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need2know: RBA statement awaited

Local shares are poised to open higher as more data points to a strengthening of the US economy.
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What you need2know:

• SPI futures up 27 at 5522

• AUD at 85.68 US cents, 98.53 Japanese yen, 69.17 Euro cents and 54.10 British pence

• In late trade, S&P 500 +0.2%, Dow +0.3%, Nasdaq +0.2%

• In Europe, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.3%, FTSE +0.2%, CAC +0.5%, DAX +0.7%

• Spot gold rises 0.3% to $US1143.88 an ounce

• Iron ore falls 1.4% to $US75.38 per metric tonne

• Brent oil slips 0.2% to $US82.81 per barrel

What’s on today

RBA Statement on Monetary Policy, Australian October Construction PCI, US October labour force report, US consumer credit, Germany September industrial production.

Stocks to watch

Credit Suisse has cut Origin Energy to ‘underperform’ and has a $13.50 target price, down from an earlier target price of $15.00.

UBS has a “neutral” rating on Commonwealth Bank of Australia and a target price of $80.“CBA announced unaudited Cash NPAT of ~$2.3bn in 1Q15 (to 30 Sept). This is slightly ahead of the numbers embedded in our 1H15 forecasts,” the investment bank said in a broker’s note.

The following stocks will trade ex dividend today: National Australia Bank, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Kingston Resources (rights issue), Austin Exploration (stock split).

Currencies

On the $A, Ray Attrill, global co-head of FX strategy at National Australia Bank, wrote: “For all the compelling fundamental reasons for the AUD fall, we can’t ignore the fact that the simple break below the recent low of around 0.8650 provided the cue for fresh bouts of selling, with almost a full cent taken off the currency following that.”

ECB chief Mario Draghi fended off complaints about his leadership style and firmed up a promise of €1 trillion to revive the struggling euro zone economy.

The rouble may have plunged 25 per cent against the US dollar so far this year, but some currency traders are betting on a further 10 per cent drop in 2015 on the grounds that the currency is still expensive once trade and inflation are factored in.

Commodities

Oil markets fell back after a one-day spike as worries about high supplies returned to haunt traders, while the dollar pressed on with its rally which weighed on commodities priced in the currency.

Aluminium advanced for the first time in three days after the latest jobless claims data bolstered positive sentiment on the US economy.

Orange-juice futures dropped 1.1 per cent extending a slump into a bear market as US demand ebbed and prospects improved for a bigger citrus crop in Florida, the world’s second-largest producer.

United States

US stocks are higher in afternoon trade in a volatile session on Thursday, with the Dow and S&P 500 hitting fresh records on an indication that the European Central Bank would take more policy action if needed to boost a struggling euro zone economy.

First-time jobless claims dropped 10,000 to a three-week low of 278,000 in the week ended November 1, the Labor Department reported. The median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 285,000.

Labor Department figures on Friday morning in the US may show nonfarm payrolls rose 235,000 last month and that the jobless rate probably held at a six-year low.

Europe

Europe’s main stock markets ended higher after  ECB chief Mario Draghi signalled the central bank was readying further stimulus measures if needed to combat deflation and stagnation within the eurozone.

“The governing council has tasked ECB staff and the relevant Eurosystem committees with ensuring the timely preparation of further measures to be implemented, if needed,” Draghi told reporters.

Draghi’s comments followed a call by the OECD to overcome its reluctance and undertake quantitative easing given the very weak state of the eurozone economy and the risk of damaging deflation as inflation is running at just 0.4 per cent.

Qatar Investment Authority and a US investor have approached Canary Wharf-owner Songbird Estates about a possible takeover, a deal which would increase the sovereign wealth fund’s presence in London real estate.

What happened yesterday

Australian shares reversed early gains on Thursday as banks were sold down and miners sank, with Fortescue plunging dramatically after the iron ore price hit a five-year low.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 11.8 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5506.1. The broader All Ordinaries Index dipped 13.6 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5479.2.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Facing a wall of silence

Creditors are growing increasingly frustrated at a lack of answers following the liquidation of agricultural equipment company Cornish’s.Creditors are growing increasingly frustrated at a lack of answers following the liquidation of agricultural equipment company Cornish’s.
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In information supplied to Cornish’s creditors on October 31, the company owes more than $4 million to about 254 companies.

On September 8, W. Bill Cornish Pty Ltd sold their Narromine, Gilgandra, Gunnedah and Quirindi branches to Wideland Ag and Construction, before Cornish’s went into liquidation.

Shaw Gidley was appointed as liquidator on October 22 and PKF Lawler have been named as administrators.

However, creditors trying to uncover additional information have hit continual dead ends.

ITC National’s Director Peter Briggs, said he was not concerned about the money he was owed, but about the handling of the situation.

Mr Briggs said after contacting PKF Lawler he was told to contact Cornish’s director Doug Upcroft directly, however his number had been disconnected.

Mr Briggs was also given Jacqi Upcroft’s phone number but found it been disconnected as well.

“I can only hope there is a thorough investigation into the conduct of the directors of Cornish’s. To shut shop on a Friday (September 5) and the new owners commence business on the Monday (September 8) leaving only a PO box as a contact for the entire Cornish’s group stinks.”

He said he would like to find out what happened to the proceeds of the sale of Cornish’s.

Gason Sales and Marketing manager for agriculture Peter Piddington said he was also failing to find answers.

“I made a number of phone calls and left messages and I’ve had no calls returned,” he said.

“It’s disappointing to see an old established business go out of business. We’ve been dealing with them for 30, 40 years. It’s very disappointing when these things happen.

“The way it has all worked out is disappointing,” Mr Piddington said.

A meeting of creditors is expected to be held with Shaw Gidley on November 12.

Shaw Gidley and PKF Lawler were both contacted for comment but did not respond.

Wideland Ag and Construction did not wish to comment and Mr Upcroft could not be reached for his response.

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GALLERY: The week that was in the central west

GALLERY: The week that was in the central west PARKES: The NRMA’s partnership will see direct support for two of the Festival’s major precincts: The NRMA Cooke Park Main Stage in the popular Cooke Park precinct and The NRMA Festival Boulevard.
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ORANGE: Her flair for jazz may have served her well during The Voice, but at Molong Central School yesterday, Holly Tapp’s pop and folk talents attracted the students’ attention.

FORBES: The dry finish hasn’t been kind to Forbes farmers but results from a local crop competition show that wheat and barley yields are holding up well considering.

COWRA: Canowindra have made their way to the top of SportsPower Cup table after a remarkable victory at Henry Lawson Oval against Grenfell on Saturday afternoon.

ORANGE: Owner of Pete’s Car Wash Peter Mueller with some of Orange’s veterans Barry Bettles, Allan Bennett, Ben Cook and Lindsay Wright who will be eligible for a free car wash on Remembrance Day. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

PARKES: Trainer Ricky Watt and his good looking chestnut gelding Tyson’s Tiger prevented a clean sweep by local stables at the Dubbo TAB meeting on Saturday.

GRENFELL: Lisa Schaefer, owner and creator, of Lisa Schaefer Millinery was thrilled to receive confirmation last week that her designs had been short listed in the very exclusive category of “Invitation Only” in the Crown Oaks Day, Myer Fashions on the Field, Millinery Awards.

BLAYNEY: A few months back fire badly damaged the facade and awning on the Oliver building in Adelaide Street and since then Council has been working closely with the owner to repair what is now a very unsightly building.

ORANGE: Jockeys (front) Brooke Timmis, Tiffany Jefferies, Cat Markwort and Rachel Hunt and at back, Kacie Chater, Eleanor Webster-Hawes and Ashleigh Borg made up the all female line up at the Orange Melbourne Cup races. Photo: STEVE GOSCH. 1104sgjockey1

FORBES: The enthusiasm was visible yesterday when kids took to the soccer field to be coached by former Matildas star and potential 2015 Women’s World Cup player Renee Rollason.

COWRA: Traditional Ukrainian folk dancers Melissa Rohozynsky, Katerina Kobryn amd Melania Berehovy performing a welcome dance during Saturday’s twin events at Europa Park.

CANOWINDRA: Kain Earsman cleaned up the awards at the Tigers’ presentation night including first grade’s Best and Fairest, Players’ player, the Josh Lynch Medal and the Club player of the Year.

ORANGE: Tori Moore, Kate Butcherine and Sophie Law had their money on Jeff Brasch’s horse Devil in a Dress when she ran round at Towac Park for the Melbourne Cup Day meeting. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 1102sgtowac

PARKES: Police and emergency services confer about the ‘plane crash’ and criminal activity at the Parkes Airport during the mock training exercise on Saturday. Some 65 personnel were involved in the special event. Photo: RENEE POWELL

BLAYNEY: CHAMPION Australian wheelchair racer Kurt Fearnley has prevailed in a dramatic finish to win his fifth New York marathon.

FORBES: The champagne was flowing and the women were dressed in their racing best at this year’s Forbes Toy Library’s Melbourne Cup Luncheon.

COWRA: The dangers to home renovators from asbestos removal is the theme of Asbestos Awareness Month for November.

ORANGE: Around 80 residents took to the streets on Friday night to protest against sexual violence and take part in the Reclaim the Night walk.

BATHURST: David McKibbon believes the erection of a dry stone wall on the O’Connell Road will one day cause a serious accident as it impedes motorists’ line of sight on that busy stretch of roadway on the outskirts of the village. Photo PHILL MURRAY 110514pwall

BATHURST: Bathurst Family History Group members Barry Konemann and Ron Murphy (left) and Bob Freeman (right) working on the damaged headstones at Bathurst cemetery with Bathurst Correctional Centre inmates George, Luke and Rene. Photo PHILL MURRAY 103114pgraves

MUDGEE: A Bedford MFR fire truck, circa 1970s, was named in honour of the late Joshua Pedley at Mudgee Motorfest on Saturday. Pictured are family members Phillip and William Pedley (right) with Mitchell Pedron, Mid-Western Regional Councillor Paul Cavalier and Alan Selman AFSM. PHOTO: COL BOYD

OBERON: Oberon Multi Purpose Service has installed a flagpole and raised an Aboriginal flag as part of the health district’s commitment to “Closing the Gap”.

OBERON: On Thursday last week students from Black Springs Public School travelled to the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery to see the Art Express exhibition.

OBERON: Oberon RSL Club held a best dressed competition on Melbourne Cup day. The winners were Kathy Robinson and Geoffrey Jones.

RYLSTONE: Diners were impressed by the food and the relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere at this year’s Rylstone StreetFeast.

BATHURST: Inland Building and Construction’s Jordan Price, Mackenzie Smith, Josh Pleming and Chris Yewdall putting the finishing touches on one of the outdoor play areas at Jenny’s Kindergarten and Learning Centre.

BATHURST: Amanda Griffin and Julia Sjollema got up close and personal with their catch of the day at Bathurst’s annual carp blitz. Photo ZENIO LAPKA. 110414zcarp8

BATHURST: Developer Lester Hewitt at the new Icely Estate near Eglinton as the pouring of the kerb and guttering enters its final stage. Photo BRIAN WOOD 102214lester

BATHURST: The Assumption School students dressed up for their Melbourne Cup celebrations. Photo CHRIS SEABROOK 110414cassumptn

BATHURST: Western Advocate readers sent in lots of photos of hail after a fierce storm on Wednesday afternoon. This photo was sent in by Tanya Willey.

LITHGOW: Mayor Maree Statham and niece Regan Scott get into the Halloween spirit.

MUDGEE: Trine Gay, Alex Reynolds, and Sue Jakins celebrated the Melbourne Cup in style.

MUDGEE: Vehicles of all makes and vintages came from afar for the annual Cudgegong Cruiser’s Motorfest at the Mudgee Showground on Saturday.

DUBBO: Virginia Carter plies the knitting needles to add poppies to a vast visual tribute to those who fought for their country – the tribute is called 5000 Poppies and will be created in Melbourne in 2015. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

DUBBO: Dubbo turned out in style to celebrate the 2014 Melbourne Cup at the Dubbo Turf Club. Pictured are Kym Johnson, Kirsty Colliver, Alanna Lawes and Sue Walsh. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

DUBBO: The Orana Rural Fire Service (RFS) are assisting Orana Local Area Command with the investigation of a blaze that stretched 164 hectares along the eastern edge of the Newell Highway on Tuesday morning.

DUBBO: Hannah Wright, Maddison Wallace, Paris Burns and Candace Brien after they finished their final HSC exam. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

DUBBO: Broken Hill to Dubbo 24-hour Zoo2Zoo riders Matt Keele, Paul Schroder, James O’Reilly and Antony Bishop after achieving their goal with 20 minutes to spare. Photo: GREG KEEN

DUBBO: Tony Ryals at the site of a planned and now approved multi-dwelling housing and serviced apartments development with frontage to Cobbora Road at Dubbo.

DUBBO: Harley Palin with sons Sonny, 6 and Jasper, 3 at the Macquarie Regional Library book sale. Photo: GREG KEEN.

MUDGEE: A Day On The Green brought a little bit of everything to Robert Oatley Vineyards on Saturday; rock, country, soul, local talent, rain, sunshine, and three decades of hits from one of Australia’s most loved musicians. Pictured is Marlene Cameron from Mudgee with Tracey Mclean from Gold Coast.

NARROMINE: The cream of the crop of agriculture students attended the Rotary Youth Crop, Agronomy, Grain and Seed Camp in Narromine.

