Friday, December 21, 2018

"We're not the enemy" - Huawei Australia chairman John Lord distances Chinese telco from IP spying fears

Huawei Australia chairman John Lord has distanced Chinese telco from allegations about a spying campaign by two Chinese nationals said to be acting for Chinese intelligence. 

Mr Lord tells ABC's Peter Ryan that Huawai is not the enemy and that he has not considered leaving his chairman role given deteriorating relations between China and western powers. 

Huawei was blocked from supplying equipment for the rollout of Australia's 5G network because of security concerns.

John Lord speaks with ABC's Peter Ryan

Renewables surge set to drive down power prices, but policy uncertainty stalling investors. I speak with Grattan Institute energy policy director Tony Wood

A flood of new renewable energy projects is likely to drive down electricity bills according to new analysis by the Australian Energy Market Commission. 

The bill reductions come from lower wholesale costs and the reversal of hikes from the closure of brown coal power stations in South Australia and Victoria. 

But Grattan Institute energy expert Tony Wood says the lower prices could be short term with investors cautious to bankroll projects given the lack of a clear energy policy. 

Tony Wood speaks with the ABC's Peter Ryan. 

Read more here 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Jobless rates ticks up to 5.1pc but employment growth beats forecasts

Australia's official jobless rate rose slightly to 5.1 percent in November though employment growth beat forecasts. 

Earlier today, the US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates as expected but has signalled fewer rate hikes next year in the face of financial volatility and slowing global growth. 

ABC's Peter Ryan looks at the numbers.

Wall Street dives 1.7 pc after US rate hike amid signals of uncertain outlook; analysts say Fed language less dovish than expected

The US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates as expected but forecast fewer rate hikes next year in the face of financial volatility and slowing global growth. 

Read the Fed statement here

While citing a strong US economy, Fed chairman Jerome Powell said inflation was more subdued than anticipated and signaled he might change strategy if developments in 2019 warrant. 

ABC's Peter Ryan analyses Mr Powell's comments.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

NAB pay report to be slammed in protest vote, chairman Ken Henry admits "we got it wrong"

National Australia Bank is bracing for a massive shareholder backlash as investors vent their anger over fallout from the financial services Royal Commission. 

Chairman Ken Henry has axed the current executive pay structure but predicted that 80 percent of shareholders would vote down the remuneration report. 

ABC's Peter Ryan says the banking regulator APRA has unexpectedly remove limits on investor lending imposed last year to cool hot real estate markets in Sydney and Melbourne.

Here's my report

Oil dives on global slowdown fears, supply glut, rising US China trade tensions

Oil prices have plunged as much as eight percent on growing concerns about a global economic slowdown and rising trade tensions between the US and China. 

Investors are also on alert for a likely rise in US interest rates, despite concerns about the US recession within 18 months. 

ABC's Peter Ryan looks at rising nerves on global markets.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Housing falls, high debt, slowing consumption pose downside risks to economy, RBA warns

Falling household consumption fuelled by declining real estate values and high debt levels are a key source of uncertainty for the Australian economy, the Reserve Bank has warned. 

In the minutes from its December meeting a fortnight ago, the RBA said board members had noted evolving headwinds and that "this combination of factors posed downside risks". 

The RBA said housing markets in Sydney and Melbourne had continued to ease from record high values and that lending had tightened as a result of the revelations from the financial services Royal Commission. 

ABC's Peter Ryan goes through the minutes for The World Today.

'Gobsmacking, highly surprising': analyst Brett Le Mesurier on NAB boss Andrew Thorburn taking extended leave as Royal Commission final report looms

Banking analyst Brett Le Mesurier has described plans by National Australia Bank chief executive Andrew Thorburn to take extended leave as "gobsmacking" and "highly surprising".

Mr Le Mesurier tells the ABC's Peter Ryan that the timing raises questions about Mr Thorburn's future given his plans to take a month's long service leave after the royal commission's final report is released in February.

House price falls, subdued household income growth, sluggish wages, China US trade tensions a key risk to budget forecasts

The budget update has flagged key risks to the rosy forecasts including house price falls, subdued household income growth, tight credit conditions and continuing trade tensions between the US and China. 

Economist Stephen Koukoulas says it wouldn't take much to complicate or even derail the optimistic outlook. 

Stephen Koukoulas speaks with ABC's Peter Ryan.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Federal budget deficit on track to halve, but Treasurer warns no room for complacency

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg remains cautiously on track to delivering a prized surplus in next year's federal budget and the best set of books since the Howard government a decade ago.

The midyear economic and fiscal outlook (MYEFO) to be released this morning is expected show the budget deficit is at its lowest level since 2007-2008.

It is understood the $14.4 billion deficit for 2018-19 forecast in the May budget will be more than halved after higher than expected tax receipts and lower payments by the government.

Here's my preview on ABC News Online