Weekly market & economic update 24 December 2010

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Headline developments of the past week The past week was pretty light on in terms of major news. However, while European debt worries continued amid talk of more ratings downgrades, demand for riskier assets was in part given a boost by speculation that China is investing in European debt after Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan

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Weekly market & economic update – 10 December 2010

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Headline developments of the past week Another round of strong Chinese economic activity indicators, excessive loan growth and a further rise in inflation to 5.1% in November on the back of a sharp rise in food prices have kept Chinese authorities in tightening mode with the People’s Bank of China raising bank required reserve ratios

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Spending slumps; Trade surplus with China soars

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Retail trade, International trade Retail spending slumped by 1.1 per cent in October, below forecasts centred on a rise of 0.4 per cent. Nonfood retailing fell by a much larger 2.2 per cent – the biggest slide in 20 months. Over the first ten months of 2010 overall retail spending has risen by just 1.5

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Record economic expansion moves into 20th year

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National accounts The current economic expansion began in the September quarter of 1991. The 19th year of the expansion was completed in the June quarter 2010 and the 20th year of growth has begun with the Australian economy expanding by 0.2 per cent in the September quarter. While growth was only modest in the latest

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Profits and sales slide as businesses temper activity

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Business indicators; New Home Sales; Petrol price Company profits fell by 1.5 per cent in the December quarter, led by the construction sector. Excluding mining, profits fell by a much larger 3.3 per cent in the quarter. Profits rose in just five of the 15 industry sectors. Sales also fell. Sales fell in ten of

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Consumers remain super-cautious on spending

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Retail trade, International trade Retail spending grew by just 0.3 per cent in September, below expectations centred on a rise of 0.4 per cent. Non-food retailing rose by 0.4 per cent – the slowest growth in four months. In the September quarter, inflation-adjusted retail trade rose by 0.7 per cent (below forecasts for 1.1 per

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Consumer bonanza

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Import & export prices Prices of export goods rose by a record 7.8 per cent in the September quarter, courtesy of higher coal and iron ore prices. Export prices are 27.7 per cent higher than a year ago Prices of imported goods rose by 0.7 per cent in the September quarter, but driven largely by

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Top Five Questions Investors Ask

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The GFC and subsequent volatility has increased the number of market presentations my team and I have been asked to do for the clients of financial planners. I thought you’d find it useful if I shared with you the Top Five Most Asked Questions from these presentations. Is the World about to collapse due to

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Parity! Aussie dollar hits 28-year high

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Economic trends The Aussie dollar hit parity with the US dollar – one Australian dollar equalling one US dollar – overnight. The Aussie hit US$1.0002 very briefly at 11.17pm Sydney time before quickly retreating. The Aussie dollar is ending the US session near US98.80c. The last time that the Aussie was at parity with the

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Healthy trade; petrol prices to creep higher

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International trade; Job advertisements; Petrol price The trade surplus widened in August. The trade surplus rose by $603 million to $2,346 million. Exports fell by 2.4 per cent while imports fell by 5.1 per cent. Petrol prices are set to rise – but modestly. Terminal gate or wholesale petrol prices hit fresh 11-month lows last

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