Rate cut on the agenda, inflation to be the deciding factor

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The Reserve Bank Board has left official rates at 4.25 per cent. Last year the Reserve Bank cut rates at both the November and December meetings, each by 25 basis points. The next meeting is on May 1 2012. The Reserve Bank left the door open for a further rate cut. Policy makers acknowledged that […]

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A solid start to 2012

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The bad news on Europe has dried up, the US economy has continued to recover and investors believe the soft patch for Asia will be only temporary. As a result, global sharemarkets rose in the March quarter. While Australia under-performed, investors in small or medium-sized stocks wouldn’t have been disappointed. CommSec is sticking with its […]

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Weekly economic & market update

Detailed below is the weekly economic and market report which reviews the key developments of the past week for investment markets and the outlook. Euro-zone finance ministers look likely to agree to increase Europe’s debt firewall to around €940bn by combining the €500bn in the European Stability Mechanism that will commence from mid year with the […]

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Prudent Australia braces for challenges

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The Reserve Bank has highlighted the conservative financial behaviour of households in recent years. The Bank concludes that “Few households appear to be vulnerable to falling into mortgage arrears.” The RBA also warned of the challenges posed by the multi-speed economy, noting that the corporate insolvency rate “may be closer to its 2009 peak” with […]

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Europe’s future depends on weakness

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It is now just over two years since then governor of the European Central Bank Governor Jean-Claude Trichet first announced an end to the ECB’s quantitative easing policy and “a removal of the life support measures”.  Apparently, the ECB felt that the Euro patient was by then well enough to cope without the ECB but, […]

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No stress, no debt Aussies

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In mid-March the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the results of the 2010 social survey for States and Territories. The results of the survey for Australia as a whole were released in September 2011. The release of the survey results is an opportune time to revisit the financial shape of Australians. While the social survey […]

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Weekly economic and market update

The past week saw investor caution return on the back of soft economic data & renewed worries about China and Europe. This saw shares, commodity prices and the $A fall and sovereign bonds in major countries rally.  Chinese related news added to nervousness about a hard landing there, with the HSBC flash manufacturing conditions index […]

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Beware the black holes in the world’s financial system

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Investors need to be cautious of possible black holes in the world’s financial system, van Eyk’s  Head of Research John O’Brien told the van Eyk annual conference in Sydney on Wednesday.  “Like the universe, there are at least three black holes in the world’s financial system whose nature and impact is not fully understood and […]

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RBA: Cautiously optimistic as downside risks diminish

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The RBA Board minutes note a modest improvement in global economic conditions, which gave the RBA reason to feel cautiously optimistic about the current economic landscape Reserve Bank Board members conceded that while “major downside risks were seen to remain, (but) the probability of a very bad outcome in the near future had receded a little […]

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Upbeat RBA Governor bemused by gloomy Aussies

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The Reserve Bank Governor delivered a speech in Hong Kong titled “Economic Conditions and Prospects”. The speech was largely a sell of the Australian economy whilst highlighting the challenges that are likely to be faced over the medium term. Interestingly the Governor highlighted the difference in opinion of foreigners versus locals on the Australian economy. […]

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