Australian business confidence down in September


The NAB quarterly business survey revealed decline in confidence in the September quarter to 0 from 4 in the previous quarter. 

The decline largely reflected an escalation in market volatility and concerns regarding the outlook for China. 

Nonetheless, there were positive signs in the survey that suggested that the non-mining sectors of the economy were continuing to improve. 

Actual and expected business conditions lifted. Moreover, a leading indicator of activity, forward orders, was at its highest since late 2009. Another encouraging sign was positive capex plans for industries outside of mining and manufacturing in the 12 months ahead.

Share Markets:

Share markets were strong overnight.

The Dow rose 1.9%, the S&P500 was up 1.7% as was the Nasdaq.

Potential monetary stimulus out of Europe combined with some good earnings results lifted spirits and share prices around the globe.

In Europe, the FTSE100 rose 0.4% but the German Dax was up 2.5%. The Euro Stoxx also rose 2.5%.

Interest Rates:

The ECB left its key policy rates and measures unchanged overnight but its President, Mario Dhragi, sent strong signals that further monetary policy stimulus would come at its next policy meeting (see below).

US long bond yields remained steady overnight despite movements in Europe and the strong equity market.

Ten year US government bond yields held at 2.02% while in Germany they fell 7 basis points to 0.50%. UK long bond yields were also steady with 10 year government yields at 1.80%.

The US FOMC meets next week.

Foreign Exchange:

The USD was stronger against the euro overnight but was relatively stable against the AUD. The AUD was also stronger against the euro.


It was a relatively quiet night for commodity prices. Oil moved a touch higher and gold was marginally weaker. Copper prices rose 1.1% on a drop in inventories while the price of iron ore slipped to $US52 per tonne.


The MNI business indicator improved to 55.6 in October from 51.3 in September, indicating more firms are reporting a positive conditions.


ECB President Draghi sent a strong easing signal for the ECB's next meeting on 3rd December, when fresh economic growth and inflation projections are available.

Momentum for action in December was given a boost when Draghi noted that "committees have been tasked to examine the instruments available" and noted that the Bank is "open to a whole menu of policy instruments".

It appears that the ECB was closer to easing at last night's meeting than many thought. Draghi noted that were a "few members" on the Governing Council who "hinted" at acting today.

Draghi has made clear that spill-overs from the emerging markets slowdown and volatility in global markets are the key threats to the ECB's growth and inflation targets.

Absent a sudden sharp improvement on these fronts, the ECB staff are likely to trim their growth and inflation forecasts for 2061 and 2017.

New Zealand:

ANZ job ads rose 2.1% in September, rebounding after a 1.5% decline in August. On a year ago, job ads were unchanged and suggest there is a risk that the unemployment rate could edge higher.

United Kingdom:

Retail sales in the UK rose 1.9% in September following a revised decline in October of 0.4%. For the year to September, retail sales rose a solid 6.5%.

United States: 

US existing home sales rose 4.7% in September, after 5.0% decline in August. The median price fell from $228,500 to $221,900, but was still 6.1% higher than a year earlier.

The housing market is recovering, albeit erratically.

The US leading index fell 0.2%, against expectations of -0.1%, and a downwardly revised flat result in August.

The detail was mixed with weakness in inventories and building permits notable.

The Chicago Fed's National Activity Index also declined, falling 0.4% continuing to indicate sub-trend growth.So keen 

Topics:  economy markets st george

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