zealous in your attack.

      You need to look no further back than the last 6 years to see what led to this situation.

      Unless I am missing something you cannot spend what you haven't got!

      The easiest and best solution to our immediate problem is to re vamp the budget and overall the GST, 15% on EVERYTHING, problem solved!

      Commenter
      Allan Mitchell
      Location
      SEQLD
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 1:43PM
    • should read "overhaul" not "overall"

      Commenter
      Allan Mitchell
      Location
      SEQLD
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:14PM
  • Something tells me that we could be in for a sustained downturn.

    Commenter
    bullshapedbears
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 12:51PM
    • hopefully ;)

      sold 60% of my holdings on Monday. There is no value in the market at the moment.

      Commenter
      worried33
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 1:43PM
  • starting to feel better about SBM

    Commenter
    barbara
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 12:42PM
  • Perfect timing on the shorts! Added more!

    Longs are taking a beating though. The things I do for divs! Still holding heaps of cash for next week too!

    (glass half-full post)

    Commenter
    GS
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 12:41PM
  • "The Commonwealth Bank financial planning scandal appears to have claimed its first executive scalp with the resignation of business and private banking boss Grahame Petersen on Friday morning."

    He should be up on charges.

    Banks behaving badly.

    Again.

    Commenter
    Allan
    Location
    Prahran
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 12:40PM
    • Imagine if they actually investigated the banks, insider traders, big boys etc PROPERLY. None of them would escape jail terms.

      Commenter
      Liberator
      Location
      SEQLD
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 5:09PM
  • Down down, prices are down, down down, we're staying down!

    Commenter
    Coles
    Location
    ASX 200
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 12:38PM
    • all together now...down down prices are down...

      Commenter
      no banks .. no party!
      Location
      love a bit of fear!!
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 12:50PM
    • down down prices are down :)

      Commenter
      Happy
      Location
      Trader
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 1:00PM
  • dead set, who the F, was doing the buying at 5640??
    jezus christ. that last push took me out of all my shorts, now i'm watching this with a tear in my eye. it had to happen right? but a day after i got margined out.
    far out.

    Commenter
    j
    Location
    syd
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 12:26PM
    • lol..it happens!

      Commenter
      no banks .. no party!
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 12:59PM
    • I tried my best to warn them. Greed hey. It makes the market what it is.

      Commenter
      JohnBB
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 1:27PM
    • Getting a margin call should be an alarm bell telling you you're trading with too much risk.

      It should be you that decides you're out. Not the bank. Too risky of exactly what happened happening. Worth a thought.

      Commenter
      JohnBB
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 1:36PM
  • "When the time comes to buy you won't want to" - out of shorts and switching to longs. I can smell the fear now.

    Commenter
    50BahtLeo
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 12:24PM
  • 5450 just about to be taken out, what happened to the 5500 floor?

    Commenter
    Allan Mitchell
    Location
    SEQLD
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 12:24PM
  • CWN price going down has nothing to do with Vegas or Macau....Andrew Demetriou is now a director

    Commenter
    Wwwish Lion
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 12:01PM
    • He has to ruin everything :(

      Commenter
      GS
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 12:04PM
    • Well spotted @Wwwish, maybe he should get Hirdy's formula for young Kerry to give the SP a shot in the arm!

      Commenter
      fletch
      Location
      grafton
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 12:08PM
    • I was thinking to add Eddie McGuire to the line up, he knows how to kill entertainment

      Commenter
      Wwwish Lion
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 12:40PM
  • "RBA says rates will stay on hold, unemployment to stay high"

    Housing boom!

    Commenter
    Allan
    Location
    Prahran
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 11:56AM
  • "the central bank is not in any rush to raise rates"

    Soon they will be negative. They will be paying people to overbid for already overpriced assets.

    Such is the lunacy of the current economic environment.

