ASX still hesitant

The ASX 200 index is running up against resistance at 6000. Reversal below support at 5920 would signal a correction. As would Twiggs Money Flow (21-day) crossing to below zero.

ASX 200

Iron ore is testing resistance at 70. Respect would warn of another (primary) decline. Breakout above 80 would signal a primary up-trend but that is unlikely if China continues to crack down on bank lending.

Iron Ore

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index is testing support at 3300. Decline of the Trend Index below zero warns of medium-term selling pressure. Breach of 3300 would warn of a correction.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

The ASX 300 Banks index found short-term support at 8300. Recovery above 8500 would be a bullish sign but respect is more likely and would warn of a test of primary support between 8000 and 8100.

ASX 300 Banks

ASX still tentative

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index retraced to test support at 3300. Breach is still unlikely but would warn of a correction.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Iron ore strengthened to test the declining trendline but respect of resistance at 70 would warn of a continued down-trend. Breakout above 80 would signal reversal to a primary up-trend but that is unlikely if China continues to rein in bank and shadow bank lending.

Iron Ore

The ASX 300 Banks index broke support at 8500 and is expected to test primary support between 8000 and 8100. The sector faces headwinds from slowing development and falling prices, especially in high-density apartments. Recent Trend Index peaks at/below zero warn of long-term selling pressure.

ASX 300 Banks

Banks are the biggest sector in the broad ASX 200 index which retreated below resistance at 6000. Failure of short-term support at 5920 would signal a correction. The ASX 200 exhibits a tentative up-trend but bearish divergence on the Trend Index warns of long-term selling pressure.

ASX 200

ASX 200 faces resistance at 6000

The ASX 200 faces resistance at the key 6000 level. Money Flow is forming troughs above zero, indicating buying pressure. Recovery above 6000 would signal another advance. Failure of support at 5900 is less likely but would warn of a strong correction.

ASX 200

Iron ore prices are strengthening and likely to test the descending trendline at 70. Breakout above 80 would signal reversal to a primary up-trend but that still seems a long way off.

Iron Ore

Miners responded with another rally, the ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index respecting support at 3300.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

So why the hesitancy? Banks are the largest sector in the ASX 200, with Financials representing 37.2% of the broad index. The ASX 300 Banks index is retreating and expected to test the band of support between 8000 and 8100. Trend Index peaks below zero warn of long-term selling pressure.

ASX 300 Banks

The outlook for banks is not that rosy. Household debt is growing faster than disposable incomes, placing finances in an increasingly precarious position. Interest payments are still manageable at 8% of disposable income but that could change if interest rates rise.

Australia: Household Debt/Disposable Income

The housing cycle appears to have peaked, with growth now falling. A function of tighter controls by APRA over investor lending and a Chinese crackdown on capital outflows.

Australia: House Prices

Building approvals for detached houses remain steady but approvals for higher-density housing are falling.

Australia: Building Approvals

A boom in construction of high-density housing has provided a strong tailwind to the economy over recent years, illustrated by the sharp spike in total residential construction compared to new houses in the chart below.

Australia: Value of Work Done

But the downturn in apartment prices and falling building approvals is likely to turn that tailwind into a headwind as apartment construction falls. This would affect not only the construction sector but the entire economy.

Political uncertainty over the continuation of favorable tax treatment for housing investors could also impact on new housing investment and strengthen the headwinds facing the economy.

ASX 200 tests support at 5900

Australia is headed for a period of political uncertainty, while tighter Chinese monetary policy and a crackdown on capital outflows will slow the local real estate boom. Employment is strong but low wage growth suggests under-employment.

Wage Index

Reliance on mining and real estate as the backbone of the economy is bound to disappoint. What the economy needs is a vibrant manufacturing and tech sector but this is shrinking rather than growing, with investment in machinery and equipment falling from 8% to almost 4% of GDP over the last decade.

Wage Index

Stocks are rising but we need to temper our enthusiasm with a hint of caution. The ASX 200 is testing medium-term support at 5900. The tall shadow on Friday’s candle indicates continued selling pressure. Breach of 5900 would warn of a strong correction to test primary support at 5650, while respect (indicated by recovery above 6000) would confirm an advance to 6250 (5950 + 300).

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5950 + ( 5950 – 5650 ) = 6250

I remain wary of the banks because of their low capital base and high mortgage exposure. Reversal below the medium-term trendline warns of a correction to test the band of primary support between 8000 and 8100. Recovery above 8800 is less likely.

