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August 2, 2016

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yahoo news: A cut in the official cash rate failed to lift the Australian sharemarket into the black as the four week yield-hunting rally ran out of steam.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.5 per cent before the Reserve Bank cut rates 25 basis points to 1.5 per cent, but after a brief bounce, it sold off to close down 46.9 points, or 0.84 per cent, at 5540.5.

Sentiment soured as the Australian dollar reversed a US0.4¢ drop and Commonwealth Bank announced it would only be passing on 12 points to mortgage holders.

Indicating the net-interest margin squeeze, Commonwealth Bank raised fixed-term deposit rates longer than a year by more than 0.5 per cent.

Reserve governor Glenn Stevens said very subdued growth in labour costs domestically and very low cost pressures globally meant inflation was expected to remain quite low for some time.

The dollar was down US0.5¢ at US75.40¢ before the decision, but after slipping below US75¢, it bounced to US75.50¢.

Government 10-year yields touched a record low of 1.812 per cent before edging back to per cent.

The case for cutting rates was bolstered by 2.9 per cent drop in building approvals last month and a jump in the trade deficit to $3.2 billion from an upwardly revised $2.4 billion.

Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said another cut this year was unlikely, but “for us the real issue will be the environment in 2017 when the housing cycle will be in reverse”.

The market was on the back foot early after the US S&P 500 index touched a record intra-day high but failed to find follow through buying, and European markets fell as investors remained unconvinced by stress tests that showed embattled Italian bank had passed.

The Shanghai composite index was down 0.1 per cent at the close of the ASX.

Spot iron ore rebounded 4.5 per cent to $US72.27 a tonne and Dalian iron ore futures were up 0.3 per cent today.

IG market strategist Evan Lucas said the initial reaction of the market to the RBA’s cut to the cash rate was positive, but that changed with a shift in direction from the financial sector.

“The financials were slightly up before the numbers (the RBA decision) and then have moved to the negative side,” Mr Lucas said.

“It’s what happened from CBA (Commonwealth Bank) – not necessarily the rate cut.”

Mr Lucas said CBA was the first bank to announce changes to interest rates after the RBA announcement. CBA did not pass on the rate cut in full to borrowers, and also raised its deposit rates.

“Are we at point in competition where the banks have to fight for deposits as well as lending Net interest margins are now getting squeezed,” Mr Lucas said.

Among the major banks, Commonwealth Bank was down 39 cents at $77.59, National Australia Bank fell 11 cents to $26.59, Westpac eased 27 cents to $30.83, and ANZ slipped five cents to $25.73.

Mr Lucas said the other negative factor weighing on the local bourse today was lower oil prices, which hit energy stocks.

Woodside Petroleum slumped 60 cents to $26.44, and Santos dumped 26 cents at $4.23.

Global miner and oil producer BHP Billiton was off 43 cents at $19.24.

Among other stocks, Seven West Media plunged 19 cents, or 18.36 per cent, to 84.5 cents after the owner of TV network Seven and newspaper The West Australian warned that earnings would be 15 to 20 per cent lower in the coming year.

The broader All Ordinaries index was down 48 points, or 0.85 per cent, at 5622.1 points.

The September share price index futures contract was down 48 points at 5498 points, with 32,477 contracts traded.

National turnover was 2.7 billion securities traded, worth $6.1 billion.

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Home loan customers of Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank and ANZ Bank will receive only part of Tuesday’s cut in official interest rates, with the lenders blaming higher costs and tougher regulation.

Within minutes of the RBA’s announcement it would cut the cash rate to a record low 1.5 per cent, CBA said it would reduce standard variable interest rates for mortgages by 0.13 percentage points.

RBA cuts rates to new low

The Reserve Bank has cut rates to a new historic low of 1.5 per cent. Fairfax’s Peter Martin explains why.

This is roughly half the 0.25 percentage point cut to the official cash rate, and would take the standard variable rate for owner-occupiers to 5.22 per cent from August 19, CBA said.

NAB is cutting mortgage rates by even less. It said it would reduce home loan interest rates by 0.10 percentage points, taking its standard variable rate to 5.25 per cent.

ANZ Bank will cut home loan interest rates by 0.12 percentage points, taking its index rate for owner-occupiers to 5.25 per cent, equalling NAB.

Westpac will cut rates by 0.14 percentage points for customers with principal and interest home loans, and 0.10 percentage points for customers with interest-only loans.

In contrast, three of the four major banks passed on the RBA’s previous cut, in May, in full. However, that occurred against the backdrop of an election campaign that included Labor’s promise for a royal commission into banks, and in recent months banks say they are being forced to pay more for deposits.

CBA’s head of retail banking, Mat Comyn, said it had passed on only some of the RBA’s interest rate reduction because the banks were facing increased funding costs and rules requiring banks to be better capitalised.

“Given increased funding costs and capital requirements, today’s announced changes seek to balance the needs of both customers and shareholders,” Mr Comyn said.

NAB’s chief operating officer, Antony Cahill, also pointed to higher funding costs and shareholder returns.

“We have had to strike the right balance between providing customers with competitive mortgage rates and continuing to generate attractive returns for our 584,000 shareholders, while recognising that NAB’s funding costs have been steadily increasing due to a range of factors, including the need to strengthen our balance sheet,” Mr Cahill said in a statement.

Westpac’s chief of consumer banking, George Frazis, said it had changed its pricing, with interest-only customers getting a cut, to encourage people to pay down debt more quickly.

But in a small win for long-suffering savers, the banks are raising some term-deposit rates.

CBA’s one-year term deposit will increase by 0.55 percentage points to 3 per cent, while two-year deposits will lift to 3.1 per cent, and three-year term deposits will rise to 3.2 per cent.

“While the circumstances of each RBA rate decision will always vary, we’ve carefully considered the current environment and the needs of both borrowers and savers,” Mr Comyn said.

NAB will increase rates on eight-month term deposits by 0.85 percentage points, to 2.9 per cent.

ANZ is increasing rates for a one-year term deposit product by 0.6 percentage points to 3 per cent, and its two-year term deposit by 0.75 percentage points, to 3.2 per cent.

CBA and other banks made a similar move with their term deposit rates in May last year, when they also withheld part of the RBA’s cut, but within a few months it had reversed the decision to raise term deposit rates.
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the age: The banks’ multibillion-dollar capital raisings last year will not be enough to protect the lenders from a potential cut in their credit ratings, if the government top-notch rating is downgraded.After changing the banks’ credit outlook to “negative” this week, Standard & Poor’s on Friday said Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, and National Australia Bank could offset such a cut if they had $7 billion to $8 billion extra in capital each.

However, it views such a scenario as “unlikely” over the short term, despite longer-term pressure on lenders to build up their capital buffers.

The big four are among a small pool of global banks with AA- credit ratings, but the lenders are now staring down the barrel of a potential downgrade, after S&P this week put a negative outlook on the banks’ and the government’s rating.

On Friday, S&P confirmed that if the federal government’s AAA rating were reduced, the banks’ AA- rating would also be cut by one notch, to A+. That’s because the agency assumes the government would support the banks in a crisis.

In the event of such a downgrade, S&P analyst Sharad Jain said Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, and National Australia Bank could reclaim their rating through jumbo capital raisings of $7 billion to $8 billion each, but that was unlikely in the short term.

“There is a significant gap between where the capital needs to be for these three banks which would allow them to offset any impact of a sovereign downgrade,” he said.

“The quantum of capital raised required for these banks would be somewhere in the order of $7 [billion] to $8 billion for each bank. We think that’s unlikely in the current scenario simply because the banks already are well capitalised.”

ANZ’s capital position was weaker than its rivals, he said.

The potential for bank capital raisings is being debated by investors once again, after the financial regulator this week said it was “likely” bank capital requirements would rise further, and banks should plan for this outcome.

After the big four raised about $18 billion in new equity capital in 2015 in response to tougher regulation, Morgan Stanley analyst Richard Wiles this week predicted they may need at least another $17.5 billion by the end of next year.

S&P played down the impact of its rating cut on the banking industry’s profits, saying they had a “strong” earnings profile.

Deutsche Bank’s Andrew Triggs said in a note that a potential rating downgrade is a “downside risk” for the lenders, estimating a cut in the rating would add about $700 million to the combined wholesale funding costs of the big four.

That cost would be spread over several years, as debt was refinanced, and banks might also try to pass it on to customers.

“While we don’t think the majors will come up against capacity constraints in wholesale markets, they are likely to face more competition from other issuers in the more crowded ‘A’ rating band than in the ‘AA’ rating band,” Mr Triggs said.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/sp-says-banks-unlikely-to-avoid-credit-rating-cut-with-more-capital-20160708-gq1ig7.html#ixzz4Do15b5UM
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While many UK holidaymakers travelling abroad will pay more for foreign currency as a result of the Brexit referendum, foreign tourists can enjoy cheaper holidays in Britain – at least in the short term.The pound plunged to its lowest level since 1985 following the EU referendum on Thursday, with the sterling down against every single major currency group.

 

This could make the UK a more affordable destination for overseas tourists.

The Australian dollar, meanwhile, plummeted against the US dollar and soared against the pound after Thursday’s result.

Commonwealth Bank chief currency strategist Richard Grace warned the Aussie could keep falling until month-end because of the large falls set to occur on the world’s major share markets, as a lot of local asset managers are over-hedged on their offshore asset exposure.

 

If the UK is separated from the EU, an extra visa may be required for Australians, who will be forced to get one stamp for Britain, and an additional one if they wish to travel onto Europe – or vice versa.

But the victory for the Leave campaign is unlikely to have any immediate ramifications for UK tourists passing through immigration controls abroad, or for inbound tourism.

A spokesman for Heathrow Airport said: “Anyone travelling through the airport will find it operating normally with no changes to security and immigration.”

 

Bill Gibbons, director of industry body Discover Ferries, which represents 12 ferry companies, insisted that the vote will not have an impact on summer travel plans.

“Ferries will continue to travel as normal and there will be no changes to routes or schedules,” he added. “It will be business as usual.”

Joel Brandon-Bravo, UK managing director of travel deals company Travelzoo, warned that the referendum result would have an impact on the tourism industry in several ways.

He said: “The next 24 months of negotiations will be crucial for British travel – particularly if the UK government wants to maintain inbound tourism from the EU, and avoid a price hike for Britons wanting to travel abroad for holidays.

“Obviously top priority is dealing with the impact the referendum result will have on the value of the pound, but there are other factors that could make the result a big blow for the travel industry.”

Brandon-Bravo urged the government to quickly negotiate how an independent UK will operate in the European Common Aviation Area.

Travel organisation Abta warned during the referendum campaign that foreign travel was “likely to become more expensive” for Brits following Brexit.

It published a report which stated that British holidaymakers and business travellers may face increased costs if an exit vote leads to a fall in the value of sterling, while travel businesses may also raise prices in order to recoup the cost of new taxes and levies being introduced.

Another potential factor which could make travel more expensive is consumers needing to cover additional insurance costs if the UK leaves the European Health Insurance Card scheme, according to the report produced with economic analysis by Deloitte.

The research concluded: “In the longer term, following a Brexit, travel is likely to become more expensive.”

Andrew Swaffield, chief executive of low-cost airline Monarch, responded to the study by saying that the UK leaving the EU could lead to an increase in air fares and a reduction in the number of flights.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/brexit-referendum-australians-to-enjoy-cheaper-british-holidays-20160626-gps295.html#ixzz4CfIQFjUS
Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook

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SYDNEY marketwatch: –The total value of construction completed in Australia, including building and engineering work, during the first quarter fell 2.6% from the final three months of 2015, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.That represented the third consecutive quarter of falling activity, and reflects a broad pullback in the resources sector, the ABS said.The value of building work completed fell 1.0% in the first quarter from the previous quarter, the ABS said. Engineering construction fell 4.2% over the quarter.The level of construction work has been supported by a strong residential house-building boom in recent years, but at the same time, a sharp drop in mining investment has provided a significant offset.

Housing construction activity remains strong, but is likely to taper off over the next year, while the headwind from the resources investment downturn is expected to drop in intensity.

“Although a slowly cooling housing market has seen building approvals fall this year, the tremendous pipeline of work remaining to be done is likely to support further growth in activity over the near term,” said ANZ prior to the latest data release.

The completion of large resources project such as big liquefied natural gas plants across the north of the country are adding to the weakness in the construction data.

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unimelb: With ever-growing numbers of Australians locked out of the housing market, research identifies three key factors that determine housing affordability. But what can we do about it?

The Great Australian Dream of home ownership features prominently in economic and social discussion. In the mid- ’90s, house prices were typically about 2.5 times greater than household disposable income for each of the capital cities, except in Sydney where the ratio of house prices to disposable income was approximately 3.2. In recent years house price growth has exceeded household income growth for all capital cities. By 2005, Perth house prices had risen faster than any other major capital, with Perth surpassing Sydney as the least affordable city. House prices are now about 4.8 times greater than gross household disposable income (GHDI), with Sydney’s house prices closer to six times GHDI (rendering it the least affordable capital city).

House price growth relative to household income:

Locked Out 1

Our empirical research found three key determinants of housing affordability – population growth, interest rates, and spillover effects. These factors dominate the effects of employment and expectations.

Population: Population growth contributed significantly to house price appreciation across each of the capital cities over the period 2002 to 2007, fell sharply around the GFC, rose then fell again. A quick look at the impact of population growth on housing demand across the capital cities shows that the impact was greatest for Perth and Brisbane, particularly the former. Overall, changes in population growth appear to have induced significant volatility in the Perth housing market, resulting in sharp shifts in housing demand (and housing affordability) since 2007. In contrast, the recent impact of population growth has been relatively small for the remaining capital cities.

Interest rates: Our empirical analysis shows that the relationship between house prices and interest rates is non-linear and that there is a critical threshold rate (about 6 per cent). When the standard variable mortgage rate rises above the threshold the effect is to discourage borrowing, dampen demand for housing and generally improve housing affordability. In contrast, when the mortgage rate falls below the threshold, investor activity increases dramatically, resulting in price feedbacks that statistically appear as explosive processes in the house price.

Spillover effects: We find that a rise in the house-price-to-income ratio for Sydney causes a rise in the relevant ratio for the remaining capital cities (with the exception of Adelaide, which appears to be less integrated than the others). The impact of a price shock in Melbourne is similar to that of Sydney, although the magnitude of the impact on Sydney and Brisbane is smaller. In particular, Brisbane is clearly more susceptible to a shock emanating from Sydney, while Adelaide does not appear to be particularly receptive to either shock.

Ratio of house prices to household income:

Locked Out 2

Currently, standard variable rates are close to record lows and have prompted sharp increases in house prices. Our research suggests that with interest rates below the threshold, sharp changes to house prices will increasingly be unrelated to fundamental factors such as demographic or employment conditions. However, spillover effects from price increases in Sydney and Melbourne to the other capital cities will also be smaller. In other words, the probability of a housing bubble is high, but may not be widespread. Low interest rates are therefore more likely to result in asymmetric (or two-speed) housing markets.

Locked out of the housing market

The relative pace of house-price appreciation to income growth has been particularly pronounced in the last two years. Falls in housing affordability are especially onerous for lower to moderate-income households. With falling affordability, households in this group have a reduced capacity to access affordable housing, and additional financial stress stemming from their increased debt-service requirements. This latter pressure, in particular, is likely to be observed when interest rates start to normalise. With increasing numbers of households being locked out of the housing market, the proportion of renter households has increased in the last two decades. Consequently, the rental market is also not immune to developments in house prices, and rent levels have risen substantially in recent years as investors seek returns from their increasingly expensive assets. People in the 25 to 34-year-old bracket, in particular, have shifted towards renting rather than owning but are likely to find it increasingly difficult to either purchase or rent.

Policy change now

Three policy areas require closer scrutiny in order to improve housing affordability. First, is the policy governing the supply of land for housing development adequate? Second, are there tax-related policies that induce speculative real-estate activity? Third, what policies can be implemented to support the rental market? Clearly, more in-depth study is needed to disentangle the ‘cause and effect’ relationships between the demand for and the supply of housing, but a focus on these three areas is a step in the right direction.

Guay Lim is a Professorial Research Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economics and Social Research and an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Economics, University of Melbourne.

Sam Tsiaplias is a Senior Research Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economics and Social Research, University of Melbourne.

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JAKARTAkontan . Reaktivasi perundingan Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) kini memasuki putaran ketiga. Kedua negara menyepakati bentuk kerja sama ekonomi didesain lebih modern dan komprehensif.

“Sesuai dengan kesepakatan kedua Menteri Perdagangan, Indonesia dan Australia sepakat bahwa IA-CEPA merupakan bentuk kerja sama ekonomi yang komprehensif dan modern yang sifatnya bukan tradisional free trade agreement(FTA),” kata Ketua Kelompok Perunding Indonesia Deddy Saleh dalam siaran persnya, minggu (8/5).

Menurut Deddy, bentuk kerja sama IA-CEPA ini akan saling menguntungkan,win-win arrangement, dan dapat dicapai secara realistis dengan menghasilkan kesepakatan awal (early outcomes) yang dapat segera dimplementasikan.

Sementara itu, Ketua Delegasi Australia Frances Lisson menuturkan bahwa dalam perundingan putaran ke-3 ini, kedua pihak sepakat untuk mempermudah implementasi IA-CEPA.

“Pada perundingan kali ini, telah disepakati bahwa implementasi dari IA-CEPA akan dilakukan lebih mudah sehingga pelaku usaha lebih cepat mengambil manfaat kerja sama ini,” ujar Frances Lisson.

Dirjen Perundingan Perdagangan Internasional (PPI) Kementerian Perdagangan, Iman Pambagyo meyakini reaktivasi perundingan IA-CEPA sangat menguntungkan kedua negara. Perundingan ini juga menjadi upaya mempererat hubungan perdagangan Indonesia dan Australia dalam konteks yang lebih luas.

“Dengan kembali aktifnya perundingan ini, Indonesia dan Australia memasuki babak baru untuk meningkatkan hubungan perdagangan bilateral, baik sektor barang dan jasa, serta dapat mengundang lebih banyak investasi ke Indonesia. Selain itu, juga meningkatkan kerja sama di bidang pendidikan, pariwisata, serta hubungan people-to-people yang lebih erat,” tegas Iman.

Menurut Iman, selama perundingan, kedua negara mencapai beberapa kesepakatan awal. Salah satunya, Indonesia-Australia sepakat melibatkan para pelaku usaha secara aktif selama perundingan berlangsung. Perundingan juga sepakat mendorong kerja sama di berbagai sektor, termasuk pendidikan, tenaga kerja, keuangan, pertanian, inovasi pengolahan makanan, pariwisata, dan infrastruktur.

Iman menilai pembahasan IA-CEPA mengalami kemajuan pesat. Ke depan, kerja sama ini diharapkan membawa perubahan penting bagi Indonesia yang lebih besar.

Tren perdagangan turun

Di sektor perdagangan, tren perdagangan Indonesia dengan Australia pada periode 2011-2015 turun sebesar 4,25%. Sementara itu, total perdagangan Indonesia dengan Australia pada tahun 2015 mencapai US$ 8,5 miliar, atau turun 19,8% dari sebelumnya US$ 10,6 miliar di tahun 2014.

Nilai ekspor Indonesia ke Australia di tahun 2015 mencapai US$ 3,7 miliar. Sedangkan pada tahun yang sama, impor Indonesia dari Australia sebesar US$ 4,8 miliar. Dengan nilai tersebut, perdagangan Indonesia dengan Australia defisit sebesar US$ 1,1 miliar.

“Kami berharap IA-CEPA dapat membawa surplus perdagangan bagi Indonesia dan secara prinsip menguntungkan kedua negara,” tutur Iman.

Masuknya sektor pendidikan dan jasa diharapkan mampu berbicara lebih besar dalam meningkatkan neraca perdagangan Indonesia dengan Australia. Kedua sektor ini belum banyak disentuh.

Selama ini komoditas ekspor Indonesia ke Australia meliputi other tubes & pipes, wood, tubes, pipes and hollow profiles, reception app for television dan tires.Sementara komoditas impor Indonesia dari Australia antara lain wheat & meslin, live bovine animals, cane, coal, dan iron ores.

Untuk menyelesaikan perundingan IA-CEPA, Tim Perunding kedua negara juga telah menyepakati program keja perundingan IA-CEPA dengan jangka waktu 18 bulan.

 

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Sydney, May 3, 2016 (AFP)
Australia’s central bank cut interest rates by 25 basis points to a historic low of 1.75 percent on Tuesday, with the move triggered by lower-than-expected inflation, sending the currency lower.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) had remained on hold for the past year, having already lowered borrowing costs in an effort to spur growth as the economy exits an unprecedented mining boom.

Governor Glenn Stevens said the board now considered another cut appropriate following “information showing inflationary pressures are lower than expected”.

“The board judged that prospects for sustainable growth in the economy, with inflation returning to target over time, would be improved by easing monetary policy at this meeting,” he added.

The Australian dollar fell more than one percent on the news, dropping to 75.84 US cents.

“The RBA’s decision to cut rates will keep a lid on further appreciation in the Australian dollar, and increases the likelihood that we have seen a peak for the currency,” ANZ Research said in a note.

ANZ added that “the bank is likely to follow up with another rate cut in the near term”.

Inflationary data released late last month showed that Australian consumer prices fell in January-March for the first time since 2008 during the global financial crisis.

For the year to March, inflation came in at just 1.3 percent, well down from the 1.7 percent hike over the year to December.

The RBA, which targets an underlying rate of 2.0-3.0 percent, said Tuesday that the economy appeared to be rebalancing following the mining investment boom.

“GDP growth picked up over 2015, particularly in the second half of the year, and the labour market improved,” Stevens said.

“Indications are that growth is continuing in 2016, though probably at a more moderate pace.”

Australia, which has successfully avoided falling into recession for almost 25 years, posted a better-than-expected GDP reading of 3.0 percent last year, while the jobless rate slipped to 5.7 percent in March — the lowest in two-and-a-half years.

But Australia’s economy still faces an uncertain period ahead as growth slows in its largest trading partner China and Stevens noted uncertainty about the global economic outlook.

He said inflation had been quite low for some time but recent data were “unexpectedly low”.

“While the quarterly data contain some temporary factors, these results, together with ongoing, very subdued growth in labour costs and very low cost pressures elsewhere in the world, point to a lower outlook for inflation than previously forecast,” Stevens said.

The bank’s decision came just hours before Treasurer Scott Morrison delivers his annual budget, which will attempt to stimulate jobs and growth and boost the conservative government ahead of an election expected on July 2.

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SYDNEY. Ekonomi Australia ternyata tumbuh lebih cepat dari prediksi pada kuartal akhir 2015 lalu. Berdasarkan data yang dirilis pemerintah Australia, tingkat Produk Domestik Bruto (PdB) Australia naik 0,6% pada kuartal IV 2015 dari kuartal sebelumnya yang tumbuh 1,1%.

Pencapaian tersebut lebih tinggi dibanding nilai tengah 26 analis yang disurvei Bloomberg sebesar 0,4%.

Kenaikan tersebut didorong oleh turunnya tingat tabungan warga Australia yang berarti mereka meningkatkan anggaran belanjanya.
Selain itu, suku bunga yang berada di rekor terendah mendongkrak proyek di sektor konstruksi. Seperti yang diketahui, Gubernur Glenn Stevens mempertahankan suku bunga acuannya di level 2%.

“Data industri akan menunjukkan sejumlah perbaikan pada perekonomian non-tambang, khususnya sektor jasa. Perubahan menuju industri yang lebih fokus pada tenaga kerja dari sebelumnya sektor modal, sangat konsisten dengan pertumbuhan tenaga kerja Australia,” papar Alan Oster, National Australia Bank Ltd’s chief economist.

Pasca pengumuman, pada pukul 11.37 waktu Sydney, dollar Australia menguat ke level 72,23 US sen.

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BLOOMBERG: Australia’s central bank maintained its forecast of accelerating growth in response to easy policy, even as risks around key trading partner China cast a shadow over the regional economic outlook.

The Reserve Bank of Australia trimmed its inflation forecast for the year through June 2016 and its 2017 growth projections in a quarterly monetary policy statement Friday but it kept most of its estimates unchanged.

“A further increase in growth in household incomes and demand is anticipated, supported by rising employment, low interest rates and lower” gasoline prices, it said “The outlook for China’s growth is a significant uncertainty for the outlook for the Australian economy.”

Australia is benefiting from a depreciating local dollar that helps insulate the economy from shocks abroad and increases the competitiveness of local industries, whereas jurisdictions like Europe and Japan are struggling with their currencies. Local policy makers kept rates unchanged Tuesday for a ninth month as they gauge the impact of recent financial market turbulence on global and domestic growth.

The Australian dollar fell and was quoted at 71.87 U.S. cents at 11:32 a.m in Sydney after December retail sales were lower than anticipated.

The market upheaval in part reflects “concerns about the evolving balance of risks in China and the ability of the Chinese authorities to manage a challenging economic transition,” the central bank said today. “Any sharp slowing in economic activity or increase in financial stresses in China could spill over to other economies in the region.”

China Devaluation

China devalued its currency in August and then undertook an eight-day stretch of weaker yuan fixings through Jan. 7, roiling global financial markets and fueling concern it was favoring depreciation to revive the slowest growth in a quarter century.

China’s central bank has at the same time been burning through its currency reserves to support the yuan amid record capital outflows.

At the same time, Australia recorded its biggest quarter of employment growth on record at the end of last year and unemployment fell to 5.8 percent, even as the economy was on course to expand at a below-trend pace.

“It is possible that the strength in the labor market data contains information about the economy not apparent in the national accounts data,” the RBA said. “In part, employment growth appears to have reflected the relatively strong growth of output in the more labor-intensive sectors of the economy, such as household services.”

The RBA is trying to orchestrate a transition away from mining investment to other industries in the economy, using low rates and a weaker dollar as a tailwind for industries. In some areas this is working: rising house prices have fueled a residential construction boom and conditions for business are above average. Yet there is still no sign of an uptick in investment outside the mining industry it is seeking.

Unwinding Investment

Resource firms are about half way through the unwinding of investment programs, and reflecting lower global commodity prices, the central bank today lowered its forecast for the terms of trade, or the ratio of export prices to import prices, by about 4 percent compared with its November estimate.

Given inflation is low and the central bank expects little upturn, it reiterated that there may be “scope for easier policy, should that be appropriate to lend support to demand.”

While global central banks are struggling with disinflation or outright deflation that an open economy like Australia’s will be exposed to, one of the curiosities to date is the lack of pass through of higher import prices from a falling currency.

The RBA said today that based on history, the direct effect of the depreciation since early 2013 should add about half a percentage point to underlying inflation over each year of the forecast period. It indicated this time may be a bit different.

Competitive Pressures

“Heightened competitive pressures, including from new entrants into the Australian retail market, and greater efforts by retailers to reduce their costs and improve efficiency, are continued to limit the extent to which higher import prices are evident in final retail prices for some time,” the RBA said.

That’s a boon for consumers. The central bank also said its forecast for better household consumption and income growth — reflecting higher employment and the plunge in gasoline prices – – indicate the nation’s savings ratio is likely to decline less than previously expected.

The RBA said its liaison with retailers “suggests that trading conditions improved in the Christmas and post-Christmas sales period.”

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JAKARTA (BLOOMBERG) – Indonesia’s central bank has signed a 100 trillion rupiah (S$10 billion) bilateral local-currency swap agreement with its Australian counterpart to bolster its defenses against potential market turbulence.

The accord, effective from Tuesday (Dec 15), will last for three years and can be extended if both sides consent, the Reserve Bank of Australia said in a statement. It’s designed to promote bilateral trade and will ensure that trade between the two countries can continue to be settled in local currencies even in times of financial stress, Bank Indonesia said in a statement.

The deal with Australia adds to similar agreements that Indonesia has with China, Japan and South Korea, while the Federal Reserve denied a request earlier in the year by authorities in Jakarta for a currency-swap line, according to an official with knowledge of the matter.

The rupiah has weakened 12 per cent against the US dollar this year in Asia’s second-worst performance and could come under further pressure if the US central bank proceeds with an expected interest-rate increase this week.

“Fed or no Fed, rain or no rain, this is a long-term policy to safeguard stability,” Aida Budiman, head of the international department at Bank Indonesia, said at a briefing in Jakarta after the announcement. “The Aussie dollar is a global currency. We have had a long trade relationship with Australia and there is potential in the future.”

Indonesia and Australia had two-way trade worth A$15.7 billion (S$16.05 billion) last year. The Southeast Asian nation buys wheat and live cattle from its southern neighbor, while Australia purchases petroleum from Indonesia and its tourists flock to the resort island of Bali.

The rupiah was little changed at 14,078 a dollar as of 11:58 am in Jakarta, according to prices from local banks. The currency is forecast to weaken 4.2 per cent to 14,700 by the end of next year, according to a Bloomberg survey. Futures contracts show a 76 per cent chance the Fed will raise interest rates for the first time in almost a decade at its Dec. 15-16 meeting.

yahoo news: The prime ministerial “musical chairs” may have ended but that hasn’t changed the tune of a respected economist who says the risks to revenue remain the same.

Chris Richardson from Deloitte Access Economics also says government spending is at levels usually only seen during recessions, which will only increase as disability insurance costs mature.

“The personnel have changed but the problems haven’t,” Mr Richardson says in his latest business outlook released on Monday.

He says someone has to not only sort out the unlegislated measures stuck in the Senate and the funding between the Commonwealth and states, but also introduce genuine growth-enhancing tax reform.

“Until then it’s business as usual and that means budget deficits for the foreseeable future,” Mr Richardson says.

His concerns come at a time when the negatives facing Australia are “big and growing”.

Australia’s No.1 trading partner, China, is “throwing the kitchen sink” at its economic slowdown but even that hasn’t been enough to halt the slide in global commodity prices.

However, there are also two positives for Australia from interest and exchange rates.

The fall in the Australian dollar has already thrown support to the economy, and there’s more to come as it takes two years for a lower currency to have its maximum positive impact.

Interest rates, too, will keep generating good news with their “lower for longer” profile.

Even so, Mr Richardson expects economic growth to remain below its long-term average until 2017.

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Sydney, Dec 2, 2015 (AFP)
Australia’s economy grew 0.9 percent in the September quarter for an annual rate of 2.5 percent, official data showed Wednesday, with Treasurer Scott Morrison hailing progress in shifting from the resources boom to broader-based growth.

The third-quarter numbers were slightly above analyst expectations and an improvement on the previous quarter’s sluggish growth, which was revised to 0.3 percent by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

“There are positive signs of a strengthening economy and signs that our economy is heading in the right direction,” Morrison said.

Australia is exiting an unprecedented mining investment boom, and the treasurer said the economy was evolving to meet the new conditions.

“The transition is underway in our economy,” he said. “The next phase of Australia’s growth transition will be for businesses in the non-resources sector of the economy to increase their investment.”

The data showed the largest contribution to economic growth in the quarter was from exports of goods and services, concentrated in mining commodities, but household consumption was also up.

Analysts had expected a 0.8 percent rise for the quarter and 2.4 percent in the year to September.

The latest numbers come after the Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday left interest rates on hold at the historic low of 2.0 percent for a seventh month in a row.

“Let’s not overplay the significance, but the economy is growing,” governor Glenn Stevens said Wednesday after the figures were released.

“The outlook for continued moderate growth — you would still say that’s the outlook based on this incremental bit of additional information.”

DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS BUSINESS OUTLOOK FOR STATES

NSW

Looking good across a number of indicators and there’s more good news to come from a falling currency and low interest rates. But “crazy house prices have a sting in the tail” and the state will eventually hit population growth.

VICTORIA

Businesses have been cheering the fall in the Australian dollar, while lower interest rates and the strongest population growth in the nation add to the good news. But there are lingering negatives in manufacturing and concerns about the sustainability of housing construction.

QUEENSLAND

Prospects in gas have been dealt a blow from falls in energy prices, drought is hitting farmers, and population growth is poor. But housing construction is up, falls in the Australian dollar will be good for tourism, and Sydney’s housing prices will send “Blues supporters” northwards.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

It has the highest unemployment in the nation, and both car-making and defence manufacturing are in trouble. But lower interest and exchange rates are helping. There are signs of life in housing and retail, while the state’s population growth is holding up.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

The party is over as mining-related construction slows and so does its major trading partner, China. While Deloitte isn’t expecting the state to “crash and burn” while rising export volumes output keep growth ticking over, things could get worse before they get better.

TASMANIA

Low interest rates and a falling exchange rate are helping housing construction, retail and tourism. The economic pain of the past decade is dissipating. But the state’s demographics remain dire.

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Approaching the tail-end of its mining-related construction boom. There are signs the economy is slowing and population growth has dropped to the nation’s weakest, but construction work done will lift exports soon.

ACT

The job losses have stopped and housing construction has some momentum. But the pressures on the federal budget are just the same under the new prime minister, and that will keep lingering question marks over the ACT’s medium term outlook.

smh: Australia’s middle class is no longer the world’s wealthiest after being knocked out of the top position by Switzerland as well as our geographic and cultural neighbour New Zealand.

Australian total household wealth fell 12 per cent over the past year due to falling exchange rates, an annual report by investment bank Credit Suisse found.

The report uses a wide variety of factors, including wages data and property prices, to assess the growth of the world’s middle class.

“The composition of household wealth in Australia is heavily skewed towards real assets, which form 60 per cent of gross assets,” the analysts said.
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“This average level of real assets is the third highest in the world after Iceland and Norway, largely due to the large endowment of land and natural resources relative to population but also a result of high urban real estate prices.”

Credit Suisse analysts found the average wealth per Australian adult was $US364,900, just below New Zealand’s $US400,800 and significantly less than $US567,100 in Switzerland. Australia was followed by the United States with $US353,000, Norway with $US321,000 and the United Kingdom with $US320,400.

If $US364,900 sounds a little high, it is an average and therefore distorted by fewer considerably higher figures. The median wealth is $US168,300, which is the second highest in the world after New Zealand.

Credit Suisse said all three nations had relatively low levels of wealth inequality, which helped contribute to a higher average in their growing middle classes.

Australia has the highest percentage of its population, 66 per cent, classified as middle class, which was defined by Credit Suisse as having more than $US100,000 in wealth, followed by Belgium and Singapore, both on 60 per cent.

Australia failed to make the top 20 when it came to the overall number of millionaires in a list topped by the United States (15,656), United Kingdom, Japan, France and Germany. It did however rank 12th for so-called ultra-high net worth individuals, coming in ahead of Russia, Brazil or Spain in the number of people (2021) boasting a fortune larger than $US50 million.

Over the next five years, it is increasingly likely the world’s millionaires list will be topped by Asia-Pacific nations, as the number of millionaires in this region is forecast to grow by 66 per cent.

The global cohort has doubled its net worth in the past 15 years, powered by a rising Chinese middle class, which has five times as many individuals as the entire Australian continent.

The Credit Suisse middle-class wealth report comes amid regular news of lowered world growth forecasts, led by a slowing China. Credit Suisse analysts have lowered their forecasts for global wealth growth to 6.6 per cent, down from7.1 per cent last year.

“Monetary policy is beginning to diverge, with the Fed [US Federal Reserve] likely entering a gradual [interest rate] tightening path, while elsewhere central banks are easing or staying put,” chief investment officer for the UK region Michael O’Sullivan said.

“This explains to some extent the relative changes in wealth over the last year. Going forward, we expect the global economy to accelerate slightly, with the Chinese economy stabilising as it makes a transition towards consumption and services. Against this backdrop, wealth is set to continue its upward trajectory.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/australias-middle-class-no-longer-the-worlds-wealthiest-20151013-gk7pwa.html#ixzz3oYhLF8Tg
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SMH: “We need to have in this country, and we will have now, the economic vision, a leadership that explains the great challenges and opportunities that we face,” Turnbull told reporters after the ballot. “The Australia of the future has to be a nation that is agile, that is innovative, that is creative. We cannot be defensive, we cannot future-proof ourselves.”

 

Sydney, Australia, Sept 14, 2015 (AFP)
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he would contest a party leadership challenge from Malcolm Turnbull and he expects to win in a vote among fellow conservatives later Monday.

“There will be a party room ballot for both the leadership and deputy leadership positions later this evening,” Abbott said in Canberra.

“I will be a candidate and I expect to win.”

reuters: Conservative Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott faced a challenge to his leadership when his popular communications minister launched a bid for the top office on Monday after months of speculation and poor showings in opinion polls.

Malcolm Turnbull, a multi-millionaire former tech entrepreneur, said he would seek the leadership of the Liberal Party after being urged “by many people over a long period of time” to run amid criticism of Abbott’s performance.

“Ultimately, the Prime Minister has not been capable of

providing the economic leadership our nation needs,” Turnbull told reporters at parliament house in Canberra.

“We need a different style of leadership.”

Turnbull was ousted as leader of the Liberal Party – the senior partner in the ruling coalition – by Abbott in 2009 and has consistently been seen as preferred prime minister.

However, his support for a carbon trading scheme, gay marriage and an Australian republic have made Turnbull unpopular with his party’s right wing.

There was no immediate response from Abbott to Turnbull’s challenge. Sky News reported that the vote would be held on Tuesday, just days before a crucial by-election in Western Australia state widely seen as a test of Abbott’s leadership.

Abbott emerged badly weakened from a leadership challenge in February, which came about after weeks of infighting, and pledged a new spirit of conciliation.

He and his government have since consistently lagged the center-left opposition Labor Party in opinion polls, helping to fuel speculation over how long his party would give him to turn things around.

“GOSSIP, GAMES”

Abbott had earlier dismissed reports about a possible challenge as “gossip” and refused to play “Canberra games”.

Peter Chen, a political scientist from the University of Sydney, said Turnbull faced the same problem as Kevin Rudd, a former Labor prime minister toppled by his own party.

“He is popular with the public, but not necessarily within his own party, Chen said.

The February challenge to Abbott followed criticism of his leadership style and judgment, including his decision to award an Australian knighthood to Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip.

Abbott has continued to defy popular opinion inside and outside his party, despite pledging to be more consultative, blocking his MPs from supporting same-sex marriage and announcing an emissions reduction target criticized as inadequate by environmental groups.

He agreed last week to take in 12,000 Syrian refugees but the news was overshadowed by rumors of a cabinet reshuffle and an insensitive gaffe about climate change, caught by a microphone at a meeting, by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.

A Fairfax-Ipsos poll published on Monday showed that voters in the seat of Canning in Western Australia could deliver a swing of up to 10 percent against the government in a by-election on Saturday.

That would not be enough for Labor to win the seat but it would be seen as a disastrous outcome for Abbott’s leadership just a year out from a scheduled general election.

(Additional reporting by Lincoln Feast and Melissa Redman in SYDNEY; Editing by Paul Tait)

 

Sydney, Sept 1, 2015 (AFP)
Australia’s central bank left interest rates at the historic low of 2.0 percent on Tuesday, saying the economy was expanding moderately while inflation was contained.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), which last lowered rates 25 basis points to 2.0 percent in May, added that the Australian dollar was also adjusting to lower commodity prices as a decade-long mining boom unwinds.

“The board today judged that leaving the cash rate unchanged was appropriate at this meeting,” RBA governor Glenn Stevens said in a statement.

Stevens said the global economy was also expanding at a moderate pace, assisted by stronger US growth, despite recent softening in China and East Asia.

“In Australia, most of the available information suggests that moderate expansion in the economy continues,” he said.

The Australian dollar, which has reached historic highs in recent years, was largely unmoved by the decision and trading at 71.36 US cents.

Sydney, Aug 7, 2015 (AFP)
Australia’s central bank Friday tempered expectations of an improvement in economic growth as the nation grapples with the shift away from mining-led investment, but said there were signs of a strengthening jobs market.

The Reserve Bank of Australia said “in the face of significant structural change, the economy has continued to grow at a moderate pace over the past year”, but added there were signs of improving conditions including in the labour market and in the non-mining sector.

“Data on the domestic economy over the past few months have generally been positive,” the RBA said in its quarterly statement on monetary policy, in which it outlines its outlook for the Australian economy.

The economy has been under pressure in recent months as it exits an unprecedented boom in mining investment and non-resources activity stays soft.

The unemployment rate has hovered around a decade-high and increased to 6.3 percent in July according to official data.

The central bank lowered its growth forecast for the year to June 2016 to 2.0-3.0 percent, from 2.5-3.5 percent three months ago.

The RBA estimated GDP to be 25 percentage points lower to 2.5-3.5 percent in the year ending December 2016, but lifted its year to June 2017 forecast to 3.0-4.0 percent.

The central bank said better-than-expected labour market conditions meant it anticipated the jobless rate to be lower than previously forecast, although it would “remain little changed over the next 18 months… before declining”.

It had previously estimated a peak of 6.5 percent.

The central bank also shifted its outlook for consumer prices, increasing projections for underlying inflation — which strips out volatile items — by 25 percentage points for the 2016 and 2017 financial years to 2.0-3.0 percent.

The RBA has slashed interest rates by 250 basis points since November 2011 as it loosens monetary policy to support economic growth. The cash rate is now at a record-low of 2.0 percent, with the latest cuts coming in February and May.

ANZ senior economist Felicity Emmett said the latest statement suggested interest rates would stay on hold for an extended period, with an easing bias.

“A prolonged period of elevated unemployment, together with potential upward pressure on lending rates from higher capital requirements and other regulatory measures suggest that further monetary policy easing over the next 6-12 months cannot be ruled out,” she said in a note.

Sydney, June 11, 2015 (AFP)
Australia’s unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 6.0 percent in May, data showed Thursday, in a sign the economy could be starting to better adapt to the end of a mining investment boom.

Some 42,000 positions were added in the month, much higher than the 10,000 predicted by analysts, as the jobless rate ticked down from an adjusted 6.1 percent in April.

The increase in employment was driven by part-time jobs, which rose 27,300 while full-time roles were up 14,700, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.

The May figures were better than expected, with the consensus of economists that the unemployment rate would remain steady.

The Australian dollar jumped three quarters of a US cent on the news to 77.93 US cents.

“The 42,000 gain in Australian employment in May will no doubt add to claims that Australia’s economy has weathered the end of the mining boom well,” said Capital Economics senior Asia economist Daniel Martin.

“However, the reading almost certainly exaggerates the strength of the labour market, while the sharp drop in corporate profits over the last year suggests that far weaker employment growth lies ahead.”

The fall comes on the back of data this month showing the mining-driven economy grew a stronger-than-expected 0.9 percent in the first quarter of the year, boosted by exports and consumer spending.

Those figures reinforced a decision by the central bank in June to keep interest rates on hold after two cuts this year.

Martin said the fall in the unemployment rate, on the back of the growth numbers, would be taken by some as evidence that the economy was in good health but added: “We disagree. A number of temporary factors propped up GDP growth in the first quarter, while the full impact of the terms of trade shock is yet to be felt.”

Australia posted its worst monthly trade deficit on record in April, with imports exceeding exports by nearly Aus$3.9 billion.

The Australian economy has struggled to fill the gap left by the end of the boom in mining investment, which has helped it avoid a recession for more than two decades.

Slowing growth in China, Australia’s largest trading partner, as well as recent plunges in commodity prices have weighed heavily.

The rocky transition away from mining-led expansion has seen the unemployment rate slowly increase over the past year, peaking at a revised 6.3 percent in January.

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said the May jobs data supported his view “that the economy is nowhere near as weak as the doomsayers would have it” and supported a case for the central bank to leave rates on hold again at its July meeting.

But he added that it was not convincing enough to remove the Reserve Bank of Australia’s easing bias.

“With the weak outlook for non-mining investment, a fall back in consumer confidence and a still too high Australian dollar another rate cut at the August RBA meeting remains a 50/50 proposition,” he said.

 

Investing.com – Australia’s gross domestic product rose more-than-expected in the last quarter, official data showed on Wednesday.

In a report, Australian Bureau of Statistics said that Australia’s GDP rose to a seasonally adjusted 0.9%, from 0.5% in the preceding quarter.

Analysts had expected Australia’s GDP to rise 0.7% in the last quarter.

FXStreet (Bali) – Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (QoQ) came at 0.9% vs 0.7% exp in 1Q, while the yearly reading registered 2.3% vs 2.1%, both coming higher-than-expected.

MARCH KEY POINTS – Australian Bureau of Statistics

KEY AGGREGATES: In trend terms, GDP increased 0.6% in the March quarter 2015. Gross value added per hour worked in the market sector grew 0.1% and the Terms of trade fell 1.9%. In seasonally adjusted terms, GDP increased by 0.9% in the March quarter. The Terms of trade decreased 2.9%, and Real gross domestic income increased 0.2%.

EXPENDITURE ON GDP: In seasonally adjusted terms, the main contributors to the increase in expenditure on GDP were Net exports (0.5 percentage points) and Final consumption expenditure (0.4 percentage points). The main detractor was Total gross fixed capital formation (-0.3 percentage points).

INDUSTRY GROSS VALUE ADDED: In seasonally adjusted terms, the main contributors to the increase in GDP growth were Mining (0.3 percentage points) and Financial and insurance services (0.2 percentage points). The main detractor to growth in GDP was Construction (-0.1 percentage points).

Canberra, May 12, 2015 (AFP)
Australia has slashed its foreign aid budget by almost Aus$1.0 billion (US$800 million) with Asian and African countries bearing the brunt, according to budget papers released Tuesday.

The aid budget will fall by Aus$980.2 million to Aus$4.1 billion in 2015-16. Asia is among the hardest hit, with humanitarian support for the region — not including East Timor, Cambodia and Nepal — cut by Aus$522.5 million.

Indonesia, the largest single beneficiary, will see its allocation plunge by Aus$542.5 million to Aus$323.0 million for 2015-16, although officials denied it was related to Jakarta’s execution of two Australians last month.

Sub-Saharan Africa aid was reduced by about 70 percent to Aus$31.8 million.

In contrast, aid for Pacific nations such as Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu would fall by Aus$43.3 million to Aus$911.3 million.

Five new overseas missions in Qatar, PNG, Indonesia, Mongolia and Thailand will be opened at a cost of Aus$98.3 million, the government added.

Canberra has sought to rein in its budget deficit amid falling revenue as commodity prices plunge and as wages growth remain weak.

The papers stated that forecast tax receipts had fallen by Aus$52 billion over the four years to 2017-18 since last year’s budget.

Treasurer Joe Hockey said no country was specifically targeted by the massive cuts, which were first flagged last year.

“There wasn’t any specific targeting of any single country at all,” he said, adding that Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had also taken into account recipients’ economic growth and where they were located.

“There has been a formula that has been applied by the minister.”

There were concerns ahead of the budget announcement that Indonesia might link aid cuts to its execution of two Australian drug smugglers, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, in late April, which soured ties.

“Not at all,” Hockey said when asked if Indonesia had been singled out.

He added that Bishop had also factored in the countries’ own aid donations.

“She considered whether those countries themselves were giving foreign aid. A number of countries that we were giving foreign aid to were actually going and giving foreign aid away themselves,” he said.

While there were fears aid to Nepal, which is reeling from a devastating earthquake last month, could be reduced, the South Asian nation will see its annual allocation remain at Aus$15.6 million.

Sydney, April 16, 2015 (AFP)
Australia’s unemployment rate dipped to 6.1 percent in March, data showed Thursday, a better-than-expected reading that could ease pressure on the central bank to further cut interest rates.

The figure was down from a revised 6.2 percent in February, as 37,664 positions were created, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Analysts had forecast a reading of 6.3 percent with 15,000 jobs added.

Full-time roles increased by 31,516 while part-time jobs rose 6,148. The participation rate, which measures the proportion of adults in work or looking for work, strengthened from a seasonally adjusted 64.7 percent to 64.8.

The Australian dollar jumped on the news, rising half a US cent to 77.77 US cents.

“It was a strong set of numbers,” Barclays’ chief economist for Australia Kieran Davies told AFP.

“The trend has improved. For a while the labour market was running weaker than what the (forward indicators) job ads and job vacancies were suggesting, so perhaps we are seeing some belated catch-up.”

The Reserve Bank of Australia has been tipped by financial markets and economists to slash the cash rate again this year after cutting it in February for the first time in 18 months, to a record low 2.25 percent.

The RBA has flagged an easing bias as the economy encounters a rocky transition with an unprecedented mining investment boom coming to an end and the non-resources sector struggling to fill the gap.

The unemployment rate has slowly increased over the past year, peaking at a revised 6.3 percent in January — a more than 11-year high.

– Economy facing challenges –

The job gains were led by New South Wales, the country’s largest state.

“The largest state is behind the strength,” Davies said. “The economy in NSW is more diverse and much less exposed to mining and… the housing market (in the state) is exceptionally strong.”

But analysts warned that the economy still faced testing times, with some still expecting the RBA to cut rates by 25 basis points in May.

“The broader picture on the economy still looks pretty challenging because of falling commodity prices and loss of consumer confidence,” Citi’s chief economist for Australia Paul Brennan told AFP.

“I think it would take a lot for the RBA to change its view from an easing bias. We continue to expect that they will act on that easing bias.”

The plunging prices of commodities such as iron ore, Australia’s biggest export, has hit the economy and slashed government revenue. The iron ore price slumped to a decade-low of US$47.08 in early April, driven by a supply glut and soft demand from China, Australia’s biggest trading partner.

UBS senior economist George Tharenou said while the data had improved, the trend in the unemployment rate was still holding around the highest level since 2002.

“Coupled with a likely ‘low enough’ first-quarter CPI print, (this) leaves us still expecting the RBA cut the cash rate 25 basis points to 2.0 percent in May,” he said.

Inflation figures are due next week ahead of the next central bank meeting on May 5.

 

INILAHCOM, Sydney – Pasar saham Australia dibuka di tertinggi baru dalam tujuh tahun pada Selasa (3/3/2015), didukung kinerja yang kuat di pasar saham dunia pada Senin (2/3/2015).

Pada pembukaan pasar resmi, indeks acuan S&P/ASX200 naik 24,8 poin atau 0,42 persen pada 5.983,7 poin, sementara indeks All Ordinaries bertambah 23,8 poin atau 0,4 persen pada 5.950,1 poin.

Sektor keuangan dibuka 0,68 persen lebih tinggi dengan ANZ naik 0,56 persen, Commonwealth Bank naik 0,58 persen, National Australia Bank bertambah 0,56 persen sementara Westpac terangkat 1,31 persen.

Sektor bahan pokok konsumen menguat 0,67 persen, dengan Woolworths naik 0,79 persen sementara Wesfarmers bertambah 0,58 persen.

Saham-saham material kehilangan 0,67 persen secara sektoral, dengan BHP Billiton merosot 1,06 persen sementara Rio Tinto mundur 1,83 persen.

Saham-saham sektor energi berkurang 0,38 persen, dengan Oil Search naik 0,37 persen, Santos kehilangan 0,93 persen sementara Woodside Petroleum turun 1,13 persen. Sementara itu, Telstra naik 0,16 persen dan Qantas bertambah 1,04 persen. [tar]

 

http://pasarmodal.inilah.com/read/detail/2183425/pasar-saham-australia-capai-tertinggi-7-tahun
Sumber : INILAH.COM

Sydney, Feb 12, 2015 (AFP)
Australia’s unemployment rate jumped to a 12-year high of 6.4 percent in January, official data showed Thursday, providing more ammunition for the central bank to cut interest rates.

Economists had been expecting a rise to 6.2 percent from December’s 6.1 percent but with the number of people employed falling by 12,200 it was worse-than-expected.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said full-time employment dropped by 28,100 in January and part-time employment was up 15,900.

The weaker reading saw the Australian dollar plunge to near six-year lows, falling to 76.56 US cents after the figures were released from 77.26 US cents just prior.

The central bank last week cut forecasts for economic growth and inflation this year and warned unemployment would likely rise as the economy transitions away from a mining investment boom.

The warning followed a cut in interest rates this month to a new record low of 2.25 percent.

Quay Equities head of trading Tristan K’Nell said the jobless numbers left the door open to more rate cuts.

“The numbers probably continue to give the RBA the ammunition to continue to cut interest rates next month,” he said.

“Improvement in employment is the major issue for our economy to go with other issues such as low business and consumer confidence, falling economic growth, an end to the mining cycle, low inflation and our major trading partners slowing.”

Australia’s unemployment rate has been edging up over the past two years as the economy prepares for an expected sharp fall-off in mining investment this year.

The resource-driven economy is also struggling under the impact of a fall in prices for key commodity exports, including an almost halving of iron ore prices in 2014 due to weakening demand from China.

SYDNEY. Bank sentral Australia memangkas suku bunga acuannya ke rekor terendah sepanjang massa hari ini (3/2). Glenn Stevens, Gubernur Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) mengatakan, suku bunga acuan semalam diturunkan sebesar 25 basis poin menjadi 2,25%.

Selain itu, dia juga menambahkan, tingkat pertumbuhan ekonomi Australia akan melemah untuk beberapa waktu ke depan dan tingkat pengangguran akan kembali naik lebih cepat dari prediksi.

Sebelumnya, RBA terakhir kali menurunkan suku bunga acuan 18 bulan lalu.

“Perubahan kebijakan moneter global dalam sebulan terakhir telah meningkatkan kesulitan untuk memperlemah posisi dollar Australia. RBA sudah mencapai kesimpulan bahwa mereka harus mengambil langkah-langjah dan memberikan dorongan bagi mata uang untuk melemah. Kami rasa RBA akan melakukan pemangkasan suku bunga satu kali lagi,” jelas James McIntyre, Head of Economic Research Macquarie Bank Ltd di Sydney.

Pasca keputusan RBA, indeks saham acuan Negeri Kanguru itu langsung melejit. Data Bloomberg menunjukkan, indeks S&P/ASX 200 Australia ditutup dengan kenaikan 1,5% menjadi 5.707,40. Ini merupakan level penutupan tertinggi sejak Mei 2008 lalu.

Sedangkan dollar Aussie melemah lebih dari satu sen ke level 76,59 per sen pada pukul 16.22 waktu Sydney.

 

http://internasional.kontan.co.id/news/kejutan-rba-pangkas-suku-bunga-ke-rekor-terendah
Sumber : KONTAN.CO.ID

JAKARTA kontan. Dollar Australia (aussie) menguat terhadap semua mata uang utama setelah laporan inflasi meningkat. Kondisi ini direspon positif oleh pelaku pasar sehingga menimbulkan kepercayaan terhadap mata uang tersebut.

Mengutip Bloomberg, Rabu (28/1) pukul 18.00 WIB, pasangan EUR/AUD menurun 0,45% dibanding hari sebelumnya ke 1,4275. Pasangan AUD/USD naik 0,26% ke 0,7958. Sementara, pasangan AUD/JPY naik 0,12% menjadi 93,6500.

Biro Statistik di Sydney memaparkan, inflasi di luar barang bervolatilitas tinggi, seperti makanan dan bahan bakar, pada kuartal IV-2014 tercatat tumbuh 0,7%. Angka ini melampaui prediksi sebesar 0,5%. Bahkan, jika dibandingkan inflasi per kuartal IV tahun 2013 di 0,3%, angka tersebut jauh lebih tinggi.

Inflasi yang terjadi di Australia membuat para trader berspekulasi Bank Sentral Australia (RBA) akan mempertahankan suku bunga acuan. Rencana ini membuat prediksi semula tentang pemangkasan suku bunga bisa saja tak terwujud.

Semula 44% trader memprediksi bahwa RBA akan memangkas suku bunga pada pertemuan tanggal 3 Februari. Namun, data inflasi yang menanjak turut menyusutkan dugaan trader.

Faisyal, Research and Analyst PT Monex Investindo Futures mengatakan, pasangan EUR/AUD bergerak menurun lantaran ada asumsi RBA tidak akan memangkas suku bunga. Di sisi lain, euro bergerak melemah menjelang hasil pertemuan bank sentral AS.

Saat ini, ada dua spekulasi yang beredar. Pertama, The Fed akan memberi petunjuk selanjutnya mengenai rencana kenaikan suku bunga. Kedua, The Fed akan menahan diri menaikkan suku bunga di tengah perekonomian global yang masih terguncang. “Secara teknikal, hari ini EUR/AUD masih akan bergerak melemah,” ujar Faisyal.

Analis Harvest International Futures Tonny Mariano menuturkan, pada pasangan AUD/USD terjadi rebound karena dalam tiga hari terakhir investor sedang profit taking. Sebab, akhir pekan lalu, dollar AS sudah naik cukup tajam terhadap AUD. Jumat (23/1), pairing AUD/USD di 0,7912.

Tapi, ekonomi Australia diproyeksi masih akan tertekan karena perlambatan ekonomi China yang merupakan mitra dagang utamanya. “Perlu dicatat, pergerakan AUD juga tertekan oleh harga komoditas yang terus turun,” kata Tonny. Australia memang sangat mengandalkan ekspor batubara dan bijih besi untuk menopang neraca dagangnya.  Beberapa faktor itu membuat AUD masih dalam tren bearish setidaknya hingga semester I tahun ini. Begitu juga teknikal pasangan AUD/USD dalam tren bearish.

Research and Analyst PT Fortis Asia Futures Deddy Yusuf Siregar menilai, pasangan AUD/JPY masih tertekan. Di saat inflasi Australia membaik, mata uang Jepang justru dihadang oleh pertemuan Bank Sentral AS. Yen juga melemah lantaran komentar bank sentral Jepang (BoJ) yang menyatakan kondisi ekonomi Negeri Sakura tersebut belum pulih.

 

Editor: Avanty Nurdiana

 

KONTAN JAKARTA. Okenya perekonomian China yang di atas prediksi pasar, tidak serta merta mendorong mata uang aussie sebagai mitra dagang Tiongkok. AUD masih keok di hadapan beberapa mata uang utama dunia lain.

Mengutip Bloomberg, Selasa (20/1) pukul 17.40 WIB pasangan AUD/USD turun 0,11% ke level 0,8202 dibandingkan penutupan hari sebelumnya. Begitu juga EUR/AUD yang naik 0,08% ke level 1,4145. Hanya pairing AUD/JPY yang menguat 0,69% menyentuh level 97,19.

Menurut Suluh Adil Wicaksono, Analis PT Millenium Penata Futures, sejatinya pelemahan AUD/USD minim pengaruh faktor fundamental. Kedua mata uang tidak mengumumkan data ekonomi yang cukup memberikan pengaruh. Hanya saja indeks dollar AS masih lebih kuat dibanding mata uang dunia lainnya.

Di lain sisi, aussie seharusnya tertolong data ekonomi China yang bagus. Sayang, penguatan AUD terhadap USD hanya mampu bertahan sementara. Lantas pasar kembali mengakui ketangguhan dollar AS.

China merilis data produksi industri, penjualan ritel serta produk domestik bruto (PDB) kuartal IV-2014 dengan hasil di atas prediksi. “Ekonomi China yang membaik seharusnya membuat hubungan perdagangan dengan aussie bagus,” ujar Suluh.

Menurutnya,  pasangan AUD/USD berpeluang menguat.
Albertus Christian, Senior Research and Analyst PT Monex Investindo Futures, menjabarkan, penguatan tipis EUR/AUD karena tren masih bearish. EUR sedikit menguat karena angka sentimen ekonomi ZWE Jerman bulan Januari 2015  positif di 48,4, jauh di atas prediksi yang hanya 40,1 atau dari realisasi bulan Desember 2014  yakni 34,9.

Di sisi lain, AUD tertolong ekonomi China yang positif. “Sentimen data China yang bagus memberikan dorongan pada aussie,” papar Christian.

Meski begitu, selain data Eropa yang bagus, AUD tidak dapat menguat karena terkendala potensi oversold yang dapat memicu rebound teknikal.

Sementara Tonny Mariano, Analis PT Harvest International Futures menjelaskan, pasangan AUD/JPY menguat karena faktor profit taking. Sebelumnya JPY sempat menguat panjang karena posisinya sebagai mata uang aman. Namun ketika ekonomi dunia perlahan stabil, yen kembali dilepas. “Dari sisi AUD, ditopang data ekonomi China,” ujar Tonny.

 

Editor: Sofyan Nur Hidayat

 

Sydney jakarta globe. Australian policy makers have two housing markets to worry about, and it’s a toss up which carries the most risk.

One is too cold, the other too hot. One they can’t do anything about as it is in China, the other is a homegrown headache the authorities are just starting to wrestle with.

How they unfold will have lasting ramifications for Australia’s economy and interest rates.

“There are two prices that matter for Australia right now, those for homes and those for commodities,” said Paul Bloxham, chief economist for Australia at HSBC.

“Since the Chinese housing market is such a driver of demand for commodities, it matters just as much in the big picture as the domestic market,” he added.

The property sector accounts for about 15 percent of China’s economy and impact some 40 industries from furniture to steel, is of increasing concern to Beijing as it drags on growth.

The alarm is shared by Australia as over 35 percent of its exports go to China, giving it an annual trade surplus worth around A$50 billion with the Asian giant.

Such is its importance that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) maintains one of only three international offices in Beijing and produces copious research on China’s economy.

RBA governor Glenn Stevens recently nominated falling Chinese house prices and their possible impact on the shadow banking sector there as one of his key concerns.

The bank devoted a chunk of its bi-annual report on China’s financial system to highlight the risks, noting that around half of all new credit created in recent years had come from outside the regulated sector.

“Concerns about asset quality in China have been heightened by softening conditions in the residential property market,” said the central bank in last week’s report.

“While China has been able to manage a small number of defaults in trust funds and corporate bonds, a more widespread series of private-sector defaults — potentially associated with a sharp correction in property prices — could be more damaging.”

Even if the financial fallout is contained, any weakness in home building would be a negative for Australia since the sector is a major user of steel, and thus iron ore — Australia’s single biggest export earner.

China’s steel consumption has already dropped this year for the first time since at least 2000, leading to a more than 40 percent plunge in prices of the steel-making mineral.

Reconsidering rules on lending

So it was welcome news in Australia when reports emerged last week that Beijing was allowing banks and regional governments to relax their mortgage rules.

“We think China will be successful in stabilizing the economy, and that would be great news for Australia,” said HSBC’s Bloxham.

There is some irony, given that the RBA at the same time announced it was considering tightening lending standards to restrain speculative spirits in the domestic housing market.

Borrowing to invest in property is popular in Australia in part because it gets tax breaks and partly because returns on bonds and cash are so low right now.

Loans for investment were up 30 percent by value in July on a year earlier, four times the growth in loans for owner-occupiers. They also made up 40 percent of all mortgages in the month, the second highest share on record.

Much of this is for property in the inner cities of Sydney and Melbourne. Approvals for investor loans in New South Wales are now almost 90 percent higher than two years ago, while those in the state of Victoria are up by half.

The inner cities also happen to be magnets for Chinese buyers who have a fondness for apartments. Lawmakers are even running an inquiry into whether foreign money is pricing Australians out of the housing market.

All this demand has certainly driven an acceleration in home prices, with Sydney boasting an annual gain north of 16 percent in August. Values in Melbourne were up almost 12 percent, according to figures from property consultant RP Data.

This froth led the RBA to warn that the market was becoming “unbalanced” and to wonder whether bank lending standards were “conservative” enough for the current mix of record low rates, rapid price growth and already high levels of debt.

It even conceded that action might be needed to ration credit using macro-prudential tools, that would limit the build up of leverage and risk taking in the banking system as a whole rather than just at individual banks.

That was a marked turnaround for the RBA which has long doubted the effectiveness of such tools and worried about unintended consequences.

The change of stance was marked enough to lead lawmakers to call a special Senate committee meeting for Oct. 2 where they could question the RBA on the matter with an eye to safeguarding housing affordability and the supply of new homes.

Attending will be RBA Assistant Governor Malcolm Edey, who looks after the financial system as a whole, and Luci Ellis the head of its financial stability unit. The meeting starts at 8.30 a.m. local time on Thursday on Wednesday.

