Trends & Opportunities

The pivotal fight between China and the US is over the microchip

The campaign for dominance in semiconductors could hurt both countries. Japan’s Kioxia Holdings, which in the early 1980s invented flash memory computer chips, was set for one of the country’s biggest initial public offers for 2020. In September, however, the semiconductor maker reduced the asking price of its offer by 25%. Days later, the company…

Gold stocks start new year with a bang

The gold miners’ stocks entered this young new year with a bang, as their leading index surged to a major breakout above multiple key resistance lines.  That really strengthens the technical case that gold stocks’ next bull-market upleg is underway.  This sector has been carving a textbook-perfect series of higher lows and higher highs since…

Optimistic investing amid uncertain outlook

Reasonable financial market returns masked a tumultuous year as investors continue to search for patterns in the market’s erratic behaviour. In a fitting end to 2020 more surprises rolled in over December, with share prices oscillating wildly, commodity prices remaining depressed and cheap valuations overtaking business fundamentals. “History is merely a list of surprises. It…

Investing in high-voltage transmission lines

When, in the midst of the pandemic, the Economic Society of Australia invited 150 of Australia’s keenest young thinkers to come up with “brief, specific and actionable” proposals to improve the economy, amid scores of ideas about improving job matching, changing the tax system, providing non-repayable loans to businesses and accelerating telehealth, two proposals stood…

Climate financing moves into the mainstream

Green finance is a rapidly growing market. Almost US$400 billion of green, sustainability and social bonds were issued in 2019. The great majority were certified green bonds – and sales were up by 53 per cent. Almost US$31 trillion of funds worldwide (encompassing a range of asset types) were held in sustainable or green investments…

How to phase out coal while maintaining energy security

The end of coal-fired generation in Australia is inevitable. Zero marginal cost, zero emissions energy is now a reality. Wind and solar are cheaper sources of new electricity than coal in most cases, putting significant pressure on the profitability of the inflexible, ageing coal generators. The only questions are when coal-fired power stations will close…

The national electricity market is on its way out

It has been more than 20 years in the making, but there is now a new order in Australia’s grandest (and most problematic) example of cooperative federalism: the National Electricity Market. Not completely national (it excludes Western Australia and the Northern Territory), it links most towns east of Port Lincoln and south of Port Douglas…

Junior Iron Ore Miners Ramping Up

Remember the death of the mining boom? A few days ago in an interview with news.com.au, a Deloitte economist made the following observation: “Iron ore prices are close to the peak prices we saw during the mining boom, which is remarkable considering economic conditions and the fact that China’s economy is not as strong as…

Negative interest rates explained

A week ahead of Thursday’s budget update, it finally happened. Instead of the government paying to borrow in a way that would add to the burden on the budget (as has happened since time immemorial) it actually got paid to borrow. Think about that. Investors with millions of dollars to lend went to the Australian…

ASX Uranium Stocks to Watch

On 11 March of 2011, an earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Japan with the Fukushima nuclear power generation plant in its wake. The damage caused by the event led to the worst global nuclear accident since the disaster at Chernobyl in 1986. The incident also dashed the hopes for expanded use of nuclear power in…