Today's News & Views


$A below US75c for first time since 2009

The Australian dollar has weakened 8.8 per cent this year.

Garfield Reynolds 6:56 AM   The Aussie dollar dropped below 75 US cents to a six-year low as the heightened risk of a Greek exit from the euro added to slumping commodity prices in spurring traders to sell the South Pacific nation's assets.

Market chaos expected after Greek 'No' vote

"The market right now hasn't priced in a 'no' vote.": David Joy, the chief market strategist at Ameriprise Financial.

Lu Wang and Inyoung Hwang 6:37 AM   It shouldn't have gotten this far. That's the view of equity managers overseeing more than $US3.7 trillion, who say the game of chicken between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and creditors threatens lasting damage to a European stock rally that earlier in 2015 added as much as $US2.17 trillion to share prices.

Greeks defy Europe with 'No'

Anti-austerity 'No' voters celebrate in front of the Greek parliament in Syntagma Square in Athens.

5:56 AM   ​Greeks voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to reject terms of a bailout, risking financial ruin in a show of defiance that could splinter Europe.

Iron ore price slump puts heat back on juniors

The Fortescue Solomon iron ore mine in Western Australia's Pilbara region.  Analysts expect iron ore to sell for $US52.16 a tonne in 2015.

Tess Ingram 12:59 AM   Australia's iron ore junior producers have worked hard to cut costs in the face of the plummeting price, but will it be enough?

China moves to stem sharemarket plunge

Twenty-eight companies in China agreed to withdraw their initial public offerings - a move indicating concern over China's stock market.

​Philip Wen 10:27 PM   China has frozen new share listings and announced it will set up a fund to stabilise its nose-diving sharemarkets in the latest raft of urgent moves indicating the growing concern over the potential for the country's stock panic to spread and threaten the world's second-largest economy.

Mutual lenders call for return of capital raising power

Mutual lenders say changes made after the financial crisis to what they can count as capital has crimped their growth.

Shaun Drummond 10:21 PM   Credit unions, building societies and mutual banks want regulators to let them raise equity that pays franked dividends and counts as loss-absorbing capital to ensure they stay competitive with listed banks.

How growth can make us worse off

Ross Gittins

Ross Gittins 11:00 PM   Increasing the population while leaving our stock of household, business and public capital unchanged, dilutes that capital. Lower immigration would help reduce a lot of our economic problems.

Listen up, nervous nellies

Greek (centre), German (L-R) and French (top-L) Euro coins. Europe's failure to solve the Greek debt crisis risks lasting damage to the post-war dream of 'ever closer union' at a time when it faces new threats on its borders, analysts said.

Colin Kruger, CBD 12:15 AM   As the Greeks threaten to trigger the biggest financial quake since THE financial crisis, your columnist could not help but think of the recent words of former Treasury Secretary, Ken Henry, on the ABC's Killing Season.

IPO Watch: digital advertiser Netccentric to list on ASX

Netccentric's Cheo Ming Shen ... 'We reached a point where we didn't have enough cash to grow as fast as we wanted.'

Rose Powell 7:46 PM   An online advertising company targeting the booming south-east Asian blog community will list on the Australian Securities Exchange on Monday.

Home loan curbs slow investor borrowing

Tighter lending conditions for investor borrowers might be starting to bite.

Clancy Yeates 12:15 AM   One of the country's biggest mortgage brokers, Mortgage Choice, says the clampdown on lending to landlords has dragged property investors' share of its loan approvals to a 20-month low.

Receivers on the receiving end

Michael West dinkus Dinkus

Michael West 12:00 AM   Flamboyant Indian billionaire Pankaj Oswal is emerging as the unlikely hero for victims of the insolvency profession, thanks to an inquiry in a Perth court into one the biggest and fastest fee grabs in Australian corporate history.

No matter which way the referendum goes, Greece faces more pain

Greek citizens campaign before the country's historic referendum.

Rose Powell 5:51 PM   As the sun set in Australia on Sunday, the Greek people were taking part in a historic referendum that will result in further financial pain for the struggling nation and possibly an exit from the eurozone.

Flinders Mines shareholders voice concerns over Todd option agreement

Flinders Mines shareholders want certainty, says FMS United.

Tess Ingram 12:15 AM   A group of Flinders Mines shareholders is rallying against the option New Zealand's Todd Corporation wants to purchase over the company's flagship iron ore project, ahead of an expected vote on the option agreement in August.

The Week Ahead in markets: Greek referendum, RBA interest rates, dollar to fall

A record number of Chinese investors, more than the population of Germany, flocked to the sharemarket over the past year

Rose Powell 1:47 PM   The week ahead for Australian investors will be influenced mostly by international events rather than domestic issues, with markets preparing for volatility over the Greek referendum, and the RBA unlikely to change rates on Tuesday. 

Monty Python sketch helps explain why Greece is in a huge crisis

A scene from the sketch.

Max Ehrenfreund 8:51 AM   Many top English-speaking economists are either alarmed or aghast over Europe's handling of the crisis in Greece. Several Nobel Prize winners say it has been exacerbated, time and again, by an unnecessarily rigid approach by Germany, Europe's economic powerhouse and decision-maker.

China brokerages pledge to buy $25.7 bln in shares to steady plunging market

Zhou Qunfei, chairman of Lens Technology, saw her wealth shrink by $US4.8 billion in June as Shenzhen-listed Lens Technology tumbled 36 per cent.

Michael Martina   Having already cut interest rates and relaxed margin lending rules, China is now trying to stop the stock rot by buying up billions in shares.

Greece referendum questions: all Greek, even to me

Greeks will have to wade through a confusing 34-page document when deciding whether to vote 'yes' or 'no'.

Anna Patty   Greece's future in the eurozone may depend on it - but the referendum to be put to a vote on Sunday threatens to bamboozle most ordinary Greeks with its ridiculous complexity.

Australians warned of checkout pain as dollar hits six-year low

"Anytime the Aussie dollar drops, the price goes up," says Tarken Ceviker, from HiTek Audio and Video in Northcote.

Patrick Hatch   Australians could feel a pinch at the checkout as the falling dollar drives up the cost of importing goods like electronics, clothes and cars, economists say.

Will economists go to war over this one number?

Gareth Hutchens dinkus Dinkus

Gareth Hutchens   Everyone likes it when economists argue, and this could become a big one.

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$A hits six-year low

The Aussie dollar fell as low as 75.09 cents, a level unseen since May 2009.

Kevin Buckland   Australia's dollar dropped to a six-year low on signs of sluggish consumer spending and after iron ore prices slid the most in two months.

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Greek drama won't end with Sunday vote

Men walk by an anti-EU graffiti in Athens, Greece. The word painted in German over the European Union flag reads, "No".

Arne Delfs and Nikos Chrysoloras   Germany and the rest of the euro region are bracing for more Greek political upheaval followed by tortuous negotiations, even if the country votes for more austerity in Sunday's referendum.

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There's only one bright spot in this year's economic survey

Saul Eslake expects iron ore to sink to $45 a tonne.

Peter Martin   First, the good news. None of the BusinessDay forecasting panel expects a recession this coming year. But Australia's terms of trade are set to dive further and wage growth will be so low it won't match inflation, sending real wages backwards.

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Sydney and Melbourne real estate not off the bubble yet

Positive signs: Real estate is tipped to keep flying.

Gareth Hutchens   The majority of Australia's top private economists do not believe the property market in Sydney or Melbourne is in a bubble.

Referendum can proceed, Greek court rules

"I ask you to say no to ultimatums, blackmail and fear-mongering," Greek PM Alexis Tsipras said in a televised address.

Dan Bileksky   ​The top administrative court of Greece declared Friday that a referendum on a European bailout package is constitutional, allowing a potentially historic vote that could change the shape of Europe.

Contagion risk spurs short weekend for currency traders

Nizam Idris, head of currency and fixed-income strategy at Macquarie in Singapore: "The risk of contagion is pretty low but the market is still very cautious."

Netty Ismail   ​Greece's referendum on Sunday means a short weekend for foreign-exchange analysts and traders, some of whom will rush to their desks even before the official opening for currency trading at 5am Sydney time on Monday.

Greek court clears way for referendum that could shape country’s future

A demonstrator with the word "No" written on the palm of his hand during an anti-austerity rally in Athens.