    Commenter
    Allan
    Location
    Prahran
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 11:53AM
    • yes agree sheer lunacy to help vested interest in property to keep them happy and kill the market with pumped up prices real estate agents never had it this good.Solution put up interest rate by 1 pct bring in property tax for foreigners not holding Australian passport to 15% like Hongkong Canada OR LIKE in Britain charge 15% for not letting property. THE BEST SOLUTION IS LIKE PAUL KEATIND DID IN 1989 REMOVE NEGATIVE GEARING . AUSTRALIA needs business development not speculative property development and the property developers who sell even before a brick is laid that's why jobless rate is 6.4pct officialy and 12 pct unooficial.

      Commenter
      haberfield
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 2:03PM
  • Appears to be a strong correlation between development of the ASX and the quality of outcomes coming from this government. Of late we have heard Eric 'there is a link between abortion and cancer' Abetz and George 'a website is not the same as a web address .... let me correct that again' Brandis and the list goes on.

    Commenter
    Viking
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 11:48AM
    • The political games being played by our politicians, sadly, has got a great deal to do with our markets performance!

      Commenter
      Allan Mitchell
      Location
      SEQLD
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 11:57AM
    • @Viking, you were lucky to get that post through. I had a post pointing out the increasingly ridiculous things that Abetz has been quoted as saying, rejected.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 12:11PM
  • Rising unemployment, lower terms of trade, slower growth,....

    Housing boom!

    Commenter
    Allan
    Location
    Prahran
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 11:47AM
  • Airstrikes on militants and aid to civilians in Iraq. One very good reason why the US will never pay off its debt. Being the world's policeman, both self-appointed and expected, doesn't come cheap.

    Commenter
    mitch of ACT
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 11:39AM
    • I guess there are no other nations, even the rich ones, would like to stand up for the poor folks in Iraq...

      Commenter
      CafeBlanco
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 12:15PM
  • far out, this market is only moving at night. doesn't seem to be any liquidity during our session.
    crazy.

    Commenter
    j
    Location
    syd
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 11:24AM
  • Over the last few days, we've seen declines in the Dow, Nikkei, Dax, and to a lesser extent ASX and FTSE. I don't think this is the start of a correction, since fear of a range of issues are at core. In my view, impending I.Rate rises in the US are paramount, but others suggest geopolitical and EU issues prevail. I think, once the fear subsides and "burn themselves out"(Johnson), the bull rally will resume, and this could mean Dow rising well beyond 17k. How much further has it got to go? Well, that's anyone's guess, but some pundits reckon it's in the early stages of a super Bull market (an extreme-long-term secular rally) that could last several years (and that's after the last five years of rises). GG

    See the following:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-market-expert-sees-stocks-up-another-70-2014-08-07?link=MW_Nav_NV

    Commenter
    Gordon Gekko
    Location
    Greg Coffey World
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 11:13AM
    • Daxman agrees with you. The bears will be licking their wounds come 31 December. Anyone shorting this market should be very careful.

      Commenter
      Daxman
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 11:30AM
    • I pretty much agree with you GG. I do agree in that we are in a bull market phase at present, pretty much to 2018. However, I do think that the ASX will decouple with Americas, Asia and Europe and underperform together with South America. The market for the next couple of years will be driven by innovation, mergers and acquisitions (based on cheap money), technology driven fast past change, productivity driven growth where technology and machines will more and more replace labour. Presently, I see little opportunities for Aussie companies to shine as too little international focus, much too risk adverse management and lack of leadership.

      Commenter
      Viking
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 11:33AM
  • Have I got it wrong?
    Is this the month of August or May?
    Gain $48000 in July
    Lost $27000/- since the beginning of the month and 3 more weeks to go.
    Basically all my dividend for this reporting season - wiped out.

    The Bear must have woken early from its hibernation and the Bull is licking its wounds.
    Unemployment - UP.
    Shares - DOWN.
    Dividends - SKYROCKETS ( hopefully )

    Commenter
    OMG
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 10:56AM
  • MTU something is definately on the boil. No reason for this uplift over the last week. Again not complaining.

    Commenter
    Happy
    Location
    Trader
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 10:47AM
  • Still holding stocks but wont hurt to add a short right about now! Perhaps the first of many to come!