TRANGIE: The children dressed up to visit registered houses for the annual Halloween “trick or treat.”

WELLINGTON: Alice Chad and Laughlan Bailey get in the spirit for Melbourne Cup celebrations.

BATHURST: Stephen Champion from the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre this week launched the 2015 season program, packed full of variety. Photo: ZENIO LAPKA 110314zbmec1

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Enjoy a rose coloured afternoon

With the cornelia rose in full bloom, Anne Ward’s beautiful garden will be open to the public on Saturday, November 22.Everything will come up rosy later this month, with an Open Garden and Rose Information afternoon to be hosted by Mark and Anne Ward.
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The event will be held on Saturday, November 22 from 2pm to 5pm, with the Ward’s beautiful garden on display. Sit and enjoy the view while devouring a devonshire tea. Admission is $10 with all proceeds going to the Canowindra Garden Club to be used for town improvements.

With roses in full bloom everywhere, Luke Gorgon from Eureka Plants in Canowindra will be the guest speaker and will share his knowledge of all things roses.

Eureka Plants has been specialising in roses for 30 years, with Luke also holding a horticulture degree from Melbourne University.

Rose diseases, summer pruning, how to look after different varieties including Floribundas, old English roses, hybrid roses, hybrid teas, mini roses and some exciting new rose types.

Potted roses at wholesale prices will also be available on the day.

For more information contact Anne Ward on 6344 3262 or Robyn Cleary on 6344 3162.

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Young musicians join Riverina tour

Students from Young High School who will tour with the Riverina Combined Public Schools Band tour next week. IF you want to see some of Young’s best musicians on stage – then you can’t miss Riverina Combined Public Schools Band Tour which comes to Young next week.
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Ten students from Young High School and seven from Young Public School will be taking to the stage at Young Town Hall from 7pm Tuesday.

The students commence a weekend of intensive rehearsals at Sturt Public School Hall today, in preparation for a concert tour of Riverina from Monday, November 10 to Friday, November 14.

The tour will feature a large ensemble of 50 outstanding public school student musicians including 25 girls and 25 boys from 19 schools in regional towns and cities as far afield as Albury, Wagga, Orange, Mudgee, Hay, Dubbo and Narrabri.

The Young public school contingent is the largest representation of students from one town.

The Riverina students in this large ensemble were selected at the Riverina Music Camp in May.

In line with current policies, outstanding country music students from west of the Dividing Range have been invited to be part of the tour.

Many of the students in the band are members of the NSW Public Schools State Wind Ensembles that performed in the Opera House earlier this year.

These students are to perform together under the baton of conductor Di Hall, Arts Coordination Officer, Tamworth and coordinator of the State Wind Ensemble and West of the Divide Ensembles.

Coordinator of the Tour is Cheryl Walker, music teacher from Wagga Wagga High School. Cheryl also coordinated the annual Riverina Music Camp.

Students will also share their knowledge with younger students in band workshops.

Participating staff includes past Riverina students, now international performers, David Lockeridge and Bernard Lagana.

Entry to Tuesday night’s concernt is gold coin donation only.

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Weddin Community Native Nursery

The Weddin Community Native Nursery in East Street have a wide variety of Native plants and shrubs at very reasonable prices. Come along and see one of the friendly volunteer staff today for great service and advice regarding your planting this season.The AGM of the Nursery was held at TAFE on 31.10.14.Out going Chairperson of the Weddin Community Native Nursery, Gai Lander, presented a comprehensive report on the development of the Nursery since Oct 2012 when a group of volunteers who had completed Cert 111 in Conservation Land Management had formed a committee.
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The Weddin Landcare Steering Committee obtained funding for the construction of the fence, gravel, two shade houses, a watering system & a hot house, with volunteers providing the labour & maintenance.

An extensive seed collection is now housed on site & is constantly being added to by volunteer seed collectors.

Community support has been growing steadily as the public becomes aware of what is available. As well as purchasing plants in stock, landholders are taking advantage of the plant propagation program, where they can place orders for their particular requirements.

Gai wished the new committee every success in taking the Not For Profit enterprise to the next stage of its development.

In Treasurer Bill White’s report, he indicated that the WCNN had been able to meet all running costs & that the bank balance is healthy-largely due to the sale of approximately 12,000 plants.

Brian Johnson officiated at the election of Office Bearers for 2015:

Patron: Noel Cartwright, Chairperson: Jan Diprose, Vice Chair: Ted Franks, Treasurer: Bill White, Secretary: Di Franks

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Crowe Horwath battle tennis favourites

Round four of the Stawell Friday night tennis competition is shaping up to be an exciting battle with Crowe Horwath looking to upset the early favourites.
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Crowe Horwath will have the difficult match up against the unbeaten side, Stawell Toyota.