Macroprudential measures can include forcing banks to set aside more capital to cover certain types of lending, or put caps in loan-to-valuation and debt-to-income ratios.

New Zealand last year experimented with curbs on loans worth a high proportion of the value of the property, though that may have forced buyers down market and inflated prices for cheaper housing. Ultimately, New Zealand’s central bank had to cool the market by raising interest rates a full percentage point.

The RBA, however, has scant scope to tighten given a long boom in mining investment is winding down while consumer sentiment remains fragile at best.

If any prudential steps are taken they will likely be modest, perhaps pushing banks to adopt stricter standards on judging whether a borrower can deal with higher interest rates.

Moral suasion

In truth, the RBA prefers the bully pulpit to regulations.

The bank had some success with moral suasion in the early 2000s and again in 2010, warning Australians that prices could go down as well as up. Implied was the threat that the RBA would make it so by lifting interest rates.

It has also had the, largely unwitting, assistance of Australia’s housing-obsessed media. Hardly a day passes without headlines screaming about a housing “bubble”, which is always just about to burst to the ruination of all.

The RBA’s every utterance on housing is front page news, magnifying the impact on the public mood.

There is some evidence that the RBA’s rhetorical campaign might just be working with weekly surveys from RP Data showing home prices went flat in September after three strong months.

And a slowdown in housing would in turn lessen pressure for an increase in interest rates, says Peter Jolly, global head of research at National Australia Bank.

“Take away strong house price gains and there are plenty of reasons for the RBA to keep rates at 2.5 percent for a lot longer yet.”

Reuters

wsj SYDNEY—Australia’s economy expanded in the second quarter, helping the country reach its 23rd consecutive year of growth and making it stand out among developed-world peers that fell into recession following the global financial crisis.

Still, the resource-rich country’s economy slowed in the second quarter from the first because of a continuing downturn in mining investment, falling commodity prices, and a stubbornly high Australian dollar.

Government figures Wednesday showed gross domestic product grew by a better-than-expected 0.5% in the second quarter from the first and 3.1% from a year earlier. It was the slowest quarter-to-quarter growth rate in more than a year. The first-quarter growth figure of 1.1% was unchanged from an earlier estimate.

Australia’s central bank Gov. Glenn Stevens said Wednesday that low interest rates are likely to remain in place for now, but added he was conscious of the risk of inflating house prices and introducing additional financial-sector risk.

“The main thing the Reserve Bank can do is run an accommodative monetary policy so as to lend support to demand in the non-mining areas of the economy,” Mr. Stevens told an audience in Adelaide.

Mr. Stevens said that in the central bank’s push to stimulate growth, it is also conscious of the risk it might “foster too much buildup of risk in the financial sector.”

“That could leave the economy exposed to nasty shocks in the future,” he added.

The comments come a day after the central bank kept the overnight cash rate at a record-low 2.5% and indicated no changes to policy settings are likely for some time.

Mr. Stevens acknowledged the risk of further fanning a surge in house prices, noting mortgage interest rates have continued to fall in the past year, even in the absence of central bank cuts.

“While we may desire to see a faster reduction in the rate of unemployment, further inflating an already elevated level of housing prices seems an unwise route,” Mr. Stevens said.

Australian house prices have risen by more than 10% in the past year, with Sydney and Melbourne outpacing the other main cities on the back of a jump in investor demand for property.

Mr. Stevens said there were limits to what low interest rates could do to lift the economy, saying that business balance sheets are strong and could be the basis of increased spending over time.

He warned that more investment was needed in the non-mining parts of the economy to offset an expected substantial contraction in mining investment over coming years.

JAKARTA. Dollar Australia naik ke level tertinggi dalam dua minggu setelah data lapangan pekerjaan Australia membaik. Mata uang Negeri kanguru ini juga tertolong rilis data neraca perdagangan China yang positif.

Hingga Kamis (8/5) sampai pukul 16.50 WIB, pasangan EUR/AUD turun 0,39% ke 1,4856 dibanding sehari sebelumnya. Sementara, pasangan AUD/USD naik 0,63% ke 0,9386. Adapun, pairing AUD/JPY naik 0,55% ke level 95,5670.

Aussie menguat setelah Biro Statistik Australia melaporkan penambahan tenaga kerja sebanyak 14.200 pekerja di bulan April 2014. Angka ini lebih tinggi dari proyeksi sebanyak 8.800 pekerja. Tingkat pengangguran Australia tercatat 5,8%, lebih bagus dari perkiraan 5,9%. Data tenaga kerja Australia itu menunjukkan ekonomi negeri tersebut dalam tahap pemulihan.

Desmond Chua, analis CMC Market di Singapura seperti dikutip Bloomberg menambahkan, neraca perdagangan China yang membaik juga membawa angin segar bagi dollar Australia. Maklum, China merupakan mitra dagang terbesar Australia

China mencetak pertumbuhan ekspor sebesar 0,9% pada April 2014. Angka ini lebih tinggi dibanding ekspektasi sebesar minus 1,7%. Di periode sama, China juga membukukan pertumbuhan impor 0,8%, melampaui ekspektasi minus 2,3%. Tak ayal, neraca perdagangan China pun surplus US$ 18,46 miliar.

Zulfirman Basir, Senior Research and Analyst PT Monex Investindo Futures bilang, pasangan EUR/AUD menurun lantaran data ekonomi Australia yang positif. Sementara, dari Eropa, pasar masih menanti komentar Presiden Bank Sentral Eropa (ECB), Mario Draghi atas rencana pelonggaran moneter.

Jika ECB melanjutkan rencana tersebut maka euro akan melemah, Sebaliknya, apabila Draghi tidak menyinggung pelonggaran moneter, maka EUR/AUD bisa menguat.

Suluh Adil Wicaksono, analis Millenium Penata Futures mengatakan, pasangan AUD/USD cenderung bullish. Ini didukung pernyataan Gubernur The Fed, Janet Yellen bahwa AS masih membutuhkan stimulus untuk menyokong pertumbuhan ekonomi. Ini membawa sentimen negatif pada dollar AS.

Ke depan, pelaku pasar masih menantikan testimoni lanjutan Yellen. Tapi pelaku pasar berspekulasi AS masih memang masih membutuhkan stimulus. “Pasangan AUD/USD masih menguat hingga Jumat,” proyeksi Suluh.

Editor: Avanty Nurdiana

Fiskal Seret, Australia Disarankan Jual Aset
Amanda Kusumawardhani – Kamis, 01 Mei 2014, 16:24 WIB

Bisnis.com, CANBERRA—Komisi Audit Nasional Australia merekomendasikan pemerintah untuk segera memprivatisasi aset negara, termasuk perusahaan rel kereta api dan pos, serta memangkas belanja sosial guna mengontrol utang publik.

Laporan tersebut mengemukakan Australian Rail Track Corp. dan Australian Postal Corp. adalah 2 di antara 10 perusahaan yang harus dijual. Penjualan aset pemerintah tersebut diperkirakan mampu menghemat 70 miliar dollar Australia (US$65 miliar) selama 1 tahun.

Tidak hanya itu, Komisi Audit Nasional juga menyarankan untuk menaikkan usia pensiun pembayaran untuk kunjungan dokter, dan pemangkasan jumlah badan pemerintahan.

“Australia tengah menghadapi ujian fiskal serius. Situasi saat ini jauh lebih lemah dibandingkan kondisi sebelumnya, apalagi porsi belanja pemerintah selalu meningkat signifikan,” ungkap laporan yang dirilis di Canberra, Kamis (1/5/2014).

Akibatnya, Australia harus bersiap untuk menghadapi defisit fiskal sebanyak 123 miliar dollar Australia selama 4 tahun hingga 2017.

Seperti diketahui, sejumlah perusahaan pertambangan Australia menunda proyek menyusul belum pulihnya permintaan domestik. Untuk itu, bank sentral Australia mempertahankan suku bunga di level rendah untuk memacu konsumsi.

Pada dekade mendatang, tambah laporan tersebut, Australia harus mengadopsi regulasi fiskal baru, termasuk mencapai surplus hingga 1% dari total produk domestik bruto (PDB). Regulasi baru itu juga mengharuskan pemerintah terus mengurangi utang dan menjaga penerimaan pajak di bawah 24% dari PDB.

Sementara itu, Craig James, ekonom senior Commonwealth Bank of Australia mengatakan pemerintah tidak harus berupaya terlalu keras atau terlalu cepat dalam menanggapi isu fiskal tersebut.

Menurutnya, ekonomi Australia secara perlahan mulai kembali ke level semula. Tetapi, dirinya setuju jika efisiensi anggaran difokuskan terhadap belanja sosial dan pelayanan publik.

Sebelumnya, pemerintah telah melakukan langkah penghematan dengan mengurangi jumlah pegawai negeri sekitar 12.000 posisi dan mengurangi subsidi terhadap produsen otomotif. Tetapi, tetap saja utang Australia diperkirakan mencapai puncaknya yaitu 16,2% terhadap PDB pada pertengahan 2019 jika tidak ada kebijakan signifikan.

Source : Bloomberg
Editor : Fatkhul Maskur
SYDNEY, Feb 13, 2014 (AFP)
Australia’s unemployment rate in January jumped to 6.0 percent — its worst in a decade — with the economy shedding 3,700 jobs amid a turbulent transition away from mining, data showed Thursday.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the jobless rate increased from 5.8 percent in December, with some 7,100 full-time positions lost, which were only partially offset by 3,400 extra part-time roles.

The Australian dollar dived on the data, which was above analyst predictions. It was at 89.52 US cents from 90.11 cents immediately prior to the announcement.

It is the highest unemployment has been since the global financial crisis, when it peaked at 5.8 percent, and its worst since July 2003. It also matches the government’s forecast jobless peak for the year to June 30.

Australia is undergoing a bumpy economic transition with its decade-long Asia-led mining investment boom reaching its peak, and the ailing manufacturing sector in dire straits with the announced exit this week of Toyota, its last remaining automaker.

The Reserve Bank of Australia forecast unemployment to continue edging higher in its quarterly monetary policy update last week as spending in the mining sector unwinds.

Efek pelonggaran yuan
Oleh Febrina Ratna Iskana, Agus Triyono – Rabu, 20 November 2013 | 06:09 WIB
kontan

JAKARTA. Dollar Australia menguat terhadap sejumlah mata uang utama dunia. Penguatan aussie dipicu oleh adanya reformasi kebijakan di China.
Di pasar spot sampai dengan Selasa (19/11) pukul 19.14 WIB, pasangan mata uang AUD/USD menguat 0,45% menjadi 0,9419, AUD/JPY menguat 0,32% menjadi 94,07, dan pasangan EUR/AUD melemah 0,52% menjadi 1,4328 dibanding hari sebelumnya.
Tonny Mariano, analis Harvest International Futures mengatakan, reformasi kebijakan ekonomi China berupa perluasan batas trading yuan dan penghapusan pembatasan investasi asing dan lokal, mampu meningkatnya minat pelaku pasar terhadap aset berisiko.
Penguatan aussie terhadap dollar AS juga didukung oleh kebijakan Bank Sentral Australia yang mempertahankan suku bunga. Sentimen positif juga datang dari pernyataan Bank Sentral AS yang belum akan memangkas stimulus. Apalagi, sejak akhir Oktober, AUD/USD cenderung melemah hingga level terbawah pada pekan lalu.
Daru Wibisono, analis Monex Investindo Futures mengatakan, secara fundamental, data ekonomi Australia kurang mendukung penguatan aussie. “Tapi fokus dan kekhawatiran pasar yang lebih besar terhadap kondisi Eropa membuat aussie bisa menguat terhadap euro,” kata Daru.
Daru mengatakan, penguatan aussie tersebut bisa saja berbalik. Syaratnya, indeks sentimen ekonomi Jerman dan Eropa dirilis positif sesuai dengan ekspektasi.
Alwi Assegaf, analis Soegee Futures mengatakan, penguatan AUD/JPY dipicu aksi bargain hunting saat pasangan ini melemah. Bank of Japan diprediksi tidak akan mengeluarkan kebijakan baru. BOJ masih mempertahankan guyuran stimulus. Sehingga, ada kemungkinan pasangan mata uang AUD/JPY turun menjelang rapat BOJ hari ini.
Oct. 22, 2013, 7:41 p.m. EDT
Australia stocks rise, paced by mining advances

By Carla Mozee
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australia stocks rose early Wednesday, as advances for mining shares put the equity benchmark in line for a seventh straight gain. The S&P/ASX 200 AU:XJO +0.46% tacked on 0.4% at 5,394.90. Shares of mining company each picked up at least 1.2% after gold, silver and other metals futures jumped on expectations of further monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve in the wake of soft U.S. September jobs data. Stock in gold producer Newcrest Mining Ltd. AU:NCM +5.46% NCMGF +5.04% and Evolution Mining Ltd. AU:EVN +6.25% CAHPF -0.50% surged 5.6% and 6.3%, respectively, and copper miner OZ Minerals Ltd. AU:OZL +1.47% OZMLF -2.37% rose 1.5%. Iron-ore producer BHP Billiton Ltd. AU:BHP +1.73% BHP +0.43% moved up 1.8%, extending gains after raising its fiscal year iron-ore production forecast. Financial shares were modestly higher ahead of Australia’s third-quarter inflation report due later Wednesday. Macquarie Group Ltd. AU:MQG +1.32% MCQEF +4.88% added 1.3% and Commonwealth Bank of Australia AU:CBA +0.25% CBAUF +4.04% rose 0.3%.
Australia’s changing Asia trajectory
By Purnendra Jain

Following discriminatory migration policies for more than six decades since its federation in 1901, Australia officially abolished the vestiges of its long held “white Australia” policy in the 1970s. Now, four decades on, the government has issued a White Paper outlining Asia’s increasing economic and strategic importance to Australia and offering a roadmap for engagement.

The leap from policies restricting the arrival of Asians, to the “Australia in the Asian Century” White Paper is a remarkable political trajectory for a nation whose cultural and historical ties naturally bind it to the West but whose changing circumstances mean geography is increasingly significant.

Australia’s position and the location of fast-growing economies in its region are destined to define its future, but will these growing ties move beyond economic imperatives to a broad-based and

genuine engagement with Asia? What would that mean?

Even after the 1970s, except at the diplomatic level, average Australians had little contact with Asia. Despite increasing trade, the Colombo Plan bringing some of Asia’s best and brightest to Australia and the slow build-up of Asian migration including refugees, many Australians tended to regard Asia as a threat and there was little, social and cultural interaction. Australia remained a predominantly Anglo and white nation.

Remarkably though, Japan, the country’s bitter World War II enemy, emerged as one of Australia’s leading trade partners from the late 1950s. Based on trade, the relationship also saw growing social, cultural and even strategic links develop to an extent not seen with any other Asian nation.

In more recent years, China then India have become the two most prominent Asian nations for Australia, a process again driven primarily by commercial interests. Their exponential growth in the first decade of the 21st century is propelling demand for Australian raw materials such as coal, iron ore and so on, into a mining boom.

First China in the 1980s and 1990s, and more recently India, have also become the two principal sources of students to Australian tertiary institutions and vocational colleges, to the extent that these institutions have become largely dependent on income from the two Asian sources. Many of these students are lured purely by the attraction of permanent residence on completion of their education.

Migration from Asian countries has continued steadily since the 1970s, but in more recent years the number from Asia has spiked, especially from China and India. In 2011, India became the largest supplier of migrants to Australia, surpassing traditional suppliers such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Given that two-thirds of Australia’s trade is now with Asia, the number of Asian students and migration from China, India and other Asian nations has swollen and tourists and short-term visitors from Asia are on the rise. It is apparent that Australia’s future has become increasingly intertwined with that of Asia’s.

As the economies of Indonesia (which is now bigger in gross domestic product terms than Australia), Vietnam and other Asian countries develop rapidly, the region will become even more important.

Some of these economic imperatives are highlighted in the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper with a large number of recommendations that would put Australia in an advantageous position. Five countries – Japan, China, South Korea, Indonesia and India – have been identified as the most important, and the White Paper recommends that their cultures, societies and languages should be taught in schools and tertiary institutions. Teaching of Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian and Hindi have been identified as priority areas.

While many of these recommendations were previously highlighted in a number of documents and reports, the fact that these have been put together for the first time in a comprehensive government report sends a signal of the national government’s seriousness in connecting to Asia.

While many have hailed this as an important document, critics point out the lack of detail on implementation. It is not clear how these aspirations will be delivered and who will fund the massive educational push intended to make Australia’s population “Asia literate” and “Asia capable”. And indeed why do Australians need to learn Asian languages beyond economic imperatives. Why is Hindi more important than Korean?

The White Paper exhorts that by 2025 one third of Australia’s top 200 publicly listed companies and one third of the senior leadership of the Australian public service should have deep experience in and knowledge of Asia, but nowhere does it recommend such requirements for politicians.

If deeper experience and knowledge is required in one single organization in Australia, it is in its educational institutions. No Australian university has a vice chancellor of Asian origin. At the senior management level and in university councils, representation of Asian Australians is so small that it is hardly noticed. Is Australia really ready and willing to take the full advantage of its Asian asset? Probably not.

The White Paper primarily emphasizes “opportunities” in Asia and how these opportunities can be exploited to keep Australia a high-income, developed society with its generous social welfare with little regard for social and human issues that challenge many Asian countries.

What this White Paper lacks is acknowledgement and guidelines on how to build Australia-Asia relations that are beneficial to both sides. This will happen only when Australia treats Asia more than a site for “making money” and seeking economic opportunities while keeping policy-making the privilege of those who come from more familiar historical and cultural backgrounds.

While the White Paper is a welcome document, it is also time to think hard about how to move Australia’s Asia engagement beyond the Asia rhetoric.

Purnendra Jain is professor in Asian Studies at Australia’s University of Adelaide

Bank Sentral Australia Revisi Pertumbuhan Ekonomi
Oleh: Agustina Melani
pasarmodal – Jumat, 9 Agustus 2013 | 10:01 WIB

INILAH.COM, Sydney – Bank sentral Australia merevisi pertumbuhan ekonomi lebih rendah tetapi kelihatan samar-samar terhadap prospek suku bunga ke depan.

Terkait suku bunga, bank sentral akan menyesuaikan kebijakan “yang diperlukan”. “Dewan akan terus mengkaji prospek dan menyesuiakan kebijakan untuk mendorong pertumbuhan yang berkelanjutan dalam permintaan dan hasil inflasi konsisten dengan target inflasi dari waktu ke waktu,” tulis bank sentral dalam sebuah pernyataan kebijakan kuartal, seperti dikutip dari Marketwatch, Jumat (9/8/2013).

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) memangkas pertumbuhan ekonomi menjadi 2,25% pada 2013 dari perkiraan Mei 2013 sebesar 2,5%. Penurunan ekspektasi ekonomi datang seiring investasi pertambangan yang memudar cepat. Sementara itu, konstruksi lambat.

Selain itu, bank sentral menyatakan, kebijakan tidak akan berkurang untuk memangkas suku bunga pada Agustus sebagai akibat dari data inflasi terbaru. Penurunan dolar Australia sejak April akan menambah inflasi melalui harga lebih tinggi untuk impor. Akan tetapi tidak begitu banyak bergerak di atas yang diinginkan di 25-3%. “Harapannya adalah untuk inflasi agar sesuai target dengan depresiasi dolar Australia,” kata bank sentral.

Sebelumnya dalam beberapa bulan terakhir, bank sentral Australia telah menekankan inflasi rendah untuk menurunkan suku bunga lebih lanjut jika diperlukan.

Data China mengerek kurs aussie
Oleh Cindy Silviana Sukma – Selasa, 16 Juli 2013 | 08:48 WIB

JAKARTA. Dollar Australia menguatkan posisinya terhadap beberapa mata uang dunia. Beberapa data pertumbuhan ekonomi China kuartal kedua yang sesuai ekspektasi serta penjualan kendaraan di Australia yang tumbuh signifikan turut menyokong aussie.
Pasangan EUR/AUD pada perdagangan, Senin (15/7) pukul 16.48 WIB, melemah 0,56% menjadi 1,4362 dibandingkan sehari sebelumnya. Pairing AUD/USD menguat 0,34% menjadi 0,9080. Pairing AUD/JPY menguat 0,90% menjadi 90,5870 dibandingkan sehari sebelumnya.
Biro Statistik Nasional China mencatat, produk domestik bruto (PDB) tumbuh 7,5% selama kuartal kedua, dibandingkan kuartal pertama yang mencapai 7,7%. Meskipun angka ini lebih rendah, namun masih sejalan dan dengan proyeksi pasar. Sementara, penjualan kendaraan dalam negeri Australia naik 4% pada Juni dibanding Mei yang cuma naik 0,3%.
Zulfirman Basir, analis Monex Investindo Futures mengatakan, EUR/AUD mulai melemah setelah pasangan ini bergerak naik selama tiga hari berturut-turut pekan lalu. Penguatan berasal dari sisi dollar Australia. “Investor cukup lega karena data PDB China tak seburuk dari pernyataan Menteri Keuangan China bahwa proyeksi PDB China hanya berkisar 7%,” ucap Zulfirman. Sebaliknya, sisi euro tak tertopang sentimen bagus.
Kiswoyo Adi Joe, Managing Partner Investa Saran Mandiri mengatakan, pergerakan AUD/USD menguat, karena data GDP China memberi optimisme bagi Australia. Perdagangan kedua negara diperkirakan bakal lancar kembali.
Analis SoeGee Futures, Nanang Wahyudin menambahkan, AUD masih berada di bawah tekanan, meski pasangan AUD/JPY juga menguat. “Investor rehat setelah kejatuhan pasangan AUD/JPY tajam selama tiga hari terakhir ini,” tambahnya.
Menurut Nanang, aussie tengah menantikan momen penting pertemuan bank sentral Australia. Bank Sentral Australia kemungkinan akan melanjutkan pelemahan aussie dan menahan suku bunga yang rendah.
Senin, 15/07/2013 18:30 WIB
Mahasiswa Australia Makin Miskin
ABC Australia – detikNews
Jakarta – Riset terbaru menunjukan dua pertiga mahasiswa Australia hidup di bawah garis kemiskinan dan kesulitan keuangan semakin meningkat.

Riset ini mendata lebih dari 12.000 responden mahasiswa program sarjana dan pascasarjana di universitas-universitas di Australia.

21 persen responden mengaku memiliki pendapatan kurang dari $10,000, dan sebagian besar yakni sekitar 40.3 persen berpendapatan $10,000 dan $19,000.

Sedangkan pendapatan tahunan rata-rata adalah $18.634 untuk mahasiswa program studi sarjana.

Laporan ini juga menemukan kalau 1 dari 5 mahasiswa kerap tidak makan, angka ini meningkat dari temuan tahun 2006 lalu yang hanya 1 dari 8 mahasiswa yang tidak makan.

Riset ini juga menemukan setengah dari mahasiswa yang disurvei mengaku mendapat dukungan keuangan dari keluarganya untuk bisa terus melanjutkan studi.

Sementara itu dua pertiga mahasiswa sarjana mengaku khawatir dengan situasi keuangan mereka. Kesulitan keuangan ini lebih besar dialami mahasiswa pribumi dibandingkan mahasiswa berlatar belakang sosial ekonomi rendah.

“Laporan ini jelas menunjukan kalau kesulitan keuangan dikalangan pelajar mahasiswa di Australia meningkat,” kata Kepala Universitas Australia Belinda Robinson dalam pernyataannya.

“Dampak temuan ini terhadap tingkat berhenti kuliah atau DO maupun tingkat pendaftaran di universitas masih belum diketahui, namun yang pasti masalah ini tetap mendesak untuk dicermati.” katanya.

Kepala Badan Pelayanan Sosial Australia (ACOSS), Cassandra Goldie, mengatakan pembayaran tunjangan anak-anak muda dari pemerintah saat ini tidak mencukupi lagi.

“Salah satu alasan utama terkait tunjangan bagi pemuda yang banyak diandalkan mahasiswa saat ini adalah besarannya hanya $29 per hari,” Dr Goldie said.

“Seperti halnya pembayaran tunjangan bagi pengangguran, ; besaran tunjangan itu sudah lebih dari dua dekade tidak mengalami peningkatan. Jadi jelas saja tunjangan itu sudah tidak cukup lagi,” tegasnya.

“Kita mendesak agar pemerintah menaikan tunjangan untuk mahasiswa ini.” ucap Goldie.

Sistem rusak

Dr. Goldie mengatakan sistem pendidikan di Australia dirancang untuk mahasiswa yang tinggal di rumah dan dibiayai oleh orang tua atau penjaminnya. Dan ini tidak mencerminkan kondisi kebanyakan mahasiswa atau pelajar di Australia saat ini.

“Jika dua pertiga dari mahasiswa hidup dibawah garis kemiskinan, maka bisa dipastikan sistem pendidikanya tidak benar,” katanya.

“Kita perlu sistem pendidikan yang dewasa yang memungkinkan mahasiswa bisa mendapat pendidikan yang lebih baik dan tidak perlu hidup miskin untuk menjalani pendidikan ;seperti sekarang ini.”

Serikat Mahasiswa sebelumnya mendesak agar usia seseorang dibolehkan tinggal sendiri direndahkan dari 22 tahun menjadi 18 tahun untuk meningkatkan jumlah orang yang bisa mendapatkan dukungan pendanaan.

Tapi Goldie mengatakan desakan itu bukan perbaikan cepat untuk mengatasi tingginya tingkat kemiskinan.

“Pemerintah banyak berbicara soal bagaimana Australia bisa ; memiliki sistem pendidikan kelas dunia, yang artinya harus juga melindungi hak pelajar untuk bisa melewati sistem pendidikan ; tersebut,” katanya.

ACOSS mengatakan ketersediaan tempat tinggal yang terjangkau merupakan alasan lain yang mempengaruhi kemiskinan dikalangan pelajar.

Menurut Goldie anak-anak muda perlu hidup dalam kondisi stabil dan nyaman agar bisa menyelesaikan pendidikannya. Tapi saat ini kebanyakan mahasiswa hidup di rumah tinggal di bawah standar yang sulit untuk tidur nyenyak di malam hari dan belajar dengan baik.

(nwk/nwk)
Here’s the Real Crisis in Australia
By William Pesek – Jun 27, 2013
Australia (AUNAGDPC) has been called many things: Oz; the land Down Under; the lucky country. But the equivalent of a collateralized-debt obligation?

Canberra can’t be happy to hear its AAA-rated economy likened to one of the reviled investment vehicles that blew up amid the 2008 global crisis. Yet the comparison is being made by some economists, who see the asset underlying Australia — demand from China — beginning to evaporate. No country is more vulnerable to the much-dreaded slowdown in China than resource-rich Australia. The mining boom that fueled nearly all of its recent growth is nearing a cliff of economic risk.

“Australia is a leveraged time bomb waiting to blow,” says Albert Edwards, Societe Generale SA’s London-based global strategist. “It is not just a CDO, but a CDO squared. All we have in Australia is, at its simplest, a credit bubble built upon a commodity boom dependent for its sustenance on an even greater credit bubble in China.”

There’s a bit of hyperbole in this view. But highly-advanced Australia is about to pay the price for growing so addicted to a developing nation. Exporting natural resources led to the neglect and atrophying of other critical sectors. It’s created a two-speed economy: The commodities-rich western states and Queensland raced ahead on China’s once insatiable demand for metals, while the rest of the country lagged behind. Now, even as mining giants BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Plc. continue to ramp up production, the price for Western Australia’s iron ore has fallen to $115 per ton — a far cry from the $180 paid by Chinese steel mills when the Australian dollar was touching highs of $1.10.

Petty Politics

Now that the easy China-driven growth is drying up, how are officials in Canberra responding? With a maudlin and distracting political soap opera. On Wednesday, the ruling Labor party ousted the unpopular Julia Gillard as prime minister. Her replacement, Kevin Rudd, is the same unpopular lawmaker Gillard ejected from the job in 2010. Treasurer Wayne Swan, frenemies with Rudd, quit. The ill-timed game of musical chairs has Australians and outside observers wondering what these last three years were about. Rudd’s comeback probably won’t stop opposition leader Tony Abbott from winning an election scheduled for September.

Personalities aren’t Australia’s problem; policies are. Whoever is in power needs to focus intensely on increasing investments in infrastructure, education and training. They need to revamp a high-tax system that encourages all too many of the workforce’s best, brightest and most productive people to seek opportunities abroad. Officials in Canberra must think creatively about spreading the benefits of the vast wealth being amassed by mining companies. Rudd lost his post three years ago in part because of his proposed “super tax” on their profits; Abbott might well want to revive the idea.

Australia matters because it’s in the vanguard of nations, rich and poor, who are grappling with how to adjust to a slowing China. As Chinese officials act to restrain runaway credit growth and rebalance the economy away from overinvestment and exports, China’s growth is likely to be closer to 5 percent than 10 percent. This year’s 28 percent tumble in iron ore prices since February is a harbinger of pain to come. So is the 11 percent drop in the Australian dollar this quarter alone.

The shockwaves caused by even modest attempts by China’s central bank to clamp down on credit show how profoundly this downshift will affect the globe. It will result in slower growth from Japan to Brazil and slam industries like autos, chemicals, heavy manufacturing, energy and steel. If China needs to dump some of its $1.3 trillion of U.S. Treasuries to bail out state-owned banks, markets everywhere will quake.

Australia is a microcosm of what awaits the world. How officials respond will offer clues to policy makers everywhere.

Reform Path

The key for Australia is to return to the liberalizing instincts of the 1980s and 1990s, when there was no behemoth gobbling up resources at record prices. Opportunities for transitioning back to a non-mining economy abound. Boosting funding for research and development will create high-paying jobs in technology, science and education. Australia boasts great exporting potential in agriculture, medical supplies and high-end machinery.

But progress in any of these sectors will require a level of political will and forward thinking that’s been lacking for nearly 20 years.

“Our worry is that tourism, manufacturing and other trade-exposed sectors haven’t been investing for years now, having been brow-beaten by the unrelenting strength of the currency and the diversion of resources into the mining sector,” says Ray Attrill, a currency strategy at National Australia Bank Ltd. in Sydney. “So it’s not obvious these sectors are in a position to quickly plug the hole from which the hissing sound of a deflating commodity bubble is emanating.”

There will be a premium on policy flexibility. Nimbleness is everything. That means taking an even bigger step away from the budget surpluses of the last decade and increasing fiscal stimulus. For Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens, it means adopting a less-dogmatic attitude toward inflation trends. A Chinese swoon, after all, will be a deflationary event globally.

Australia should indeed sell all the underground treasures it can to fast-growing developing nations. But in the long run, it’s more important for the country to cultivate what’s above ground. Australia’s future lies in ideas, innovation and the ingenuity of its 23 million people — not in a China that’s ripe for a crash.

(William Pesek is a Bloomberg View columnist.)
Stocks Climb on Earnings as Aussie Dollar Falls on Rates
By Stephen Kirkland and Inyoung Hwang – May 7, 2013
bloomberg
Global stocks rose, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 15,000 for the second time ever, as earnings at companies from Societe Generale SA to DirecTV and Allianz SE beat estimates and German factory orders increased.

Australia’s dollar fell as the central bank cut interest rates.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.2 percent to 1,620.85, reaching a record for a fourth straight day, and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.3 percent to reach an almost five-year high. Corporate bond risk in Europe retreated to the lowest in three years. The euro gained 0.1 percent to $1.3087, paring a 0.4 percent advance, while the Australian dollar dropped against 15 of 16 major peers. Oil slipped 0.7 percent.

Societe Generale, France’s second-largest bank, reported earnings dropped less than analysts estimated, while Allianz, Europe’s biggest insurer, said first-quarter profit climbed 24 percent. The Reserve Bank of Australia lowered its main rate by a quarter percentage point to 2.75 percent, a day after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said further cuts in rates are possible following a reduction to an all-time low last week.

