1. US stocks on knife’s edge
US stocks are on a knife’s edge with critical economic data out over the next two days.
And if the news from the inflation reading out tomorrow and the jobs report out the day after all say US inflation is falling, then stocks in the US and then here will zoom higher. However, if the data suggests inflation is still too high, stocks could slump on the belief more big interest rate rises lie ahead, which could drive the US into recession.
2. Two Labor Premiers against Albo
The Labor Albanese government now has two Premiers opposing its gas price control policy and they’re both Labor Premiers.
Yesterday we learnt that Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Pałaszczuk was opposed to the idea of hurting the profitability of the gas miners in her state. And now the new Labor Premier in South Australia Peter Malinauskas is arguing that a cap on gas prices would stop companies investing in gas and that his state should not have to put its gas into a reserve to help NSW and Victoria. The AFR says the “Korean steel-making giant Posco warned it could switch away from new investments in Australia if it continued to face unwarranted government intervention, such as a price cap on gas supplies.”
Believe it or not, after reports that house prices could fall 30%, comes the news that the worst of the house price falls might be behind us!
3. Have house prices stopped falling?
The AFR tells us that “House prices dropped by 1 per cent nationwide in November, the smallest monthly fall in five months, in an early sign that the housing market may have already moved through the worst of the downturn.” Data from CoreLogic showed price decline has slowed in Sydney and Melbourne to 1.3% and 0.8% respectively. This is good news for home sellers but the real test comes next year when many mortgagees move from 2-3% fixed rate home loans to 5% variable home loans. That could create desperate sellers willing to take lower prices.
4. Bank has money worries
The Australian reports that “National Australia Bank’s attempt to push through a new wage deal, including pay rises of up to 5 per cent, has been voted down by staff. More than half voted against the pay deal amid union opposition. NAB had put its new wage deal to a vote in the face of opposition from the Finance Sector Union. The union opposed the pay plan, which would have given staff earning below $100,000 a 5% increase in the first year and a 4.5% rise in the second year. With inflation now above 7%, a 5% pay rise looks rejectable to some.
5. BHP doesn’t like Labor’s IR Bill
The big miner, whose iron ore has delivered Federal Governments billions of dollars of tax revenue, is unhappy with the Albanese Government’s new IR bill that will deliver across the board wage rises to similar businesses in various industries. “The mining giant, which employs 50,000 workers across the nation, directly told the Prime Minister and Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke that the bill would increase costs, reduce Australia’s global competitiveness and work against productivity improvements,” The Australian reported.