ASX 200 rallies but LT bearish

The Australian economy is creaking. This is not a time for the Treasurer to concern himself with a balanced budget, laudable as that long-term (LT) goal may be.

Household consumption is slowing, with falling car sales and international travel. Housing investment is about to go over a cliff. This time China is unlikely to rescue the damsel in distress with another record stimulus spend.

It’s time for the government to go big on infrastructure spending. Not school halls or pink batts but real infrastructure like transport and communications investment (5G for example) that will boost long-term GDP growth. We are going to need government (and private) infrastructure to offset the sharp fall in housing investment and prevent a serious contraction.

The ASX 200 rallied off support at 5400 and is headed for a test of resistance at 6000. What could go wrong? This is a bear market and one strong rally is not going to change that. Respect of resistance at 6000 is likely and would warn of another test of primary support at 5400. Breach of support would offer a target of the 2016 low at 4700.

ASX 200

Banks are vulnerable because of the falling housing market. The ASX 200 Financials Index is testing long-term support at 5400. Bullish divergence on the Trend Index indicates buying pressure but I believe this is secondary in nature. The primary trend is down and breach of 5400 would offer a LT target of 4000.

ASX 200 Financials Index

The Resources sector is in far better shape but bearish divergence on the  ASX 200 Materials Trend Index warns of LT selling pressure. Reversal below 10500 would confirm a primary down-trend.

ASX 200 Materials

I have been cautious on Australian stocks, especially banks, for a while, and hold 40% cash in the Australian Growth portfolio.

The Aussie economy is quietly falling apart | Macrobusiness

You’d have to be as blind as the RBA to miss the signals. GDP is made up of six components and they are not going well on balance:

  • government consumption is strong and likely to stay that way;
  • government investment is peaking as the NBN rolls off and infrastructure starts fade;
  • household consumption is weakening with car sales and international travel down sharply plus retail looking highly questionable;
  • business investment has been good and the outlook for six months is solid but it will track broader demand and housing investment is about to tumble;
  • inventories will ebb and flow;
  • net exports (volumes) are weak owing to China’s thermal coal blockade and the drought despite the LNG ramp up.

In short, the Australian economy is quietly falling apart and if it does not receive any new juice soon it is going to crater as we enter the Hayne Royal Commission recommendations, the federal election stall and Labor’s reform agenda. I have now downgraded my outlook for domestic demand from what was already bearish:

This is an environment in which unemployment will rise at a decent clip threatening much worse outcomes as that feeds back into asset prices.

That markets and economists are still forecasting rate hikes is ridiculous. That cuts remain off the radar of nearly all is bizarre.

By Houses & Holes (David Llewellyn-Smith). Reproduced with kind permission from Macrobusiness.

Comment: Time for the government to go big on infrastructure spending. Not school halls or pink batts insulation but real infrastructure like transport and communications investments (5G for example) that will boost long-term GDP growth.

Big four banks protest against higher capital

“The big four banks are trying to convince the prudential regulator to reconsider its proposal to force them to raise an additional $75 billion of so-called Tier II bonds to meet “too big to fail” capital requirements.” ~ Jonathan Shapiro, Australian Financial Review

What is APRA thinking? They are deluding themselves if they think that Tier II bonds will shore up capital.

Imagine the panic in financial markets if bond-holders take a haircut. It could lead to a Lehman-style meltdown.

The same applies to Tier I hybrids which banks are happily flogging to retiree investors. Convert their investments into near worthless bank scrip after a financial meltdown and nan and pops will turn up in Melbourne Docklands and Darling Harbour, demanding their money back. I suspect regulators would rather face Ned Kelly.

The only true capital is Common Equity (CET1). Anything else is simply putting lipstick on the pig.

Aussie taxpayers are being duped if they believe that they are covered if there is a financial meltdown and that banks carry enough capital to absorb potential losses.

I would rather see legislation that calls it like it is and provides for government to backstop the banks in the event of a crisis. But at a price that makes their eyes water, as the Swedes did in 1992. It’s the best way to keep the banks honest.

ASX 200 bear rally

Credit growth in Australia is falling (with help from the Royal Commission) and broad money growth is anemic, below the lows of the GFC, warning that the economy is close to a contraction.

RBA: Credit & Broad Money

Banks are particularly vulnerable because of the falling housing market. The bubble threatens to burst after a long expansion and the RBA is low on ammunition. How many rate cuts do you think they have left in reserve?

The ASX 200 Financials Index is testing long-term support at 5400. Declining Momentum peaks warn of a bear market. Breach of support is likely to lead to another decline, with a long-term target of 4000.

ASX 200 Financials Index

The Resources sector is in far better shape but the ASX 200 Materials Index is also slowing, with a strong bearish divergence on 13-week Momentum. Reversal below primary support at 11000 would confirm a primary down-trend.

ASX 200 Materials

The ASX 200 is testing resistance at the former band of primary support between 5650 and 5800 (revised up from 5750). The rally could go further, possibly as high as 6150, but this is a bear market and the probability that this rally will change that is low. Respect of resistance is likely and reversal below 5650 would confirm the bear market for Australian stocks. Initial target for a primary decline is 5000.

ASX 200

Our hope is that China rescues us with another massive stimulus spend,  as in the GFC, lifting the resources sector. But hope isn’t a strategy.

I have been cautious on Australian stocks, especially banks, for a while, and hold 40% cash in the Australian Growth portfolio.

ASX awaits bear market confirmation

The ASX 200 is testing the former band of primary support between 5650 and 5750. Respect is likely and would confirm a bear market for Australian stocks. Target for a primary decline is 5000.