“Earnings reports are solid and earnings expectations have come down to level that begets a rotation into cyclicals that have strong balance sheets and strong dividend yields,” Steven Soranno, a Bethesda, Maryland-based senior equities analyst for Calvert Investments Inc., which oversees about $12 billion, said by telephone. “The old adage used to be ‘Don’t fight the Fed.’ Now it’s ‘Don’t fight the Feds,’ plural. Australia came in with the rate cut and that just adds to the coordinated central bank easing.”

Market Movers

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded above 15,000 for the second time ever today as Caterpillar Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc. led gains. Twenty-three companies in the gauge are due to report results today, including Walt Disney Co. Of the index members to have posted earnings so far this season, 72 percent topped analysts’ profit projections while 53 percent missed on sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

DirecTV gained 4.1 percent after adding more subscribers than analysts projected. Fossil Inc. advanced 8.2 percent after earnings beat estimates and the company lifted its forecast for the year. First Solar plunged 9.6 percent after earnings fells short of estimates.

The Stoxx 600 advanced for the fourth time in five days, heading for the highest close since June 2008. SocGen (GLE) rallied 6.3 percent to an eight-week high and Allianz rose 2.9 percent to the highest level in almost five years.

HSBC Jumps

HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s largest bank, jumped 2.9 percent after saying first-quarter profit almost doubled.

The cost of insuring European corporate bonds declined to the lowest level since May 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Markit iTraxx Europe Index of 125 investment- grade companies fell 3 basis points to 89 basis points.

Alstom SA sank 11 percent, the most since 2008, after the world’s third-biggest power-equipment maker cut its profitability forecasts as full-year earnings missed estimates.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index gained for a third day, adding 0.5 percent. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies rose 1 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) added 0.2 percent. Malaysia’s benchmark gauge climbed 1.4 percent, capping its biggest two-day rally in four years, after Prime Minister Najib Razak’s election victory.

The yuan strengthened 0.2 percent against the dollar as Premier Li Keqiang pledged to come up with a plan this year to let investment capital move more freely in and out of China.

Germany Factories

The euro advanced against 10 of its 16 most-traded counterparts. German factory orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, increased 2.2 percent from February, when they also advanced 2.2 percent, the Economy Ministry said. Economists forecast a 0.5 percent drop, according to the median of 39 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

The Australian dollar fell as low as $1.0155, the least since March 4, before trading 0.9 percent lower at $1.0161. The yen advanced against 13 of its 16 major peers, rising 0.3 percent to 99.08 per dollar.

Portugal is selling 10-year bonds for the first time in more than two years as it seeks to regain full access to debt markets following its 2011 bailout.

The new securities due in February 2024 may yield 400 basis points more than the mid-swap rate, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak about it. Investors have submitted bids for more than 9 billion euros ($11.8 billion) of debt, compared with the 3 billion euros being sold, Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar told reporters in Brussels.

Austria Sale

Austria sold 660 million euros ($863 million) of 10-year bonds at a record-low yield of 1.621 percent and the same amount of securities due in 2019 at 0.794 percent. Germany’s 10-year bond yields rose four basis points to 1.28 percent and the rate on gilts climbed seven basis points to 1.79 percent.

Volatility on Sweden’s bonds was the highest among developed markets tracked by Bloomberg followed by those of Denmark and the U.K., according to measures of 10-year debt, the yield spread between two- and 10-year securities and credit default swaps.

West Texas Intermediate crude declined for the first time in four days, slipping 0.7 percent to $95.51 a barrel. Trading on the London Metal Exchange resumed after a public holiday yesterday. Rubber rallied 6.8 percent in Tokyo, the most since November 2011, after trading was closed for the past two days. Wheat climbed 0.5 percent after the U.S. government said winter- crop conditions worsened.
24. April 2013, 13:46:31 SGT

Australia Beli Surat Utang Cina

wsj indonesia

SYDNEY- Bank sentral Australia akan menginvestasikan 5% dari cadangan devisanya pada surat utang Cina. Ini merupakan tanda semakin mendalamnya hubungan keuangan antar kedua negara tersebut.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) mengatakan keputusan tersebut menunjukkan meningkatnya saluran perdagangan, hubungan keuangan yang dalam, serta diversifikasi portfolio cadangan devisa Australia.

Deputi Gubernur RBA, Philip Lowe, di hadapan sekelompok pebisnis di Shanghai, Rabu, mengatakan, People’s Bank of China telah menyetujui kuota awal tersebut.

“Keinginan kami saat ini adalah untuk menaruh sekitar 5% dari cadangan devisa Australia di Cina. [Bank sentral Cina] telah menyetujui kuota investasi awal dan kami sedang mengurus perjanjian-perjanjian yang diperlukan sebelum investasi tersebut bisa terjadi,” kata Lowe.

“Keputusan untuk berinvestasi di Cina merupakan hal yang penting. Ini merefleksikan meluasnya hubungan ekonomi antara Cina dan Australia, serta meningkatnya ikatan finansial kita,” tambahnya.

Alokasi pada porftolio investasi devisa Australia saat ini adalah 45% untuk Amerika Serikat, 45% untuk Eropa, 5% untuk Jepang dan 5% untuk Kanada.

Pengumuman ini datang tak lama setelah Perdana Menteri Australia Julia Gillard baru-baru ini menandatangani perjanjian dengan Cina untuk bisa memperdagangkan mata uang mereka secara langsung.

Australia merupakan negara ketiga yang memiliki perjanjian semacam itu dengan Cina, dan langkah tersebut diharapkan bisa memangkas biaya bagi perusahaan lokal untuk berbisnis di Cina, mitra dagang terbesar Australia. Selain Australia, hanya dolar AS dan yen yang bisa ditukar langsung dengan yuan.

The changing face of the average Aussie

Australia’s population surpassed 23 million on Tuesday. And as the country’s numbers change, so does its image – you can forget Crocodile Dundee, for a start.

The national stereotype has it that no Australian would ever look upon themselves as “average”.

Instead, outsiders tend to think of “quintessential Aussies” – ruggedly individualist types with a bawdy sense of humour and a self-confidence bordering on the downright cocky.

But after mulling over the most up-to-date census data, the country’s Bureau of Statistics has come up with its own stereotype-busting definition of the so-called average Aussie.

Suffice to say, we are not dealing with some ocker on the veranda of an outback watering hole, raising a schooner of ice-cold beer with one hand and swatting away flies with the other. Nor has the Australian Bureau of Statistics plucked a character from the teenage cast of an afternoon “soap”, or some blonde Adonis from the surf at Bondi.

No, the “average Australian” is evidently a 37-year-old woman, married with two children, who lives in a three-bedroom house in a suburb of one of Australia’s capital cities. Its average Australian is a wholly different character from the imagined Australian.

Any attempt to define a nation by one person is bound to be met by scepticism. But in a country where the prime minister, the governor-general and the richest person – the mining magnate, Gina Rinehart – are all women, the latest data confirms what demographers have long known: Australia is becoming a more female country.

Australia’s powerful women

  • Prime Minister Julia Gillard: Born Barry, Wales, 1961. Raised in Adelaide, became citizen in 1974. Elected to federal seat for Labor in 1998. Education and employment minister before ousting Kevin Rudd as leader
  • Mining magnate Gina Rinehart: Born Perth, 1954. Daughter of Lang Hancock, iron ore millionaire. Took over company in 1992. Named world’s richest woman in 2012 survey. Has stake in Channel Ten and Fairfax Media
  • Governor-General Quentin Bryce: Born Brisbane, 1942. Worked as academic and human rights lawyer. Was governor of Queensland before becoming first woman governor-general in 2008

In the years after British settlement in 1788, the sex ratio was six men to one woman because so many convicts and their guards were male.

The gold rush in the late 19th Century maintained this large excess of males, as did the early waves of post-war immigration because of an influx of men from southern Europe.

A hundred years ago, the average Australian was a 24-year-old male. Fifty years ago, he was a 29-year-old male. Then, in 1979, women finally overtook men.

Because women live longer, that national trend will continue in perpetuity – although, in Western Australia, men still outnumber women as a result of the modern-day gold rush effect of the state’s male-dominated mining industry.

The “average Australian” is still born in Australia, as were her parents. But in this polyglot nation, with such a rich multicultural flavour, that is likely to change soon. Over a quarter of Australians are already born overseas – 26% – and only 54% have parents who were both born within these shores.

The changing face of the Australian cricket team illustrates some of the demographic shifts. Blonde and gelled, its captain and vice-captain on the recent tour of India, Michael Clarke and Shane Watson, look like they have stepped, bat aloft, from central casting.

But the next generation of stars is starting to look more like modern Australia. Consider the promising all-rounder, Moises Henriques, who was born in Lisbon, Portugal, or Usman Khawaja, the talented – if underperforming – batsman, who hails from Islamabad.

The notion that cricket, one of the few sports which arouses the same level of passion throughout the land, should be regarded as the average Australian sport is also being challenged. In terms of ethnicity, football – or soccer as it is known in Australia – has arguably become the country’s most representative sport.

The A-League can boast players from 56 ancestries. The Socceroos, the national team, is populated by players with names like Schwarzer, Aloisi, Ognenovski, Bresciano. Its star player, Tim Cahill, was born in Sydney of a Samoan mother and an English father of Irish descent. In a settler nation, it is the migrant game.

  • Moises Henriques: Cricket all-rounder, born Portugal. Scored 156 runs and took two wickets in three matches after making test debut in India this year
  • Bernard Tomic: Tennis player, born Germany. Ranked 47 in world, having become youngest Wimbledon quarter-finalist since Boris Becker in 2011
  • Usman Khawaja: Cricket batsman, born Pakistan. Form with Queensland prompted selectors to make him the first Muslim to play for Australia
  • Jason Day: Golfer, born Queensland, with Filipino mother. Ranked 26 in world and finished third behind compatriot Adam Scott in 2013 US Masters

Twenty-five years ago, football’s “ethnic” image limited its growth and penetration. Now, its ethnic diversity is seen as a unique selling point, and one of the reasons why the A-League is set to return to free-to-air television after years of being shown mainly on cable. Administrators market it as “the face of Australia”.

In other sports, too, new Australians are rising to the top. The golfer Adam Scott, who this month became the first Australian ever to win the US Masters and don the famous green blazer, may fit the standard profile of the successful Aussie sports star. But had things turned out differently on the back nine at Augusta, we could just as easily have been talking about the Australian who finished third, Jason Day, whose father is an Irish Australian and whose mother is Filipino.

The up-and-coming tennis star Bernard Tomic was born in Germany, of Bosnian and Croatian parents. In a country searching for its next male grand slam winner, it would be tempting to call him “the great white hope” but that very phrase is becoming increasingly redundant across Australian sport.

This, after all, is a country where one in five people – 19% – speak a language other than English in their home. Of these, the most common is Mandarin, yet another reminder of how China specifically, and immigration more generally, is continually changing the character of Australia.

The “average Aussie” is Catholic rather than Anglican, and one of the main reasons why is because of new arrivals from the Philippines and Vietnam. They have added to the Irish and Mediterranean immigrants who traditionally have looked to Rome for their spiritual leadership.

Also noticeable is the strong growth of non-Christian groups, which again is explained mainly by immigration. Of the non-Christian religions, the biggest is Buddhism (2.5% of the population), Islam (2.2%) and Hinduism (1.3%). Hinduism is witnessing the biggest growth, with its numbers almost doubling between 2006 and 2011, from 148,130 to 275,534 followers.

This new definition of the average Australian is especially timely, according to Dr Rebecca Huntley of Ipsos Mackay research, because there is a growing annoyance that Australia and its people are being misrepresented around the world.

“Twenty years ago it was the cultural elites who used to cringe at the stereotypical Paul Hogan, Steve Irwin and Shane Warne view of Australia. Now that’s part of a much broader discussion. People are very aware of what the world imagines Australia to be, and what we really are. We want our national profile to reflect our lived experience.”

“Throw another shrimp on the barbie” was a 1980s tourism slogan

Australians, she says, are becoming more resentful of tourism adverts that peddle in traditional stereotypes and typecast Australians. Tourism Australian does so because the cliches sell, and attempts to rebrand the country have not always been successful.

Recent research also shows that people have a problem with Julia Gillard’s nasal accent, because of how it sounds in international forums. “The Kath and Kim voice feeds this idea that we’re a nation of Shane Warnes,” says Huntley.

“They’re open to a more complex and sophisticated view of what Australia is,” she says – a country where people are early adopters of technology, enjoy a broad menu of international food and have a high appetite for global news.

There is a growing realisation, as well, that the country’s unbroken 21-year run of economic growth sets it apart. The average Australian is becoming globally exceptional.
The average Australian is a suburban Frankenstein

Date
April 20, 2013

Earlier this month the Bureau of Statistics, apparently hoping to deter Wayne Swan from cutting its allocation in the May budget, made a grab for publicity with a report on the characteristics of “the average Australian”. In the process it broke its own rules.

The ABS applied mathematical magic to data from the 2011 census and sent the media off in search of a blonde brown-eyed 37 year old woman with two photogenic children aged nine and six, two cars and a mortgage of $1800 a month on her three bedroom home. Edna Everage’s granddaughter was born here (like her parents), describes herself as Christian, weighs 71.1 kg, and works as a sales assistant.

Disappointingly, the bureau failed to include these other qualities: the average (ie normal, decent, ordinary, typical, salt-of-the-earth) struggle-street survivor has one testicle and one breast and smokes four cigarettes a day.
Annie Wright: ‘They loved performing for Australians, they loved the reaction.’

Average tastes

That’s what you get if you divide the adult population into the national total of breasts, balls and butts. It’s a lesson in why you shouldn’t play with averages.
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The ABS warned about statistical silliness a couple of years ago in a report on national wealth. It said averages can be misleading, and it is better to talk about “median” characteristics (ie something that half the population has more of and half the population has less of).

You could say the “average” household has assets (house, car, furniture, investments) valued at $537,000, and liabilities of $69,000. Sounds pretty good. But the bureau warned:
James Cameron waited for years to make Avatar until digital technology had caught up to the ideas in his head.

One of these may be an average Aussie

“While the mean household net worth of all households in Australia was $468,000, the median (ie the mid point when all households are ranked in ascending order of net worth) was substantially lower at $295,000. This reflects the asymmetric distribution of wealth between households.”

The average is dragged upwards by the likes of the Packers, the Rineharts, the Lowys and the Pratts, who own a lot more stuff than most people.

Now the bureau is ignoring its own advice, and mingling means, medians and most-frequents to create a mythical creature that looks vaguely typical for us dummies in the media.
Vegemite toast.

Average breakfast

Well OK then. If the bureau has redefined the word “average” to mean simply “more than half the population”, I can add a whole lot more defining qualities to the list of what makes us who we are.

Movies the average Australian has seen: The Sound of Music; The Lord of the Rings trilogy; Shrek Two; at least one Harry Potter; Titanic; Avatar; Skyfall; The Avengers; Crocodile Dundee; Star Wars.

Television the average Australian has watched at least part of: The Sydney Olympics closing ceremony; the wedding of William and Kate; Diana Spencer’s funeral; Friends; MasterChef; Australian Idol; Big Brother; The Voice; The Block; Packed To The Rafters.

Songs the average Australian has heard: You’re The Voice; My Favourite Things; Party Rock Anthem; Candle in the Wind; Hey Jude; Mamma Mia; You’re the One That I Want; Down Under; Billie Jean.

Literature the average Australian has read at least part of: Hamlet, Pride and Prejudice, Brave New World, As You Like It, To Kill A Mockingbird, Animal Farm, Julius Caesar.

Products consumed by the average Australian family: Based on ACNielsen research on the most purchased products in Australian supermarkets, the family starts the day in the bathroom shampooing with Pantene, deodorising with Rexona, and wiping with Kleenex Cottonelle. Dad shaves with Gillette, Mum inserts Libra. In the kitchen, they drink Berri, pour Dairy Farmer’s on Weet-Bix, spread Vegemite on TipTop sliced, and sip Nescafe Blend 43. During the day they swig Coca-Cola, eat a few squares of Cadbury, crunch a few Smith’s, put on a wash with Omo, and dip a Tim Tam. For dinner they grate Bega on San Remo with Leggo’s, slurp Jacob’s Creek, and scoop Peter’s onto Goulburn Valley. They put Finish into the dishwasher. Before bed they sip Milo and brush with Colgate.

Now you may be shouting “I hated ABBA, missed Avatar, ignore The Voice and brush with Maclean’s. And I’m a male born in Italy who rents an apartment and gets around by public transport. Are they going to revoke my citizenship?”

Start packing your bags. The ABS decision to build a suburban Frankenstein for the sake of a publicity boost risks returning us to the point in recent history when certain people were labelled “unAustralian” if their language or behavior did not match the world view of Alan Jones, John Laws, Neil Mitchell or Andrew Bolt.

The ABS has played into the hands of those titans of talkback who like to keep the message simple. They’re not interested in this qualifier the ABS included at the end of the report to salve its conscience: “While many people will share a number of characteristics in common with this ‘average’ Australian, out of nearly 22 million people counted in Australia on Census night, no single person met all these criteria. While the description of the average Australian may sound quite typical, the fact that no-one meets all these criteria shows that the notion of the ‘average’ masks considerable (and growing) diversity in Australia.”

That’s not enough. Please, ABS, I beg of you: Don’t mess with Mr Inbetween. Give up this flirtation with averages. Get back to your median, and restore your reputation.

The Tribal Mind column, by David Dale, appears in a printed form every Sunday in The Sun-Herald, and also as a director’s cut on this website, where it welcomes your comments. David Dale teaches communications at UTS, Sydney. He is the author of The Little Book of Australia — A snapshot of who we are (Allen and Unwin). For daily updates on Australian attitudes, bookmark The Tribal Mind.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/blogs/the-tribal-mind/the-average-australian-is-a-suburban-frankenstein-20130419-2i4m2.html#ixzz2RL478kjV

AUD, Mata Uang Pilihan Investor Tahun Ini?
Penulis : Anastasia Joice | Selasa, 2 April 2013 | 11:29 WIB

oleh : Apressyanti Senthaury

KOMPAS.com – Perkembangan ekonomi dunia nampaknya tidak selamanya menjadi milik kalangan tertentu. Banyak pihak kini telah menyoroti bagaimana situasi sebenarnya yang terjadi di belahan bumi lainnya.

Bukan tanpa tujuan apa-apa, tapi demi mengetahui dan memahami pengaruhnya terhadap kondisi masa depan, khususnya pada negara sendiri. Apalagi perdagangan internasional kian maju dan mengakibatkan hubungan antara satu negara dengan negara lainnya laksana tiada batasnya.

Sebagai salah satu negara pengekspor terkemuka, Australia memiliki posisi penting dalam kancah perdagangan internasional. Selain itu, Australis (asal kata Australia dari bahasa Latin) memiliki karakteristik yang menarik untuk dinikmati siapa pun berkat lokasi negaranya yang berada di belahan selatan dunia.

Khususnya, manakala dikaitkan dengan faktor pariwisata dan sejarah kenegaraannya. Misalnya saja, wilayah negara yang beribukota di Canberra itu pernah dijadikan lokasi pembuangan para pelaku kriminal, yakni pada saat diduduki Inggris (akhir abad-18).

Wilayah Australia yang terdiri dari daratan utama benua Australia, Pulau Tasmania dan beberapa pulau kecil di Samudra Hindia dan Samudra Pasifik pun ditengarai bakal mampu membuatnya terus menjadi salah satu tujuan para wisatawan dari segala penjuru dunia.

Tak hanya daya tarik alam yang memikat para pengunjung dari berbagai negara. Keunikan ragam flora dan fauna Australia pun menjadi pemikat lainnya. Mengingat, jenisnya sangat berbeda dengan tempat-tempat lain di dunia. Bahkan, kebanyakan hewan dan tanaman asli negara yang bertetangga dengan Indonesia, Timor Leste dan Papua Nugini di sebelah utara, Kepulauan Solomon, Vanuatu dan Kaledonia Baru di sebelah timur laut, dan Selandia Baru di sebelah tenggara hanya bisa dijumpai di sana. Sebut saja Kanguru dan Koala.

Keunikan alam Australia pun memicu model perekonomian yang unik buat negara berpenduduk asli suku Aborigin itu. Terbukti dari menurut biro statistik Australia (5/3/2012), defisit neraca berjalan Canberra yang menyempit menjadi 14,68 miliar dollar Australia dalam kuartal empat 2012 dari kuartal tiga.

Volume ekspor berpeluang meningkat setelah sempat menurun tiga bulan lalu. Kenaikan nilai ekspor diestimasi memiliki kontribusi pada pertumbuhan ekonomi yang kuat kuartal ini. Optimisme negara pimpinan PM Julia Gillard pun kian kokoh di tengah berbagai persoalan yang masih membelit negara-negara besar dunia.

Dollar Australia

Menyimak perjalanan berbagai mata uang asing di dunia, maka belumlah lengkap jika tidak memperhatikan valuta negara yang satu ini. Dollar Australia, atau biasa disebut Aussie Dollar merupakan salah satu mata uang asing pilihan di kalangan investor. Apalagi sejak beberapa mata uang tandingannya dirundung permasalahan yang mendera negaranya.

Lihat saja dollar AS yang dibayangi persoalan ekonomi negaranya, Amerika Serikat. Begitu pula halnya Euro yang dibebani problem krisis utang negara-negara anggotanya.

Di satu sisi, kondisi ini memicu ketertarikan investor pada dollar Australia hingga disinyalir turut mendongkrak perekonomian Persemakmuran Australia (nama resmi Australia). Terlebih dollar Australia merupakan salah satu mata uang yang paling diperdagangkan di pasar valas dunia.

Meski, prosentase penggunaannya hanya mencapai 4-5 persen dari transaksi, tetapi ternyata dollar Australia pantas bersanding bersama lima valuta ternama lainnya. Kelima mata uang itu adalah dollar AS (USD), yen Jepang (JPY), Euro (EUR), poundsterling (GBP), dan dollar Kanada (CAD).

Walau, di sisi lain, imbas negatif tekanan yang mendera euro berikut prolematika kawasannya pun ikut membebani fluktuasi pergerakan mata uang dollar Australia (simbol AUD). Namanya juga sesama mata uang berisiko. Ditambah lagi dengan keterkaitan ekonomi internasional yang saling terhubung satu sama lain hingga semakin mengeratkan pengaruh antara satu negara dengan negara lainnya.

Dan sebagai salah satu negara makmur di dunia, Australia merupakan negara dengan perekonomian terbesar ke-13. Jadi, munculnya sinyal kebangkitan dollar Australia sebagai mata uang berprospek positif ke depan bukanlah hanya isapan jempol belaka.

Banyak faktor pendukung yang berada di belakangnya. Apalagi Australia terhitung aktif dalam keanggotaannya dalam PBB, G-20 ekonomi utama, negara-negara persemakmuran, ANZUS, Organisasi untuk Kerjasama dan Pengembangan Ekonomi, Kerjasama Ekonomi Asia Pasifik, Forum Kepulauan Pasifik, dan Organisasi Perdagangan Dunia.

Kini, di kala negara-negara besar dunia dirundung kesusahan, ada secercah harapan yang menaungi Australia. Bahkan, mata uang dollar Australia pun terapresiasi terhadap sebagian besar mata uang utama pasca rilis data perekonomian negara yang bergabung dengan persemakmuran Inggris itu. Kendati berbagai sentimen negatif dari eksternal masih berpeluang menahan laju penguatan dollar Australia ke depan di tengah kemelut persoalan yang mendera perekonomian dunia.

Saat kondisi pasar yang cenderung dibayangi aversion itu, maka aset safe haven lah pemenangnya. Dalam hal ini investor berburu dan lebih dominan memegang mata uang dollar AS, yen Jepang ataupun aset berbentuk logam mulia, terutama emas, dibandingkan aset-aset berisiko.

Sementara itu, pupusnya ekspektasi pemangkasan suku bunga Bank Sentral Australia tahun ini berkat pertumbuhan Australia yang terdorong oleh kuatnya konsumsi rumah tangga dan tingkat ekspor memunculkan tambahan dukungan buat dollar Australia.

Berdasarkan catatan, Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) diperkirakan masih akan mempertahankan tingkat suku bunganya di level 3,00 persen di tengah ancaman kemerosotan ekonomi global. Padahal, level suku bunga acuan itu belum berubah sejak Desember 2012 silam.

Terlebih tingkat bunga tersebut sama dengan suku bunga pada tahun 2009 dan merupakan tingkat bunga acuan terendah selama 50 tahun belakangan ini. Meski, bank pimpinan Glenn Stevens itu akan terus bersiaga demi melindungi negara kaya akan sumber alam dari kemerosotan ekonomi global.

Dan memang, bila kita kembali merunut posisi dollar Australia di hadapan mata uang pesaingnya, mata uang negara Australia itu pun masih menduduki posisi keenam, bukan posisi nomor wahid di dunia.

Akan tetapi, bukan tidak mungkin jika suatu waktu nanti, dollar Australia bakal menggeser posisi dollar AS, yen Jepang, euro, poundsterling (GBP), dan bahkan dollar Kanada (CAD). Khususnya apabila kecamuk persoalan yang menghantui negara pemilik mata uang itu semakin memburuk dan membebani pergerakan valuta negaranya. Siapa tahu… (Apressyanti Senthaury – Analis Bank BNI)
*Tulisan ini adalah pendapat pribadi penulis
Editor :
Erlangga Djumena

Aussie Sedang Dihindari Pasar
Oleh Dina Farisah – Jumat, 28 Desember 2012 | 07:00 WIB
kontan
JAKARTA. Dollar Australia menuju penurunan bulanan terbesar sejak Agustus 2012. Faktor utama pelemahan berasal dari alotnya negosiasi pemotongan belanja dan kenaikan pajak Amerika Serikat (AS).

Aussie jatuh terhadap rekan-rekan mata uang utama. Dollar Selandia Baru (kiwi) juga ikut menurun dalam delapan hari versus greenback.

Kejatuhan dua mata uang itu terjadi setelah Menteri Keuangan AS, Timothy Geithner menyatakan akan mengambil langkah-langkah luar biasa demi menjaga supaya AS tidak default pada tahun 2013. “Ketidakpastian dan kekhawatiran jurang fiskal mulai membebani pasar berisiko. Aussie dan kiwi sangat rentan terhadap penurunan di pasar ekuitas global, terutama pasar AS,” kata Peter Dragicevich, ekonom mata uang Commonwealth Bank of Australia di Sydney kepada Bloomberg.

Di pasar spot, Kamis (27/12) pukul 16.00, pasangan EUR/AUD naik 0,37% dibanding hari sebelumnya menjadi 1,27909. AUD/USD turun 0,06% ke level 1,0371. AUD/JPY juga turun tipis 0,006 menuju 88,859.

Nilai tukar dollar Australia turun 1,2% tahun ini. Sementara dollar Selandia Baru menguat 3,2% pada periode yang sama.

Analis Monex Investindo Futures, Ariana Nur Akbar mengatakan, pelaku pasar semakin pesimistis terhadap penyelesaian jurang fiskal. Pasar menilai, mustahil tercapainya kesepakatan hingga akhir tahun ini. Karena itu, investor beralih kepada safe haven, yakni dollar AS.

Suluh Adil Wicaksono, analis Askap Futures bilang, tekanan koreksi terhadap aussie masih tinggi. Hari ini, aussie masih akan melemah terhadap euro karena membaiknya data pembelian ritel Eropa. Sementara dari aussie, tidak ada data ekonomi yang berdampak signifikan.

Tapi, aussie masih berotot atas yen. Divisi Treasury BNI, Raditya Ariwibowo mengungkapkan, aussie unggul dibanding yen karena Perdana Menteri Jepang Shinzo Abe fokus terhadap penggelontoran stimulus secara agresif. Abe ingin mengurangi deflasi agar menjadi inflasi.

Chinese GDP Posts Downward Trending Growth, Aussie Unchanged

DailyFXBy Gary Kerdus | DailyFX – 2 hours 12 minutes ago

RELATED QUOTES

Symbol Price Change
^USDOLLAR 9,846.42 -42.66
AUDUSD=X 1.0382 +0.0003

THE TAKEAWAY: Chinese GDP met expectations posting 7.4 percent growth > General growth trends have been declining since mid-2010 pressing Aussie growth prospects > Australian dollar little changed

The Australian Dollar was little changed versus its major counterparts as Chinese gross domestic product came across the wires in-line with expectations at 7.4 percent year-over-year for the third quarter. Industrial production figures reported a 9.2 percent increase for September which was also in-line with continuously falling expectations since June 2011. On the surface a seven percent increase in gross production and a nine percent pick-up in industry related activity appears robust however, the overall trajectory since March 2010 when GDP was growing at 12 percent has fallen precipitously.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has recently cited the Chinese slowdown and European Debt crisis as the most significant headwinds facing Australian growth prospects prompting the central bank to lower borrowing rates in September while broad market speculation appears to be pricing in another round of cuts in November.

It seems unclear whether PBOC officials have recently provided enough stimulus as the most recent CPI figures continued to ebb.

The Aussie has recently traded higher over the last few trading sessions as investors have been risk-positive bidding-up most high-yielding, risk sensitive assets.

AUD/USD, 1 Minute Chart

Chinese_GDP_Posts_Downward_Trending_Growth_Aussie_Unchanged__body_Picture_1.png, Chinese GDP Posts Downward Trending Growth, Aussie Unchanged

MARKETS SPECTATOR: China to drive the Aussie dollar

Ben Potter

Published 11:20 AM, 18 Oct 2012

It’s decision time for the Australian dollar with Chinese data due at 1300 AEDT set to determine sentiment.

The Australian dollar has had a very good run over the last 48 hours as optimism towards the state of the global economy continues to improve.

The big lift in sentiment came from the news late yesterday that Moody’s had concluded its review of Spain and not downgraded the country’s investment grade rating, which the markets had been speculating on. On top of that, US housing starts came in stronger than expected overnight, hitting the highest level in more than four years.

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/0bd6ea4d7e0e401eca257300000473fc/1542da50777ac2f9ca257a9b00001774/bodyrich/147.4992!OpenElement&FieldElemFormat=gif

That saw traders dumping traditional safe haven currencies, like the yen and greenback and flocking to ‘risk currencies’ that tend to benefit from global growth like the Australian and Canadian dollars.

In the chart above, we can see that the Australian dollar has broken out through the short-term downtrend line and is now sitting just below the 50 per cent Fibonacci retracement level of the recent high to low. This level is acting as resistance which the traders have been using as a good place to take profits following the strong move higher.

According to Investopedia.com, Fibonacci retracements are a very popular tool used by many technical traders to help identify strategic places for transactions to be placed, target prices or stop losses. After a significant price movement up or down, the new support and resistance levels are often at or near these lines. The 50 per cent level is the most powerful of the levels.

Following this strong push higher, there has been some profit taking ahead of major Chinese economic releases due at 1300 AEDT AEDT today. GDP (expected at 7.4 per cent), fixed asset investment (20.2 per cent), industrial production (9 per cent) and retail sales (13.2 per cent) are all due out.

A senior currency strategist from NAB said a deluge of data from China, including Q3 GDP and retail sales for September, will shape AUD/USD trading in Asia. Assuming no significant downside surprises, expect the verdict of markets to be that China’s slowdown probably bottomed in Q3, they said. The Chinese data is likely to give additional support to a recent revival in demand for the Australian dollar, possibly pushing the pair to 1.04 or above, they noted.

However, on the flipside, anything weaker-than-expected could leave the dollar susceptible to further falls.
Posisi dollar Australia kian tertekan terhadap dollar AS pada transaksi perdagangan hari ini (3/9).
Pada pukul 14.43 waktu Sydney, mata uang yang kerap dipanggil Aussie ini melemah 0,5% menjadi
US$ 1,0274. Bahkan pada transaksi sebelumnya, aussie sempat menyentuh level US$ 1,0240, yang
merupakan level terlemah sejak 25 Juli lalu.

Sementara itu, jika berhadapan dengan yen Jepang, aussie keok 0,6% menjadi 80,43 setelah
sebelumnya bertengger di posisi 80,12, juga posisi paling lemah sejak 25 Juli lalu.(kontan/az)

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