Crowe Horwath’s Aiden Jensz and Michael Cox have started the season in good form as has female teammate Courtney McIlvride. However, they will need a few more of their team members to improve if they are to have any chance of winning and bringing Stawell’s Toyota’s early dominance to an end.

A lot will be riding on the match, given they are on either scale of the ladder.

The result will most likely be determined by the number one men who could have either one of their combinations taking the court.

Joel Freeland makes Crowe Horwath a stronger side and if he meets Blair Hart it will be a game everyone will want to watch.

Cassidy Painting resumes after a week of rest, to battle it out with last week’s big improver Farrers Tyrepower.

Cassidy Painting dropped below Farrers Tyrepower on the ladder last week and will be keen to get that position back, but to do so they will need their younger males to have winning nights.

Riley Burke and Riley Graveson will need ample back up from the triple Js, Jemma Clarkson, Jill Faulkner and Jo Summers.

Farrers Tyrepower’s younger brigade will need to be on song to combat them, so David Simpkin, Ethan Blake, Narelle O’Shannessy, Ebony Summers and Caitlin Cooper will be given the task of claiming multiple sets against the tough opposition.

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Welsh coach Warren Gatland rubbishes suggestion Wallabies are ‘vulnerable’

CARDIFF: Wales coach Warren Gatland fears the Wallabies will thrive on recent controversies to make their spring tour a success, rubbishing the suggestion Australia is vulnerable.
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But Gatland promised that his side would “come in fully loaded” on Saturday (Sunday morning AEDT) to try to land a psychological blow before the two teams meet in the World Cup next year.

Wales have been haunted by a horror losing streak against the Wallabies, which extends back to 2008 and the past nine Tests.

Making matters worse, Gatland has only beaten one of the southern hemisphere big three – Australia, New Zealand and South Africa – just once in 25 matches as Welsh coach.

But while the locals in Cardiff hope the Wallabies will be off their game as they adjust to Michael Cheika’s style and recover from the Kurtley Beale drama, Gatland isn’t buying into the theory.

“You can’t underestimate the Wallabies, a lot of people have been talking about what’s happened with Kurtley Beale and those sorts of things,” Gatland said.

“Does that make them more vulnerable? With Australians it makes them stronger, they thrive on any adversity and criticism.

“We expect a really tough game on Saturday, we know what to expect and the guys are coming in fully loaded.”

New Zealand-born Gatland was Australia’s tormentor as British and Irish Lions coach last year, guiding the tourists to a 2-1 series win which ended Robbie Deans’ Wallabies tenure.

He almost took down Ewen McKenzie’s men in Cardiff a year ago, losing by just four points with the Wallabies holding on for a tight win.

The next Test at Millennium Stadium will be Gatland’s third encounter with the Wallabies under three different coaches in just 16 months.

So what does he expect from NSW Waratahs championship-winning mentor Cheika?

“I’ve got a massive amount of respect for what Michael has achieved,” Gatland said.

“He’s the only coach that’s ever won a European Cup and a Super Rugby title. What he did with Leinster was incredibly impressive and he turned NSW around in a pretty short time.

“By his own admission it will probably take a bit of time, but having seen him operate it won’t be that long. He plays a really positive brand of rugby and gets his point across succinctly.

“In 10 months time when they turn up for the World Cup they’ll be a real contender. Perhaps psychologically it could be important [to win now] … form gives you confidence but it’s not the over-riding factor.”

Gatland has previously described the World Cup next year as his team’s version of the Olympics.

Wales, Australia and England are grouped in the pool of death with at least one team to be bundled out of the tournament in the group stages.

Wales have won the European Six Nations tournament twice in the past three years.

To get his team ready, Gatland has upped the Welsh training load and have adopted cryogenic-style recovery to have them primed to end their Wallabies hoodoo.

They will also unleash back-line giant George North from the wing to outside centre to set up a mouth-watering clash with Tevita Kuridrani.

“It’s going to be a frenetic pace … We’ve really looked at a long-term plan, we’ve run things a little bit different in terms of looking at the camps as World Cup camps,” Gatland said.

“It’s something I think we’ve been pretty bold and courageous to do, you’ve got to have the confidence to do what we’re doing. To be honest, our whole focus for the next 12 months has to be getting out of our group at the World Cup.”

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Egyptian bus driver gets shock after using wife’s urine for drugs test

“Congratulations, you’re pregnant”: A male Egyptian bus driver was left flabbergasted. (File picture.) Photo: Wikimedia CommonsAn Egyptian bus driver was left flaggergasted after using his wife’s urine in a bid to avoid a mandatory drugs test, only to be told by officials: “Congratulations. You’re pregnant.”
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Employees from the General Transport Authority were asked to submit a urine sample for the drugs test.

The driver possibly knew he was going to return a positive reading, so he asked his wife to provide some of her urine.

On hearing the results of the test, he was shocked to find out his wife was pregnant,  the BBC reported, citing Egyptian news website Al-Yawm al-Sabi.

Tamer Amin, a presenter on Egyptian politics show Bottom Line, said officials asked the man to confirm the sample was his.

Amin said this made the whole encounter even more hilarious.

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Goldman calls the return of the ‘defensive bull market’

The broker expects the market to cement gains, helped by defensive, dividend-yielding stocks. The broker expects the market to cement gains, helped by defensive, dividend-yielding stocks.
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The broker expects the market to cement gains, helped by defensive, dividend-yielding stocks.

The broker expects the market to cement gains, helped by defensive, dividend-yielding stocks.

The rebound in the local sharemarket since mid-October has been driven once again by higher dividend-yielding stocks, largely the banks, while other sectors have failed to step up. It is what Goldman Sachs has labelled the return of the ‘defensive bull market’.

The financials sector surged 6.9 per cent in October as investors began to feel banks were looking a little less expensive after stocks – and the general market – flirted with a technical correction, which is defined as a drop of 10 per cent or more.

“Market concerns about a sooner-than-expected rise in US rates, the potential introduction of macro-prudential controls, and the risk of capital raisings have dissipated,” said Goldman Sachs head of portfolio strategy Matthew Ross.

“The sector is now only 1 per cent off recent highs, up 16.5 per cent for the year and back [to] trading at elevated multiples – 13.5 times [expected earnings], 9 per cent above the past 10-year average.”

He said underperformance in small caps, resources and energy further highlights the return of the “defensive bull market” – share gains driven by dividend-yielding companies with recurrent earnings rather than growth stocks.

Some defensive stocks Goldman Sachs remains positive about are Spark Infrastructure, Goodman Group, ANZ and Sydney Airport.

The broker also likes stocks with a high price-to-earnings ratio such as Seek, CSL, Aristocrat Leisure and ResMed.

Stocks with a neutral rating from Goldman with potential for declines include TPG Telecom, Ausnet Services, Ardent Leisure, M2, Amcor, Ramsay Health Care, Telstra, iiNet, Commonwealth Bank and APA Group.

As the Australian economy transitions away from the resources sector as its growth engine, the hope that another sector will be able to fill the gap is fading.

Analysts were not convinced companies will deliver a lot more earnings growth, judging by consensus forecasts, said Morgan Stanley analyst Chris Nicol.

“The reality is that the current single-digit growth profile [in earnings estimates for financial years 2015 to 2017] seems to fit the current trading and macro backdrop. A deterioration in conditions would only pressure earnings-per-share growth forecasts further,” Mr Nicol said.

But Mr Nicol said the appeal of Australia’s high dividend-yielding stocks would continue to provide a floor for the local sharemarket.

“While we see challenges to earnings growth, our base case does not forecast a decline in earnings. As such there will be some perceived stability in the quantum of dividends and cash yield,” Mr Nicol said.

“Yes, the prospect of rates rising, eventually, will pressure the yield trade within equities, but we continue to highlight that any shift will be a gradual unwind rather than a bubble-like unravel.”

Despite the recent jump in financial stocks, Morgan Stanley has retained its underweight recommendation on banks.

“Calling the ‘big switch’ out of banks has been a financial version of the boy who cried wolf for the last three to four years,” Mr Nicol said.

The Financial Services Inquiry and its impact, the end of access to cheap capital and challenges to dividend growth highlight there are some headwinds ahead for banks. Mr Nicol is forecasting return on equity in the big four will trend down after the Financial Services Inquiry reveals its findings.

Australia has an inflated cost base which companies can address slashing expenses to keep earnings growth ahead of sales growth, according to Deutsche Bank strategist Tim Baker.

“Australia likely has a more inflated cost base to address, compared to the US. Inefficiencies tend to creep in during the good times, as firms focus on meeting demand and defending market share, rather than internal efficiencies, And Australia’s expansion during 2003 to 2007 was a lot stronger than in the US,” Mr Baker said.

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Iron ore hits new five-year low

Large steel mills in China produced, on average, 1.631 million tonnes of crude steel a day between October 21 and 31, according to the China Iron and Steel Association, down 7.5 per cent from the previous 10 days. Photo: Quentin Jones Large steel mills in China produced, on average, 1.631 million tonnes of crude steel a day between October 21 and 31, according to the China Iron and Steel Association, down 7.5 per cent from the previous 10 days. Photo: Quentin Jones
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Large steel mills in China produced, on average, 1.631 million tonnes of crude steel a day between October 21 and 31, according to the China Iron and Steel Association, down 7.5 per cent from the previous 10 days. Photo: Quentin Jones

Large steel mills in China produced, on average, 1.631 million tonnes of crude steel a day between October 21 and 31, according to the China Iron and Steel Association, down 7.5 per cent from the previous 10 days. Photo: Quentin Jones

Iron ore has slumped to a fresh five-year low, despite steel mills in China reportedly cutting output in October as the supply glut continues to weigh on prices.

Overnight the price of iron ore, measured for immediate delivery to the Qingdao port in China, fell 1.4 per cent to $US75.38 per tonne. On Thursday, Dallian iron ore futures, fell 1.9 per cent.

Iron ore has now lost ground for five straight sessions and has slipped 5.3 per cent this week. The steel-making ingredient has fallen close to 45 per cent this year.

With demand remaining weak and Beijing attempting to reduce pollution ahead of this week, steel producers in China reportedly cut production.

Large steel mills in China produced, on average, 1.631 million tonnes of crude steel a day between October 21 and 31, according to the China Iron and Steel Association, down 7.5 per cent from the previous 10 days.

“We expect Chinese steel production to reach 800 million tonnes in 2014 and 740 million tonnes in 2020 – a 7 per cent decline,” said Matthew Hodge, Morningstar’s head of basic materials and energy.

Inventories remain low on the consumer side, ANZ senior commodity strategist Daniel Hynes said, which begs the question whether or not orders are coming through on the books.

“The lack of activity is particularly low even for an event like this where you do get traders sitting on the sidelines, it seems excessively quiet which is a little bit worrying,” Mr Hynes said.

“It tends to suggest that demand is not there now, but certainly there is nothing coming through on forward order books as well, which would point to further weakness after the APEC meeting.”

The outlook from steel mills and property developers in China is still weak so any rebound is going to be very mild, Mr Hynes said.

“They [haven’t] suggested they are keen to re-stock or build any inventory into that normal high season period of demand that you get in November-December.”

Earlier in the week, The FT reported that a 170,000 tonne cargo of 62 per cent fines from Pilbara was offered at $US76.80 in China but received no bids.

The supply glut is not expected to subside, with the world’s three biggest miners, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Brazil’s Vale all expected to continue to flood the market with higher quality iron ore than their smaller rivals.

In the year-to-date, share prices in miners have suffered, but the larger firms, with lower costs of production have fared better.

BHP has slumped 11.1 per cent, Rio has fallen 12 per cent and Vale is down 37.9 per cent for the year.

Iron ore miner Fortescue has dropped 47.9 per cent, Mount Gibson is down 57.6 per cent, Arrium has lost 79.6 per cent and Atlas Iron has shed 80.4 per cent.

Morgan Stanley said this week that private iron ore traders in China expect oversupply will drive spot iron ore down further, to $US70 a tonne by the end of the year, and there is little upside to demand out of China. Iron ore financing in China also poses a big price risk.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Mason ‘dumbfounded’ by Knights axing

Freed Willie: Mason, right, promises to bring toughness to Manly’s pack.Willie Mason cannot understand why he was tapped on the shoulder by incoming Newcastle coach Rick Stone, believing he was one of the best forwards at the club.
Nanjing Night Net

The former Test prop was told he was not wanted by Stone for the next season after three years with the Knights. Despite turning 35 in April, Mason had no plans to call time on his NRL career.

“I was dumbfounded,” he said. “I started laughing to myself, going ‘how can that happen when you’re one of the best forwards in the team?’. I just got picked in the Australian train-on squad but someone doesn’t want you? I would’ve been fine with it if someone said ‘we’re buying Sam Burgess and you have to move on’.

“I loved Newcastle and wanted to retire there. When you get told [you’re not wanted] you take a backward step and it makes you want to train and play harder.

“It was a bit disheartening because I’m a Newcastle boy and had such a good rapport with the fans. They loved me up there and they were shattered to see me go.

“That’s what happens in rugby league. I didn’t second guess myself. As soon as that door closed, about 10 other doors opened.”

