Job data puts rate cut expectations on hold

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 27 : 19-Jul-19

The chances of an interest rate cut in August have lengthened following the release of data showing that Australia’s official unemployment rate was steady at 5.2 per cent in June. Analysis by Westpac suggests that financial markets are pricing in a 15 per cent chance of a rate cut in August, although the Reserve Bank is still widely tipped to ease monetary policy by the end of the year. The jobless rate rose from 5.19 per cent to 5.24 per cent in unrounded terms in June, while the underemployment rate fell to 8.2 per cent.

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RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AMP CAPITAL INVESTORS LIMITED

RBA flags another rate cut if jobs market deteriorates

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 2 : 17-Jul-19

The Reserve Bank of Australia indicated in the minutes of its monthly board meeting that there is likely to be spare capacity in the labour market for some time, while jobs growth is likely to ‘moderate’. Labour market data for June will be released on 18 July, and the official unemployment rate is expected to be steady at 5.2 per cent. The employment and inflation outlook is likely to influence the timing of further interest rate cuts; some economists say the RBA may wait to gauge the impact of the cuts in June and July before further easing monetary policy.

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RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Labor decries Coalition complacency on economy

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 4 : 16-Jul-19

Deloitte Access Economics partner Chris Richardson contends that a slowdown in the economy is not the main reason why the Reserve Bank of Australia has cut interest rates in two consecutive months. Rather, he suggests that it is because the RBA has changed its view on how many new jobs need to be created in order to stimulate wage growth. Labor’s treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers says the opinion expressed in the latest Deloitte Business Outlook report is "just one opinion in a range of opinions". Chalmers claims that the Australian economy has gotten worse since the federal election, but that the Coalition still has its feet up.

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DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LTD, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

RBA could weigh cheap cash to banks if rates fall: analysts

Original article by Jonathan Shapiro
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 15-Jul-19

Observers expect the Reserve Bank of Australia to cut the cash rate again by the end of 2019. However, analysts estimate that bank earnings would be reduced by seven per cent if they were to pass on the next interest rate cut in full, meaning only a partial cut in mortgage rates is likely. Credit Suisse has suggested that the RBA might offer cheap funding to banks that offer to pass on the next rate cut in full under a scheme similar to that adopted by the Bank of England after it cut interest rates following the Brexit vote in 2016.

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RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, BANK OF ENGLAND, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

RBA chief backs Frydenberg plan

Original article by Richard Ferguson, Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 12-Jul-19

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe says he is in full agreement with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s view that the Australian economy remains sound. Lowe and Frydenberg met for two hours in Melbourne on 11 July. Lowe said after the meeting that it was a "remarkable achievement" that more Australians have a job now than at any previous time in the country’s history, while shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers claimed that Frydenberg is letting the RBA do nearly all of the heavy lifting.

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Big four in great rate cuts rip-off

Original article by Adam Creighton, David Tanner
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 10-Jul-19

The gap between the cash rate and the average variable mortgage interest rate of Australia’s major banks was consistently around 1.8 percentage points between 1997 and 2007. However, this gap has widened significantly since then, and the two consecutive official interest rate cuts has increased it to a 25-year high of 3.94 percentage points. The banks contend that factors such as rising funding costs, capital requirements and increased regulation mean it has become more difficult to move in tandem with the Reserve Bank.

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RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Lowe leaves door open for more

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 17 & 25 : 3-Jul-19

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe has signalled the potential for further easing of monetary policy after the cash rate was reduced to a record low of one per cent on 2 July. Lowe says there is still a lot of spare capacity in the economy, and it should be possible to reduce both the unemployment and underemployment rate. It was the first time the RBA had cut official interest rates in two consecutive months since 2012, and Paul Bloxham of HSBC says this suggests that the central bank is worried about economic growth.

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RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, HSBC AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS PTY LTD, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

RBA to cut twice more, say economists

Original article by Patrick Commins
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 18 : 1-Jul-19

A quarterly survey of economists shows that there is a widely held expectation that the Reserve Bank of Australia will reduce official interest rates two more times during 2019. This would reduce the cash rate to 0.75 per cent, but David Plank of the ANZ Banks says further rate cuts could be necessary, depending on the outlook for the global economy and the Australian dollar. David Bassanese of BetaShares says the RBA would be unlikely to take the cash rate below 0.5 per cent, and it would probably opt for quantitative easing instead. Many economists expect a rate cut on 2 July.

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RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, BETASHARES CAPITAL LIMITED, ST GEORGE BANK LIMITED, BIS OXFORD ECONOMICS PTY LTD, AMP CAPITAL INVESTORS LIMITED, MOODY’S ANALYTICS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

History suggests rate cut in July unlikely

Original article by Matthew Cranston
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 12 : 28-Jun-19

Financial markets have priced in a 72 per cent chance that the Reserve Bank of Australia will reduce the cash rate by 25 basis points in July. However, analysis shows that the central bank has reduced the cash rate in two consecutive months on just 12 of the 46 occasions on which it has eased monetary policy since 1990. The RBA has not reduced the cash rate in two consecutive months since 1992, when there were concerns about the outlook for the global economy. Chris Read of Morgan Stanley says an easing pause in July would enable the RBA to pursue a gradual cutting cycle.

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RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC

RBA signals more rate cuts needed

Original article by David Rogers
The Australian – Page: 17 & 24 : 19-Jun-19

The minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monthly board meeting show that it expects to further reduce official interest rates in coming months. Gareth Aird of the Commonwealth Bank anticipates rate cuts in August and November, when the central bank updates the economic forecasts in its quarterly monetary policy statements. Tom Kennedy of JP Morgan also expects a rate cut in August, although he says July remains a possibility.

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RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX 200 INDEX, STANDARD AND POOR’S ASX ALL ORDINARIES INDEX, STANDARD AND POOR’S 500 INDEX, MSCI WORLD INDEX, UNITED STATES. FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD