Earnings season: Headwinds aplenty

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Corporate profit season The profit-reporting season has largely concluded, although there are a small number of ASX 200 companies to report. CommSec has assessed the results of the 120 companies that reported half year (HY) results (results for the six months to December) and 32 companies that reported for the full year (FY) to December. […]

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RBA: Start of an extended rate pause?

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Reserve Bank Board meeting The Reserve Bank Board has left the cash rate at 4.75 per cent at its second meeting for 2011. The next meeting is on April 5 2011. The Reserve Bank Board provided a relatively short accompanying statement. The statement suggested that the Reserve Bank remains comfortable with how labour market conditions […]

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Smaller retailers hit by consumer strike

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Retail trade; Performance of Manufacturing; BOP Retail spending grew by 0.4 per cent in January – in line with the Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator which was released two weeks ago. Over the past year retail trade lifted by just 1.8 per cent. Non-food retailing fell by 1.0 per cent in the month with annualised […]

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Petrol set to surge but inflation still contained

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Weekly Petrol; Latest economic data According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average Australian price of unleaded petrol rose by 1.2 cents per litre to 136.3 cents a litre in the week to February 27 – a fresh 28 month high. Motorists are likely to see a further increase in petrol prices. While […]

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Businesses bank on second half recovery

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Private New Capital Expenditure; Average weekly earnings New business investment rose by a less than expected 1.3 per cent in the December quarter. Manufacturing dominated investment plans with investment in the sector up by 7.0 per cent as opposed to mining investment which fell by 4.8 per cent in the December quarter. Businesses expect to […]

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Investor Signposts: Week Beginning February 27 2011

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The big picture The role of a business economist is to educate, inform and occasionally entertain. But most people merely want business economists to explain what key issues mean in practical terms. And the one concept that most people want to understand is the terms of trade. Simply, the terms of trade relates the prices […]

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Building slumps; but renovations in vogue

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Construction work done Construction work done rose by 0.8 per cent in the December quarter, due solely to higher engineering activity. Residential building fell by 1.1 per cent in the quarter. CommSec estimates the drop in residential building will detract 0.1 percentage points from December quarter GDP growth. There is still the risk that the […]

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Goldilocks wages; RBA Governor caution

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Labour Price Index; RBA Governor speech Wages rose by 1.0 per cent in the December quarter, slightly above market expectations. In annual terms wages are up 3.9 per cent on a year ago – exactly in line with the average growth over the past five years. Private sector wages rose 1.0 per cent in the […]

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Motorists need to watch Middle East jitters

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Weekly Petrol Price Petrol prices continue to tracking sideways. According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average Australian price of unleaded petrol rose by 0.3 cents a litre to 135.1 cents a litre in the week to February 20. The wholesale (terminal gate price) stands at a 28-month high of 127.1 cents a […]

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Profit season: Mixed, but earnings still growing

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Corporate profit season The general sense is that the profit-reporting season has so far proved very mixed. And the numbers back it up. Figures produced from Bloomberg show that there have been 19 positive EPS (earnings per share) surprises from the 61 ASX 200 companies that have reported so far with 25 negative surprises. CommSec […]

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