11 Sep 2015
- Markets were mixed this week on uncertainty ahead of the US central bank’s meeting next week where a decision on a potential rate rise will be made.<
- The Australian market finished higher assisted by the financials sector.<
- European markets pushed higher, supported by comments from the European Central Bank which indicated they were ready and able to extend their stimulus program if needed.<
- The Japanese stock market had a huge 7% one day gain (biggest in seven years) on limited news. The Prime Minister announced he would lower the corporate tax rate, but this shouldn’t have been enough for the gain.<
- In local stock news, ANZ and CBA announced the completion of their equity raisings. ANZ raised $720m at a price of $26.50 whilst CBA only received a 50% take up of their offer from retail clients.<
- Woodside lobbed an opportunistic takeover offer for Oil Search. The offer was at a small premium to the last traded share price and at a time when oil prices are depressed. Oil Search is not exactly complementary to Woodside’s operations, and they will need to convince the PNG government to give up their 10% stake.<
- Fortescue announced that they have received offers for some of their assets. Bargain hunters are getting interested given depressed iron ore prices. Fortescue has rebuffed the interest.<
- Australian job advertisements on the internet and in newspapers rose 1% in August bouncing back from the fall in July. Job ads are up over 12 months, but the rate of growth has been slowing since late last year.<
- Australia’s unemployment rate has eased from its 13 year high, falling slightly in August to 6.2%. The number of jobs added to the economy came in above expectations, whilst less people were unemployed.<
- A key Australian business survey showed that business conditions had increased whilst business confidence had fallen.<
- The European Central Bank have made their quantitative easing (stimulus) program more flexible by increasing the eligibility of assets now available to be purchased under the program, and also the potential increase in the size and duration of the program.<
- The US economy added 173,000 jobs in August, below expectations of 220,000. June and July data was revised upwards. The unemployment rate fell to 5.1%, while wages and hours worked ticked up. A September rate rise is now in play.<
- A new wave of Chinese government stimulus is expected following poor import and export data. Imports fell 13.8% whilst exports were off a larger than expected 5.5%. <
- A GST increase to 15% would allow the federal government to give $15 billion in tax cuts and provide extra health funds to the states, tax experts say. The five percentage point interest in the GST would raise an extra $30bn a year.
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