    Commenter
    GS
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 10:45AM
    • Mother of all or just a child one?

      Commenter
      BearShapedBull
      Location
      MugPunters Lounge
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 10:56AM
    • Nah not a mother yet! Just a little protection (or at least lessen the blow) on the way down. I hope it fails because it means my longs will be killing it! Only adding more on the way down, not up!

      Commenter
      GS
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 11:25AM
  • Big surprise. I would have expected the announcement by CFE of a 4c f/f dividend on a 16c share to cause a leap in the share price. I was expecting just 2cents f/f. Instead the share price is falling. The dividend will be paid in 2 equal amounts in Oct & Feb. CFE is flush with cash after an ATO tax dispute settlement and the receipt of funds from a Chinese company after another dispute. The company will still have $40m+ cash and other assets being developed for sale after the dividend. 4c f/f is a magnificent yield on a now 15c share so if the price falls further I will top up. Actually I'm just saying this so that all of the yield hunters out there will bid the price up to astronomical amounts so I can take the profit instead of the dividend, or both, depending on what happens.

    Commenter
    mitch of ACT
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 10:40AM
    • Thanks for the update. I was watching them, but forgot they were announcing the div today. Did buy some, but a little worried about the price action though.
      Maybe market perceives tough times ahead for the company, so after the div is paid may trade back around 10c.

      Commenter
      MTD
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 11:15AM
    • What was the EPS?

      Commenter
      Wwwish Lion
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 11:25AM
    • @Wwwish EPS is irrelevant in this case. The company develops projects for sale then distributes the proceeds to shareholders.
      http://www.capelam.com.au/irm/Company/ShowPage.aspx/PDFs/3281-48834254/CanaccordTwiceCashBacked

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 12:03PM
    • EX Div date is 25/09

      Commenter
      TP
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 12:27PM
    • That's because it's on the ASX and not the S & P 500. In Australia they wouldn't even have known if you hadn't said anything.

      Commenter
      Unbelievable
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 4:23PM
  • REA is a great company branching internationally with great earnings growth. ...but....it's price is obscene.

    Commenter
    JohnBB
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 10:17AM
    • Personally believe best days of REA are behind them with intensive competition coming also REA customer base not happy. Their business model is easy to copy.

      Commenter
      Viking
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 11:07AM
  • Are we in recession yet?

    Commenter
    Snidery Mark
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 10:17AM
  • Good time to buy, the market is on special....

    Get in now before the next run up to 6300

    Commenter
    Buffett
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 10:06AM
    • It may go up, but it's definitely not on special, still paying a big premium.

      Commenter
      Munger
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 10:21AM
    • i see what you did there.

      Commenter
      Housing Boom
      Location
      Australia!
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 10:26AM
    • Daxman is getting ready to buy!

      Commenter
      Daxman
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 10:36AM
    • @Munger: Based on PE ratios, I would say many companies are at fair value. Not sure what sectors you are seeing the premiums in?

      Commenter
      Irish Phil
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 10:51AM
    • @Irish Phil, Price on a particular day divided by historical earnings tells you nothing of the quality of earnings, debt of the company, or future prospects.
      Banks for example have increased profits by cost cutting, reducing debt provisions, sourcing cheap money and killing all competition, will not be sustainable longer term. Big mistake many investors make is to project recent price action into the future, and anchor value to a companies price.

      Commenter
      Munger
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 12:09PM
  • Lets hope Gold pops thru resistance at US $1315.Might be our only hope with overseas markets trending lower each night.

    Commenter
    Ox
    Location
    Kensi Pk
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 10:04AM
    • Bout the only thing shining at present,good to have a slice but the other market sectors are dragging the chain, even healthcare having a lacklustre week to date.

      Commenter
      BearShapedBull
      Location
      MugPunters Lounge
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 11:00AM
    • I tend to agree with you Ox!

      Commenter
      Allan Mitchell
      Location
      SEQLD
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 11:03AM
  • http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/political-blame-flies-as-jobless-rate-rises-20140807-3dbii.html

    Is this a joke? Anyone with a brain whose job wasn't to say everything's cool should have known this was coming. Migrants take 95% of jobs created since 2011. This is not news. You'd have to be asleep for the past 20 years to have missed it.

