Friday, October 31, 2014

Australian Equities Market

THIS MORNING

In Australia, producer prices (September quarter) and private sector credit are released. ANZ releases full year profit figures, Macquarie releases half-year profit and Origin releases quarterly production. In the US, no economic data is expected.

OVERNIGHT MARKETS

US Equities

US sharemarkets rallied on Thursday, boosted by upbeat earnings and a stronger-than-expected GDP read. The Dow's largest component, Visa, jumped 11 per cent after topping earnings estimates and saying the mobile payment industry would be a great driver for business. MasterCard also reported strong results, with its shares up 9 per cent. According to Thomson Reuters, 75.5 per cent of the S&P 500 companies that have reported results have exceeded profit expectations - above the longer-term average of 63 per cent. At the close, the Dow Jones was higher by 221 points or 1.3 per cent with the S&P 500 index higher by 0.6 per cent while the Nasdaq rose by almost 17 points or 0.4 per cent.

US treasuries rose on Thursday (yields lower) as worries about deflation in the euro zone prompted investors to seek safety in government debt. US two-year yields were down by 2 points to 0.477 per cent while US 10-year yields fell 1 point to 2.309 per cent.

The US dollar drifted lower against major currencies on Thursday. The Euro rose from lows near $US1.2555 to highs near $US1.2630 and held near $US1.2610 at the close of US trade. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US87.55c to highs near US88.40c ending US trade near US88.25c. And the Japanese yen held between 108.80 yen per US dollar and ¥109.40, closing US trade around ¥109.25.

World oil prices fell on Thursday, as traders bet that OPEC will not cut output significantly at their meeting next month. On Wednesday OPEC's secretary general Badri said OPEC was unlikely to shift production for 2015. Brent crude fell by US88c or 1 per cent to $US86.24 a barrel while the US Nymex crude price fell by $US1.08 or 1.3 per cent to $US81.12 a barrel.

Base metal prices were mixed on the London Metal Exchange on Thursday. Nickel managed to eke out a 0.7 per cent gain. While lead fell 1.7 per cent and copper lost 1.2 per cent. Gold fell sharply on Thursday, continuing to react to the more upbeat view from the US Fed. The Comex gold futures quote lost $US26.30 an ounce to $US1,198.60. Iron ore was up by US40c on Thursday or 0.5 per cent to $US79 a tonne.

YESTERDAY'S MARKET

Local Markets Update.

This news story is reprinted from www.businessspectator.com.au

Read more details on Australian Stock Market

Producer Prices Lift In Sept Qtr

Producer prices rose in the September quarter, according to official data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Australia's producer price index at the final stage of production lifted 0.2 per cent in the September quarter.

The data follows a fall of 0.1 per cent in the three months to June.

Final PPI is now 1.2 per cent higher than at the same time last year.

The increase follows a lift of 2.3 per cent in the PPI in the year to June 30.

This news story is reprinted from www.businessspectator.com.au

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Spain’s New ‘Google Tax’ Could Be Bad For Everyone

The Spanish government has just approved a law that will force news aggregation services, such as Google News, to pay news sites for each link they include with their content. You read that right: On top of sending sites heaps of traffic, Google (other aggregators like Yahoo News, and maybe even Facebook or Twitter) will be forced to pay for each link they publish.

Essentially, Spain has just become the first country in the world to charge for linking online.

This tax, called “canon AEDE” or “Google tax” (which affects way more than just Google) is just one part of the new Copyright Law approved today in Spain, called Ley de Propiedad Intelectual (LPI). It will be effective starting January 1, 2015. And, of course, there’s an outcry. “[It's] a law that serves no citizen, but the interest of a few politicians and companies. It is a clear example of the corruption of the system,” explains lawyer Carlos Sánchez Almeida to Gizmodo en Español.

This “Google tax” is thanks to the lobbying of AEDE, the Spanish association of some of the top media companies in the country, mostly traditional newspapers faced with the challenge of reinventing themselves in an online world. They blame Google and services like Google News for “stealing” their work without payment, and in 2013 they started pressuring the Spanish government to make Google and other aggregators pay for the privilege of linking.

Attempts like this are nothing new. Media firms in various countries have tried the same strategy, with no results so far. The most recent case is Germany, where newspapers made the same demands. The search giant responded by unlisting them from Google News. A few weeks later, some of those same newsapers have agreed to be listed back in Google News because, you know, traffic.

Google News could close its doors in Spain. They could also go the German way, unlisting all the media firms from the AEDE association in Google News. However, given how many outlets are in the AEDE association, it could leave Google News so close to empty that it might as well just shut down.

Worst part? The “Google tax” is not the only embarrassing point of the newly approved Copyright Law in Spain. Beginning January 1 of next year, the government also gets the power to shut down any website containing links to copyrighted material, even if those websites don’t profit from them via ads or other revenue streams. All without previous approval from a judge, of course. And, if these websites don’t agree to take down those links, they face fines of up to $760,000 before final closure.

The new IP law not only applies to the “infringing” sites themselves, but also to third-party companies providing them with hosting or payment systems. “It´s pure censorship, Chinese style. The same strategy governments used to kill Wikileaks,” says Sánchez Almeida. “nstead of figuring out a way to pay authors with new business models, they prosecute, fine, and close. The fact that even websites with no ads in it could be closed down, shows this is just an attempt from the Spanish Government to control what we share online and how we share it.”

Hopefully the sudden lack of Google traffic will convince the AEDE association that maybe it was wrong all along, and it won’t be to late to walk back some of this legislation. But, if not, the precedent will only make it more likely that similar laws could pass elsewhere, and make the internet worse for everyone. Welcome to the internet, Spanish style.

This news story is reprinted from www.gizmodo.com.au

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Australian Equities Market

THIS MORNING

In Australia, data on export and import prices is released with new home sales. NAB releases profit figures and Wesfarmers releases quarterly sales. In the US, data on economic growth (GDP) is released with weekly claims for unemployment insurance.

OVERNIGHT MARKETS

US Equities

US sharemarkets gyrated after the Federal Reserve decision with the Dow Jones index swinging through an 85 point range in a 30 minute period. After being down 110 points, at the close the Dow Jones was lower by 31 points or 0.2 per cent with the S&P 500 index down by 0.1 per cent while the Nasdaq fell by 15 points or 0.3 per cent.

US treasuries fell on Wednesday (yields higher) after the Federal Reserve was more upbeat in commentary accompanying the interest rate decision. US two-year yields were up by 8 points to 0.489 per cent while US 10-year yields were up by 3 points to 2.323 per cent.

The US dollar soared against major currencies after the Federal Reserve decision. The Euro rose from lows near $US1.2720 to highs near $US1.2765 but plunged to $US1.2630 after the Fed decision. The Aussie dollar rose from lows near US88.60c to highs near US89.10c before slumping to US87.75c after the Fed decision. And the Japanese yen had held between ¥107.92 per US dollar and ¥108.16 ahead of the Fed decision but weakened to ¥108.92. At the US close, the Euro was near $US1.2635, Aussie was near US87.75c and Japanese yen was ¥108.88.

World oil prices rose on Wednesday after data showed that US weekly crude oil stockpiles rose by less than expected in the past week. Brent crude rose by $US1.09 or 1.3 per cent to $US87.12 a barrel while the US Nymex crude price rose by US78c or 1.0 per cent to $US82.20 a barrel.

Base metal prices were higher by between 0.3-2.1 per cent on the London Metal Exchange on Wednesday ahead of the Federal Reserve decision. Gold fell on Wednesday ahead of the Fed decision with the Comex gold futures quote down by $US4.50 an ounce to $US1,224.90. After the decision, spot gold fell to $US1,212 an ounce. Iron ore was down by US20c on Wednesday or 0.3 per cent to $US78.60 a tonne.

YESTERDAY'S MARKET

Local Markets Update.

This news story is reprinted from www.businessspectator.com.au

Read more details on Australian Stock Market

Export Prices Slip In September Quarter

Both export and import prices slipped in the September quarter, with the latter falling 4 times faster than analysts had expected, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In the September quarter, export prices fell by 3.9 per cent, less than the consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg who had tipped a 4.7 per cent fall.

Compared to the September 2013 quarter, export prices are now 9.5 per cent lower.

Import prices fell by 0.8 per cent in the quarter, bucking analysts' expectations of a 0.2 per cent increase.

Compared to the September 2013 quarter, import prices are 1.1 per cent lower.

This news story is reprinted from www.businessspectator.com.au

Read more details on Brisbane Accountants