ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence increases for seventh straight week, up 2.0pts to 92.3

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 20-May-20

ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence rose 2.2% to 92.3 in the week to 17 May. Now 24% (up 3ppts) of Australians say their families are ‘better off’ financially than this time last year, while 36% (down 4ppts) say their families are ‘worse off’ financially. Meanwhile, 37% (up 1ppt) of Australians expect their family to be ‘better off’ financially this time next year, and 20% (unchanged) expect to be ‘worse off’ financially. However, just 7% (up 1ppt) expect ‘good times’ for the Australian economy over the next 12 months, while 48% (up 2ppts) expect ‘bad times’. In addition, 34% (up 4ppts) of Australians say now is a ‘good time to buy’ major household items, while 40% (up 1ppt) say now is a ‘bad time to buy’. The four-week moving average for ‘inflation expectations’ remained unchanged at 3.4%. The weekly reading decreased to 3.3% from 3.5%.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

Border bans to wipe out tourism jobs

Original article by Charlie Peel, Sarah Elks
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 19-May-20

The Queensland government has indicated that the state’s borders may not be reopened to interstate travellers until September. South Australia and Western Australia have also flagged the possibility that travel restrictions could remain in place for some time, prompting concern about the impact on the tourism sector. Winter is a key tourism season for Queensland, with 2.2 million visitors from interstate staying there for at least one night between June and August 2019. Flight Centre CEO Graham Turner says Queensland’s tourism industry could take years to recover if the state remains closed to interstate visitors during the winter months.

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QUEENSLAND. DEPT OF THE PREMIER AND CABINET, FLIGHT CENTRE TRAVEL GROUP LIMITED – ASX FLT

China imposes 80.5 per cent barley tariffs on Australian firms from Tuesday

Original article by
The New Daily – Page: Online : 19-May-20

The decision by China’s Commerce Ministry to impose anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties totalling 80.5 per cent on Australian barley has been described as "deeply disappointing" by Trade Minister Simon Birmingham. He denies that Australia has subsidised or dumped barley that was exported to China. The decision takes effect from 19 May and is tipped to virtually put an end to Australia’s barley exports to China, which are worth between $1.5bn and $2bn a year.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE, CHINA. MINISTRY OF COMMERCE

Time ripe for urgent IR repairs: employers

Original article by Ewin Hannan, Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 2 : 19-May-20

The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry has proposed five changes to the industrial relations system to create jobs and boost productivity in the post-coronavirus work environment. Amongst other things, ACCI CEO James Pearson has called for employee stand-down provisions to be extended until March 2021, while companies should be permitted to stagger the times at which employees start and finish work without incurring overtime payments. Pearson has outlined his suggestions in a letter to Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter.

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AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, ACTU

China pays more for iron ore

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 16 : 19-May-20

The iron ore price has risen by more than 13 per cent since the end of April, and futures pricing suggests that further gains are likely. The price of the steel input has been resilient during the coronavirus pandemic, due to factors such as continued strong demand for iron ore in China and the fact that major producer Brazil has been hit hard by the virus. Citigroup’s analysts expect the continued strong price of iron ore to result in the resources sector paying out $14.4bn in dividends for 2019-20. The banking sector in turn is tipped to pay out $14.7bn.

CORPORATES
CITIGROUP PTY LTD, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG

Potato chips and corn chips the snack foods of choice for parents during lockdown

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 19-May-20

New snack food and confectionery data from Roy Morgan shows that potato chips and corn chips are the most popular snack of Australian parents as a group. Next comes savoury biscuits and crackers, chocolate blocks, chocolate bars, and lollies and sweets. However, there is a salty/sweet preference split depending on the age of the children in the family. The group with the highest proportion of potato chip and corn chip buyers was parents with children aged 12-17, with 64% purchasing these snacks in an average four weeks and 27% buying these more than three times a week. This group also led the savoury biscuits and crackers category (51%). Sweeter snacks are different. Chocolate blocks are most frequently bought by parents of children aged 6-11 (43%), as are chocolate bars (39%). Parents of children aged 0-5 led the lollies and sweets category (34%). The snack food consumption data is taken from Roy Morgan Single Source, compiled by in-depth interviews with over 1,000 Australians each week.

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ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Xi backs down on virus inquiry, pledges $3bn to recovery

Original article by Will Glasgow, Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 19-May-20

Chinese President Xi Jinping has agreed to support an independent inquiry into the origin of the coronavirus after it is brought under control. China was under growing pressure to back an inquiry after some 121 of the World Health Organization’s 194 member countries agreed to back a resolution calling for such an inquiry. Xi has also indicated that China will provide $US2bn ($3.1bn) to help with the global response to the pandemic and said that China will ensure that any vaccine it develops is made available globally.

CORPORATES
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

BGH bid to take Village Roadshow private

Original article by Elouise Fowler
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 : 19-May-20

Shares in theme parks and cinemas operator Village Roadshow rose 17 per cent to $2.09 on 18 May after it advised that private equity firm BGH Capital is in discussions to acquire it for up to $468.5 million. BGH’s due diligence on Village is expected to take four weeks, and its bid is subject to a number of conditions, including obtaining Foreign Investment Review Board approval and securing debt financing. As well as advising of BGH’s offer, Village provided an trading update which noted that it only had $58 million in cash at the end of April.

CORPORATES
VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED – ASX VRL, BGH CAPITAL PTY LTD

Jobs go as Ten closes 10 Daily website

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 15 : 19-May-20

The Ten Network has advised that its 10 Daily news and entertainment website will be discontinued as part of the network’s integration with US parent company ViacomCBS. About 20 jobs are expected to be lost due to the closure of 10 Daily, although it is uncertain as to whether the broader integration strategy will result in more job cuts at Ten. ViacomCBS Australia’s chief content officer Beverley McGarvey has stressed the need for Ten to be "platform-agnostic".

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TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, VIACOMCBS INCORPORATED

Powell’s equities lift: we’re not out of ammo

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 20 : 19-May-20

The Australian sharemarket has been bolstered by encouraging comments from US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell. He indicated that there is "almost no limit" to the central bank’s monetary stimulus in response to the coronavirus pandemic; Powell has also forecast that the US economy will steadily recover during the second half of 2020, in the absence of a second wave of virus infections. The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet has increased by 67 per cent to $US6.93trn since February, although the central bank has been winding back its quantitative easing program since mid-March.

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UNITED STATES. FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX