Weaker Aussie drives petrol to three month highs

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Petrol price According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum the national average retail pump price rose 0.5 cents a litre last week to 124.3 cents a litre – a three month high. The recent Aussie dollar weakness has seen the Singapore unleaded price near four month highs, while the wholesale (terminal gate) price has hit […]

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Comparing Aussie companies: facts & fiction

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Company financial statistics In recent weeks investors have no doubt found it difficult to sort fact from fiction in the public discussion about company balance sheets. Some commentators have questioned whether banks are generating above-normal profits. Others have questioned whether some companies such as BHP Billiton are making profitable use of capital or whether a […]

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Weekly market & economic update – November 19 2010

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Headline developments of the past week Worries about Europe’s debt problems and tightening in China were again key issues for investors over the last week, and had the effect of initially pushing share markets down ahead of a reversal later on as some of the fears receded. Europe seems to be moving pretty quickly this […]

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Cyclical recovery in shares remains on track, albeit bumpy

Key points Share markets and related trades such as commodity prices and commodity currencies have fallen over the last two weeks, partly triggered by worries about the impact of Chinese tightening and the re-emergence of sovereign debt problems in Europe. However, this is likely to be a correction in an ongoing cyclical recovery in shares: […]

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Investor Signposts: Week Beginning November 21 2010

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The big picture In the US, investors have been cheering the election result. That may seem odd, given the fact that it appears a recipe for doing nothing – a Republican-controlled House of Representatives, Democrat-controlled Senate and a Democrat in the White House. One study found that returns for the Dow Jones almost doubled in […]

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Resource states shift into fourth gear

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Average weekly earnings; ABARE Mineral & energy major projects Average weekly earnings rose by 0.4 per cent in the three months to August with private sector earnings up just 0.2 per cent and public sector wages up 1.5 per cent. Wages rose by 4.5 per cent over the year. Over the year male wages rose […]

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Healthy wage growth to boost consumer activity

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Labour Price Index Wages lift driven by the minimum wage increase. Wages rose by 1.1 per cent in the September quarter. In annual terms wages are up 3.5 per cent on a year ago. Public sector wages continued to outstrip wage gains in the private sector. Compared with a year earlier, private wages were up […]

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RBA highlights pressure on bank funding

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RBA Board minutes At the last Reserve Bank board meeting members took some time to consider bank funding costs. Members explicitly stated that there was a possibility that banks would increase interest rates on loans by more than the cash rate due to funding cost pressures. “Members noted that lending rates might increase by more […]

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China boom or bust or neither?

Key points Further tightening in China is likely to ensure that inflation expectations remain under control and to mop up capital inflows flowing from US quantitative easing and Chinese resistance to a stronger Renminbi. However, with activity indicators having calmed down after last year’s growth rebound and non-food inflation under control, further tightening should be […]

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Credit card balances edge higher

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Credit/debit cards Credit card balances rose in September. The average credit card balance stood at a $3,261.60 in September, up $7.90 on August. The average credit card balance is up just 3.7 per cent on a year earlier – the slowest annual growth in seven months. The number of credit card cash advances in September […]

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