One of those was Manly, where Mason has signed a one-year deal that will give the club some much-needed experience up front. The departure of veterans Glenn Stewart, Anthony Watmough and Jason King left Manly with an inexperienced pack.

The Sea Eagles will be Mason’s fifth NRL club since he made his debut for the Bulldogs in 2000. He will return to a Sydney club for the first time since leaving the Roosters at the end of 2009.

“I couldn’t have chosen a better club if I wanted to,” Mason said. “I wanted to stay in Sydney and go to a good club.”

Mason joins Feleti Mateo, Siosaia Vave and Zane Tetevano as additions to the Sea Eagles forward pack.

Hooker Matt Ballin said Mason would help fill the void left by the departure of some of the club’s longest serving players.

“He has great leadership skills,” Ballin said. “He has been around for 15 years and brings knowledge about football. His enthusiasm on and off the field will be great around the club.

“The major thing [he’ll add] is the experience which we need. We’ve lost some really key players in the last two or three years, especially in the front-row. There are some great qualities he’ll bring to the club.”

Mason has not ruled out playing beyond next year, but first he will need to get through pre-season training, which begins on Monday.

“You play these young bulls trying to kill the old bloke,” Mason said. “With no shoulder charges or fights, you’re not worried about the physicality of the game. Personally if you go one on one with a prop it’s fair and tough. There’s no cheap shots.

“They see a target on my head and I enjoy it. You wouldn’t have any for training [if you didn’t enjoy it] because you cruise through.

“With Wayne [Bennett] his training sessions were so intense. He put so much onus on me as a leader to pretty much be that guy to maintain the energy. If the boys were feeling down he would try and get me to get going and help the other guys.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Top spot up for grabs in cricket

FOUR rounds into the Grampians Cricket Association season, every team has been beaten and officials are excited to see an even competition.
Nanjing Night Net

Youth Club youngster Jarrod Illig in action.

For many seasons it has been Swifts/Great Western and Tatyoon battling for top spot and right now it is there for the taking.

Youth Club will look to bounce back when they take on Chalambar, after suffering their first loss for the season last week.

The Clubbers would have been disappointed with their performance last weekend, being dismissed after 23 overs.

Apart from Steve LeGassick’s 10 runs at the top of the order and Angus Barham’s 12 at the tail, Youth Club did little with the bat scoring just 51 runs.

Peter Barnett continues to show he was a worthy recruit as he was the best of the bowlers taking 2/26 on what was a difficult day for the bowlers.

Chalambar are still looking for their first win in the competition after their best chance went begging against Pomonal.

It was a low scoring affair between the two bottom placed teams and Chalambar would want to respond better this week.

Their top order is yet to make a substantial amount of runs and against Youth Club’s bowling attack, it could be the same story all over again.

Swifts/Great Western will take on Aradale, who are coming back from the bye.

The Swifts/Great Western bowling attack was led by Marc Brilliant last week at Central Park. Brilliant created carnage on his way to a six wicket haul and Tom Eckel also bowled well in his limited overs taking 2/7.

Aradale batsmen will have the difficult task of facing these bowlers when their confidence is sky high.

It is not just their bowlers who seem on top, but batsman Travis Nicholson has also found form after his knock of 77 not out.

Nicholson missed the first game of the season and then took two games to settle, but once he finds the middle of the bat, he is genuinely consistent when it comes to putting runs on the board.

Matt Stasse is arguably Aradale’s most exciting player with both bat and ball and will be important for Aradale if they are to be competitive.

Pomonal scored their first win last weekend and will take confidence into their clash with Tatyoon.

Tatyoon lost to Buangor in convincing fashion last weekend, proving they can be beaten by anyone in the competition.

Tatyoon will no doubt come out firing after their recent performance.

Pomonal’s skipper Lee Oliver will give Adnan Rasheed plentyof opportunity to take wickets after he delivered the goods in their win. Rasheed took 5/13 to be Pomonal’s best.

Buangor, who hold down top spot at present, have the bye this round.

Tomorrow’s draw:

A GRADE

Chalambar v Youth Club (Alexandra Oval – T McKinnis)

Swifts/Great Western v Aradale (Central Park – P Harris)

Pomonal v Tatyoon (Pomonal – D Hey)

B GRADE

Swifts/Great Western v Pomonal (Great Western – G Miller)

St Andrews v Halls Gap (A Farish)

Rhymney/Moyston v Navarre (Alexandra Oval Sunday – A Farish)

C GRADE

Willaura v Chalambar (Willaura)

Youth Club v Navarre (North Park)

Aradale v Pomonal (Aradale)

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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