    Commenter
    JohnBB
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 9:52AM
    • Imagine what the jobless numbers are going to look like at the end of 2016 when Holden, Ford & Toyota have all decided to leave before their 2017 end date. No point for them in hanging around. Now that's just in time for the next Federal election. There will be an extra 100,000 unemployed just from the closing of the local car industry and associated parts manufacturers. But that's what happens when you tell major employers to get lost. Woeful industrial policies coming home to roost.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 10:12AM
    • The classification of "unemployed" doesn't include those who aren't on UB, those who are employed on a verrry casual basis (less than 5hrs/wk) and other such whatnot. Hidden unemployment is usually between 2 and 6% atop of the given figure. Without the equivalent increase in jobs (who knows where they'll come from - truly?), it will only get worse - (I keep telling people not to use the self-checkout - as they are putting a young 'n' out of a job).. Time to bring back National Service before it's too late - take WComp off the insurance companies and back to government, open a government bank and away we go again. ...ohhh ...and bring back the little bottles of milk at primary school whilst I'm on a wish list....

      Commenter
      Snidery Mark
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 10:24AM
    • @Mitch of ACT. Abetz has blamed the opposition for not repealing the carbon tax for the rise in unemployment. The way things look now, by end of 2016 LNP might be as lucky as they were in 2007 and lose govt, so they can blame the ALP for the unemployment problem.

      If the problems in Europe, Japan & USA escalate while the LNP are in govt, it could provide them the opportunity (they hope not to get) to steer the ship through a rough patch, just like the ALP encountered with GFC. Now that would blow a real hole in the budget or if not, the economy.

      Even the most ardent property spruikers acknowledged the biggest risk for property growth is unemployment. Hope they've not to busy painting to read the writing on the wall.

      Commenter
      nolongerconfused
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 10:33AM
    • Get that tongue out of your cheek Mark.

      Commenter
      They wouldn't get it
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 11:00AM
    • @Snidery Mark, went to my local Woolies the other day. A queue of 28 people waiting to use the self-service checkout because only 2 human check-out chicks were working. That was at 5:05pm. Turned around and walked out.

      Commenter
      mitch of ACT
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 11:18AM
    • Don't worry Mitch, technology catches up with all of us sooner or later.

      Commenter
      Technocrat
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 4:35PM
  • How many of you caught that drop in the Dax? Get ready for the boom time into Christmas. Yeah baby! Gift!

    Commenter
    Daxman
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 9:50AM
    • But Germany won the World Cup.... I thought that meant the DAX would surely keep rising? :p

      Commenter
      Bull Dozer
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 10:56AM
    • This happens every August. Russia has nothing to do with it.

      Commenter
      Daxman
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 11:32AM
    • Remarked on it 2 days ago
      Piled out anz
      Then

      Commenter
      stu
      Location
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 4:28PM
  • MOY undervalued ?

    Commenter
    No materials, No party
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 9:28AM
  • the bears are back...

    Commenter
    worried33
    Location
    Date and time
    August 08, 2014, 9:23AM
    • indeed the bears are back. ARI on the slide ;) CWN and ARI on the watchlist, staying on the watch list :)

      Commenter
      Happy
      Location
      Trader
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 10:09AM
    • Indeed. Shorted CWN at 16.40. A posted. Will be one of the shorts of the year.

      Commenter
      Allan
      Location
      Prahran
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 10:51AM
    • Daxman says buy around 5400.. hold for 5800. Can't go wrong!

      Commenter
      Daxman
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 10:51AM
    • Hey Al, nice short, I started shorting CWN around $18 myself, happy trading.

      Commenter
      Happy
      Location
      Trader
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 1:22PM
    • "Packer sinks $400m in Vegas bet"

      "Sinks" being the operative word.

      Commenter
      Allan
      Location
      Prahran
      Date and time
      August 08, 2014, 3:52PM
Comments are now closed