ASX 300 Banks

Miners are more bullish despite the low iron ore price. The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index is testing medium-term support at 3300. Respect is likely and would signal another advance.

ASX 300 Metals and Mining

ASX 200 confirms breakout

The ASX 200 closed above its 2015 high of 6000, confirming an earlier breakout by the All Ords. The immediate target for an advance is 6250 (5950 + 300) but the long-term target is the 2007 high of 6800.

ASX 200

I remain wary of the banks, with the ASX 300 Banks index facing resistance at 8800. Reversal below the medium-term trendline at 8600 would warn of another test of primary support (8000). Recovery above 8800 is as likely. I remain concerned over their low capital base and high mortgage exposure.

ASX 300 Banks

Miners are more bullish despite the falling iron ore price. The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index reached its target of 3500 but is now retracing to test the new support level. Respect would signal another advance.

ASX 300 Metals and Mining

Australia seems headed for a period of political instability, while tighter Chinese monetary policy and a crackdown on capital outflows could also impact on the Australian economy. There is a lot that could go wrong but the market is taking this in its stride. Just temper your optimism with a measure of caution.

All Ords breaks 6000

The All Ordinaries Index broke resistance at 6000, signaling a primary advance. Long-term target for the advance is 7000, but wait for retracement to respect the new support level.

ASX All Ordinaries Index

The ASX 200 closed above 5950 but below its 2015 high of 6000, indicating that small caps are advancing slightly faster than large caps.

ASX 200

The ASX 300 Banks index faces stubborn resistance at 8800. Reversal below the medium-term trendline at 8600 would warn of another test of primary support at 8000. With low capital leverage ratios and Sydney house prices now falling, the sector may be headed for testing times.

ASX 300 Banks

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index is more bullish, breaking resistance at its three-year high of 3300 to signal another primary advance. I remain cautious because of iron ore weakness and rising Chinese interest rates but retracement that respects the new support level would confirm the advance.

ASX 300 Metals and Mining

The Australian Dollar is falling, iron ore is weak and banks face headwinds but the overall outlook remains (surprisingly) bullish.

ASX and the Aussie Dollar

The Aussie Dollar broke support against the US Dollar at 77 cents, warning of a decline to test long-term support between 71.50 and 72.00.

Aussie Dollar

Iron ore continues to test new resistance at $62/tonne. Respect would warn of a test of primary support at $53. Declining Twiggs Trend Index indicates selling pressure.

Iron ore

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index fared better, testing resistance at its three-year high of 3300. But the index is likely to follow iron ore lower. Breach of support at 3100 would warn of a decline to 2700.

ASX 300 Metals and Mining

The ASX 300 Banks index retreated from resistance at 8800. Respect warns of another test of primary support at 8000.

ASX 300 Banks

If banks and miners are both headed in the same direction, the index is sure to follow.

The ASX 200 continues to test resistance at 5900. Follow-through above 5920 would be a strong bull signal, indicating an advance to 6000. Reversal below 5880 would suggest retracement to test the new support level at 5800 (top of the narrow ‘line’ formed over the last four months). Twiggs Money Flow reversal below zero would be a bearish sign.

ASX 200

Despite the falling Dollar and iron ore, the present outlook continues to favor the bull side.

ASX 200 meets resistance as miners retreat

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index breached its new support level at 3300, warning of a bull trap. Penetration of the rising trendline would test primary support at 3100.

ASX 300 Metals and Mining

The divergence between iron ore and miners was bound to end and a correction of the Metals & Mining index is now likely. Iron ore below support at $62 warns of a test of primary support at $53. Declining Twiggs Trend Index signals selling pressure.

Iron ore

The ASX 200 encountered resistance at 5900. Retracement is likely to test the new support level at 5800 (top of the narrow ‘line’ formed over the last four months). Twiggs Money Flow reversal below zero would be a bearish sign.

ASX 200

The ASX 300 Banks index are testing resistance at 8800. Respect of resistance would warn of another test of primary support at 8000.

ASX 300 Banks

If banks and miners both turn bearish, the index is likely to follow.

Australian growth faces headwinds but the index has other ideas

Bill Evans at Westpac sums up their outlook for the Australian economy:

….Constraints on growth next year are likely to centre on a lack lustre consumer who struggles under the weight of weak wages growth; high energy prices and excessive leverage. Conditions in housing markets, particularly in the eastern states, are likely to soften while the residential construction boom will turn down.

We are also less euphoric about growth prospects for our major trading partners than seems to be the current consensus. We expect China’s growth rate to slow from 6.7% to 6.2% as the authorities step up policies to slow its long running credit boom.

Yet the ASX 200 broke out of its line formed over the last 4 months, signaling a primary advance.

ASX 200

Miners are advancing, with the ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index breaking resistance at 3300.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index

The ASX 300 Banks Index is headed for a test of 8800. Upward breakout would complete a bullish outlook for the ASX 200.

ASX 300 Banks Index

Bank rally boosts the ASX

Banks rallied, with the ASX 300 Banks index breaking 8500 to signal another test of resistance at 8800. Breakout above 8800 would signal resumption of the primary up-trend but expect retracement to first test the new support level. I will remain wary of banks until the support level is respected.

ASX 300 Banks

The bank rally helped to lift the ASX 200 above resistance at 5800 — from the narrow ‘line’ formed over the last four months. Breakout signals another primary advance but again wait for retracement to respect the new support level. Respect would confirm a test of the 2015 high at 6000. Twiggs Money Flow peaks below zero still warn of long-term selling pressure. Reversal below 5800 would mean all bets are off.

ASX 200

On a more bearish note, iron ore is heading for a test of primary support at $53. Declining Twiggs Trend Index signals selling pressure. Breach of primary support would spell trouble for the miners.

Iron ore

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index rally continues but another test of 3100 is likely. Breach of 3100 would most likely drag the ASX 200 (and banks) lower.

ASX 300 Metals and Mining

ASX 200 finds support

The ASX 200 found support on Friday after threatening to break support at 5650 earlier in the week. The narrow ‘line’ formed over the last four months continues. Twiggs Money Flow peaks below zero still warn of long-term selling pressure. Breach of support at 5650 remains likely and would signal a primary decline. Breach of support at 5650 would confirm.

ASX 200

Iron ore broke short-term support at $62, signaling a test of primary support at $53. Declining Twiggs Trend Index signals selling pressure.

Iron ore

Strangely, the ASX 300 Metals & Mining index rallied. Breakout above 3300 would confirm a primary up-trend.

ASX 300 Metals and Mining

The ASX 300 Banks index are a major drag on the ASX 200 broad market index. See Australian Banks Under Selling Pressure.

ASX 200 selling pressure continues

Iron ore found short-term support at $62 after a sharp fall. Declining Twiggs Trend Index signals selling pressure. Breach of $62 is likely and would warn of a test of the June 2017 low at $53.

Iron ore

Decline of ASX 300 Metals & Mining index similarly halted at 3100. Respect of 3000 would confirm the long-term up-trend.

ASX 300 Metals and Mining

The ASX 300 Banks index is consolidating below resistance at 8500. Respect of resistance would be a bearish sign, as would another Trend Index peak below zero. Breach of 8000 would signal a primary down-trend.

ASX 300 Banks

The ASX 200 continues to test support at 5650, in the narrow ‘line’ formed over the last four months. Trend Index peaks below zero warn of selling pressure. Breach of support at 5650 is likely and would signal a primary decline. But wait for breakout to confirm.

ASX 200

ASX 200 selling pressure as iron ore falls

Iron ore is falling in a sharp, typical bear market decline since it penetrated its rising trendline. A test of the June 2017 low at $53 is now likely.

Iron ore

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index broke support at 3200 and looks set to test 3000. But respect of 3000 would confirm the long-term up-trend.

ASX 300 Metals and Mining

The ASX 200 continues to test support at 5650, in the narrow ‘line’ formed over the last four months. Twiggs Trend Index peaks below zero warn of selling pressure. Breach of support is likely and would signal a primary decline. Wait for confirmation from a breakout.

ASX 200

The ASX 300 Banks index is testing resistance at 8500 after a bear market rally. Respect would be a bearish sign and breach of 8000 would signal a primary down-trend. Recovery above 8800 is unlikely at present but would complete a double-bottom reversal.

ASX 300 Banks

Banks and Mining have so far counter-balanced each other, with miners rallying when banks fall and banks rallying when miners fall. Breakout of the ASX 200 from its narrow line is likely to occur when both banks and miners move in the same direction. Down is more likely at present.

ASX 200 selling pressure as iron ore corrects

Iron ore penetrated its rising trendline, signaling a correction. A trough that forms above the June 2017 low would be bullish for miners.

Iron ore

That seems likely given rising crude steel output in China.

China Output

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index is testing support at 3200. Breach is likely and would signal a test of 3000. But respect of 3000 would confirm the long-term up-trend.

ASX 300 Metals and Mining

The ASX 300 Banks index rallied off support at 8000. Respect of resistance at 8500 would be a bearish sign and breach of 8000 would signal a primary down-trend. Recovery above 8800 is unlikely at present but would complete a double-bottom reversal.

ASX 300 Banks

The ASX 200 continues to consolidate in a narrow line between 5650 and 5800 but the tall shadow on this week’s candle and Twiggs Trend Index troughs below zero both warn of selling pressure. Breach of support would signal a primary decline, but direction remains uncertain until there is a clear breakout.

ASX 200

Banks drag ASX lower

The ASX 300 Banks index is headed for a test of support at 8000. Declining Twiggs Money Flow warns of selling pressure. Breach of 8000 would signal a primary down-trend.

ASX 300 Banks

The ASX 200 continues to consolidate in a narrow line between 5650 and 5800. The index is testing support at 5650 while Twiggs Money Flow warns of selling pressure. Breach of support would signal a primary decline, but direction remains uncertain until there is a clear breakout.

ASX 200

ASX miners surge

ASX 300 Metals & Mining broke through resistance at its January/February highs, signaling a primary advance.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

But iron ore penetrated its rising trendline, suggesting that the rally is losing momentum. The next correction is likely to end above primary support (53). It may be prudent to wait for confirmation from iron ore before going all out on miners.

Iron Ore

The ASX 300 Banks index is headed in the opposite direction and continues to drag on the broad market index. Declining Twiggs Money Flow warns of selling pressure. Expect another test of primary support at 8000; breach would confirm a primary down-trend.

ASX 300 Banks

The ASX 200, pulled in both directions, continues to consolidate in a narrow line between 5650 and 5800. Rising Twiggs Money Flow (21-day) indicates short-term buying pressure and a test of resistance at 5800 is likely. Breakout from the narrow line will signal a primary advance or decline, but direction remains unclear despite the bullish movement from miners.

ASX 200

ASX Improves

The ASX 200 continues to consolidate in a narrow line between 5650 and 5800. Rising Twiggs Money Flow (21-day) warns of short-term buying pressure. Expect a test of resistance at 5800. Breakout would signal a primary advance, testing 6000, but breach of support at 5650 remains as likely and would warn of a primary down-trend.

ASX 200

The large cap ASX 50 is historically less volatile than its S&P 500 counter-part. While the Australian index has some smaller stocks (lowest-weight IPL has market cap of $5.7 bn compared to S&P 500 NWS of $10 bn in AUD) the higher dividend yield tends to compensate. That difference has reversed recently but Twiggs Volatility (21-day) for the ASX 50 is also falling, reaching 0.92% this week.

ASX 50 with Twiggs Volatility

Currency growth remains weak (below 5% per year), indicating that the economy still faces headwinds.

Australia: Currency Growth

Iron ore continues its extended bear market rally. The next correction is likely to find support above the primary level at 53.

Iron Ore

ASX 300 Metals & Mining is testing resistance at its January/February highs. Breakout above 3240 would signal a primary advance. Expect some profit-taking but reversal below primary support at 2730 is now unlikely.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

The ASX 300 Banks index breached support at 8500, however, and continues to drag on the broad market index. Declining Twiggs Money Flow warns of selling pressure. Follow-through below 8400 would confirm another test of primary support at 8000.

ASX 300 Banks

ASX 200 Narrow Line

The ASX 200 continues to consolidate in a narrow line between 5650 and 5800. Declining Twiggs Money Flow warns of selling pressure and breach of support at 5650 would signal a primary down-trend. Follow-through below 5600 would confirm. Breakout above 5800 is unlikely but would test resistance at 6000.

ASX 200

Monthly hours worked are up 1.9% over the last 12 months. Marginally below real GDP but not something to be concerned about unless growth continues to fall.

Monthly Hours Worked - Seasonally Adjusted

Iron ore continues its extended bear market rally, suggesting that the next correction is likely to find support above the primary level at 53.

Iron Ore

ASX 300 Metals & Mining is also likely to find support above 2750. Respect of support at 3000 would signal a strong up-trend.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

The ASX 300 Banks index continues to warn of selling pressure, with declining Twiggs Trend Index and Money Flow below zero. Breach of support at 8500 would signal another test of primary support at 8000.

ASX 300 Banks