Griff Witte   Confusion reigns on the final day of a blink-and-you-miss-it campaign that has sown bitter divisions over how to vote, and even what question people are being asked.

Iron ore extends rout, biggest weekly loss since April

Producers' shares sank, with Rio Tinto Group dropping to the lowest since 2009 in London and Anglo American falling to a 12-year low.

Jasmine Ng   Iron ore capped the biggest weekly loss since April as shipments surged and data showed the slowdown in China's steel industry deepened, vindicating banks from Goldman Sachs Group to Citigroup that had forecast declines.

Service all about one's pet likes

Harold Mitchell

Harold Mitchell   People looking after humans could take a lesson or two from Rod the wonder vet.

Keener than most: Iconoclast our most successful forecaster

Economic Survey - dink - dinkus

Peter Martin   What was it Jesus said about a prophet being accepted everywhere but in his home town?


Traditional owners show Adani the door

Michael West dinkus Dinkus

Michael West   Adani's cunning stunt on a vote with traditional owners backfired.

Greek referendum: volatility an 'absolute certainty'

The only guaranteed outcome of the Greek referendum is volatility, economist says,

Rose Powell   Global markets may have recovered from an onslaught of Greece-sparked volatility this week, but Sunday's referendum will plunge investors back into uncertainty.

Adani hires political operatives to make its case

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani.

Lisa Cox   The Indian mining company behind Australia's largest new coal development has hired influential figures from both sides of politics to convince governments of the benefits of its mine in Queensland.

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Chinese stock market crash far worse than Grexit

In this photo taken Tuesday, June 30, 2015, a stock investor watches the screen at a brokerage house in Fuyang in central China's Anhui province. Chinese authorities are scrambling to reassure jittery investors after soaring stock markets plunged, threatening to set back economic reform plans. The market benchmark soared 150 percent from the start of the boom late last year in one of the world?s fastest runups. It hit a peak June 12 and then reversed course and plunged 28 percent. It rebounded temporarily Tuesday, June 30,  before losing 5.2 percent on Wednesday, July 1.  (Chinatopix Via AP) CHINA OUT

Gareth Hutchens   Australia should be far more worried about a Chinese stock market crash than Greece exiting the eurozone, but we would remain relatively unscathed from both events, economists say.

Employers scanning their workers' minds

The growing use of SmartCap comes as 'wearable technology' becomes increasingly popular in the retail space, with items like Fitbit allowing users to measure their heart rate, movement and sleep quality.

Peter Ker   Data from caps worn by workers is used to alert them when they are likely to fall asleep.

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World less scary when you look behind the news

Ross Gittins

Ross Gittins   The question is whether we're capable of absorbing all the bad news delivered to us without unconsciously deciding the world is much worse than it actually is.

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$A trading at fair value, economists say

Analysts expect the dollar to range between US68c and US80c by the end of the year.

Mark Mulligan   The Australian dollar is unlikely to drop much between now and the end of the year, according to a survey of 25 market, academic, independent and industry economists, most of whom say the local unit is close to fair value now.

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Rod Duke steps down from Pumpkin Patch board

fun in pumpkin patch, North Dakota. Image suppied by North Dakota Tourism.

Carrie LaFrenz   Kiwi retailer Rod Duke will step down from the board of ailing children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch to focus on Briscoe Group and its proposed takeover of outdoor and adventurewear chain Kathmandu.

$A on brink of six-year low

The Australian dollar dropped to US75.67¢ on Friday afternoon.

Stephen Cauchi   The Australian dollar is flirting with six-year lows, after May retail sales data released Friday came in worse than expected.

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Dollar tumbles as car sales, retail figures offer mixed messages

Vehicle sales were up 3.3 per cent year-on-year, new figures show.

Matthew Knott, Stephen Cauchi, Sam Hall   The Australian dollar flirted with six-year lows on Friday as booming car sales and worse-than-expected retail figures offered a mixed message for the strength of the Australian economy. 

ASX posts weekly slide on Greek woes

shares in the red

Rose Powell   The Australian sharemarket ended the week as it began - with a broad-based sell-off that was sparked by worries around an escalation in the Greek debt crisis ahead of a key referendum.

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