ASX 200

ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index is testing primary support at 3400. Declining Trend Index peaks warn of selling pressure. Breach of 3400 would confirm a primary down-trend, strengthening the bear signal.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

House prices are falling but this has not yet had an impact on the record high ratio of household debt to disposable income. Wages growth is slow and it will take a long time for debt ratios to return to saner levels. Expect the housing bear market to last for a similar length of time unless the RBA is desperate enough to make further rate cuts.

RBA: Credit & Broad Money

Bank performance is closely aligned with the housing market. The ASX 300 Banks Index is testing long-term support at 7000. Declining Trend Index peaks warn of selling pressure. Breach of support at 7000 is likely to lead to another decline, with a long-term target of 5000.

ASX 300 Banks Index

I have been cautious on Australian stocks, especially banks, for a while, and hold 40% cash in the Australian Growth portfolio.

ASX 200 weighed down by banks

The ASX 200 respected the new resistance level at 5650, confirming a primary down-trend. Target for the decline is 5000.

ASX 200

The ASX 300 Banks Index broke long-term support at 7000, warning of another decline. Trend Index peaks below zero indicate selling pressure. Expect retracement to test the new resistance level but respect is likely and would confirm a long-term target of 5000.

ASX 300 Banks Index

I have been cautious on Australian stocks, especially banks, for a while, and hold 40% cash in the Australian Growth portfolio.

ASX 200 breaks support

The ASX 200 broke primary support at 5650, signaling a down-trend. Trend Index peaks at zero warn of selling pressure. Expect retracement to test the new resistance level but respect of 5750 is likely and would confirm a bear market. Target for a primary decline is 5000.

ASX 200

ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index found support at 3400 but declining Trend Index peaks warn of selling pressure. Follow-through below 3400 would confirm a primary down-trend.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

A falling housing market and declining construction are dragging the market lower. Banks are the catalyst. Tightening credit standards in response to the Royal Commission and pressure from APRA are slowing lending and likely to lead to a contraction. Broad money growth is slowing sharply.

RBA: Credit & Broad Money

Unfortunately the alternative is far worse. A blow-off of the credit-fueled property bubble would threaten stability of the financial system.

The ASX 300 Banks Index broke long-term support at 7000, warning of another decline. Trend Index peaks below zero indicate selling pressure. Expect retracement to test the new resistance level but respect is likely and would confirm another primary decline. The long-term target is 5000.

ASX 300 Banks Index

I have been cautious on Australian stocks, especially banks, for a while, and hold 40% cash in the Australian Growth portfolio.

ASX 200 tests primary support

The ASX 200 continues to flirt with primary support at 5650. Money Flow is still comfortably above zero, indicating strong support. But breach of 5650 would signal a primary down-trend, offering a target of 5000.

ASX 200

The two largest sectors are already in a primary down-trend.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index broke support at 3500, signaling a decline with a target of 3100. Follow-through below 3400 would confirm.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

The ASX 300 Banks Index, in a down-trend since 2015, is currently testing long-term support at 7000. Trend Index peaks below zero warn of selling pressure. Breach would offer a target of 5000.

ASX 300 Banks Index

I have been cautious on Australian stocks, especially banks, for a while, and hold 40% cash in the Australian Growth portfolio.

ASX 200 heads for a bear market

The ASX 200 dipped below primary support at 5650, signaling a primary down-trend. A Trend Index peak at the zero line warns of strong selling pressure. The market is still open, and a lot can happen by the close, but the prospect of a bear market is now close at hand. Expect retracement to test the new resistance level but respect would confirm a bear market, offering a target of 5000.

ASX 200

The two largest sectors are already in a primary down-trend.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index broke support at 3500, signaling a decline with a target of 3100.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

The ASX 300 Banks Index, in a down-trend since 2015, is currently testing long-term support at 7000. Breach would offer a target of 5000.

ASX 300 Banks Index

I have been cautious on Australian stocks, especially banks, for a while, and hold 40% cash in the Australian Growth portfolio.

East to West

The S&P 500 put in a strong blue candle this week but one swallow doesn’t make a summer. Follow-through above 2800 would signal a test of 2950. Small bullish divergence on Twiggs Money Flow looks promising but is secondary in nature and may not alter the larger trend.

S&P 500

The Nasdaq 100 shows a similar W-shaped bottom but weaker divergence.

Nasdaq 100

Bellwether transport stock Fedex recovered above the former primary support level at 225 but still looks weak. Reversal below 220 would warn of another decline.

Fedex

Asia

The Shanghai Composite Index rally ran out of steam. Respect of 2700 warns of another decline, with a target of 2300.

Shanghai Composite Index

India’s Nifty is headed for a test of 11,000. Respect would be bearish, warning of another test of primary support at 10,000. Declining peaks on the Trend Index warn of long-term selling pressure.

NSX Nifty

Australia

The ASX 200 is testing primary support at 5650 following a down-turn on the mining index. Bullish divergence on Twiggs Money Flow has now rolled over, with penetration of the rising trendline. Breach of primary support would warn of a decline, with a target of 5000.

ASX 200

Europe

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx warns of a bear market. Breach of primary support at 365, and respect of the new resistance level on the subsequent retracement, warn of a decline to test 305/310.

DJ Euro Stoxx 600

The Footsie is testing support at 6900, while bearish divergence on the Trend Index warns of selling pressure. Breach would signal a decline, with a target between 5600 and 6000.

FTSE 100

Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.

~ Robert Schuller