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Shane Oliver
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After resisting traditional monetary stimulus measures in favour of various “mini stimulus” initiatives the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has finally cut interest rates. Our assessment is that this is a good, overdue move as relatively high interest rates have been holding back Chinese growth this year.

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It stands to reason that the cheaper you buy an asset the higher its prospective return will be. However, this is frequently forgotten with investors often tempted to project recent returns into the future regardless of valuations.

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A combination of the blanket news coverage of economic worries, the associated information avalanche we are now exposed to and our innate fascination with crises is likely making us worse investors: more fearful, more jittery and more focussed on the short term.

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After phasing down its quantitative easing (QE) program all year the US Fed has finally ended it. Monetary tightening still looks unlikely until mid-next year at the earliest and is contingent on further improvement in the economy and higher inflation.

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The search for assets providing decent investment yield is continuing. The aging population is playing a role but the main drivers are low interest rates and bond yields.

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The past month has seen a sharp fall in the value of the Australian dollar from around $US0.94 to a low of near $US0.86. While there will be short term gyrations, the broad trend in the $A likely remains down.

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Share markets have seen a bit of volatility and a pullback over the past month. This has been particularly so for Australian shares. This note looks at the key drivers and whether it’s just a correction or a new bear market.

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It seems that there is nothing that gets Australians going more than what’s happening with house prices. Are they in a bubble? Is negative gearing to blame? Or is it foreign buying? Will it burst? Should the Reserve Bank slow it down? Is housing a good investment? This article looks at the current state of play in the Australian residential property market.

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The impending end of the US Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE) program and when it will start to raise interest rates are looming large for investors. What will this mean for the US and global economy and for investment markets?

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The slowdown in June quarter GDP growth, against the backdrop of weak commodity prices, the end of the mining investment boom and rising unemployment may add to consternation regarding the Australian economic outlook. And yet the local share market has been performing well. Is the outlook as bad as some fear or have shares got it right?
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