Bearish outlook for the ASX

Iron ore rallied slightly during the week. But this is a bear market. Expect resistance at $60 to hold and breach of support at $50 is likely, signaling another decline.

Iron Ore

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index is testing support at 2750. Breach is likely and would signal a primary down-trend.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Banks are also under pressure, with the ASX 300 Banks index consolidating between 8000 and 8500. Breach of 8000 is likely and would confirm the primary down-trend.

ASX 300 Banks

The ASX 200 displays a broadening wedge consolidation. A failed down-swing, recovering above 5800 without reaching the lower border, would be a bullish sign. But this seems unlikely with a bearish outlook for the two largest sectors.

ASX 200

Strange week on the ASX

Strange week on the ASX, with strong jobs numbers from the ABS causing a surge in the Aussie Dollar and a more optimistic outlook on the ASX.

But Iron ore continues to fall, headed for a test of 50.

Iron Ore

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index respected resistance at 3000 and is headed for a test of primary support at 2750. Breach would confirm the primary down-trend.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

The ASX 300 Banks index respected resistance at 8500 and is likely to test primary support at 8000. Again, breach would confirm the primary down-trend.

ASX 300 Banks

The ASX 200 has formed a broadening wedge consolidation, in a down-trend. Declining Twiggs Money Flow indicates some selling pressure. Expect a test of primary support at 5600. Again, breach would warn of a primary down-trend. But a failed swing (that respects 5700) would warn that all bets are off and the index may be preparing for a rally.

ASX 200

ASX banks and iron ore drag the index lower

Last week I wrote: “I believe that the latest rally is a secondary reaction and that the ASX is headed for a down-turn, with miners and banks leading the way. But it’s no use arguing with the (ticker) tape.” This week the ticker tape backs up my bearish sentiment, so I am a lot more comfortable.

Iron ore continues to fall, headed for a test of 50.

Iron Ore

Banks’ bear market rally also petered out, with the ASX 300 Banks index headed for a test of support at 8000. Breach would confirm the primary down-trend.

ASX 300 Banks

The ASX 200 broke support at 5700. Declining Twiggs Money Flow signals selling pressure. Breach of primary support at 5600 would warn of a primary down-trend.

ASX 200

Australia: ASX rallies

Iron ore is falling.

Iron Ore

And the broader DJ-UBS Commodity Index is testing support at 82. Breach would signal a decline to test the 2015 low at 74.

DJ-UBS Commodity Index

But the Aussie Dollar rallied Friday, the large engulfing candle suggesting another test of resistance at 75 US cents.

AUDUSD

Miners finished strongly, with the ASX 300 Metals & Mining index reflecting short-term buying pressure. 13-Week Twiggs Money Flow recovered above zero.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

The ASX 200 is testing resistance at 5800. A 21-day Twiggs Money Flow trough above zero indicates medium-term buying pressure. Breakout above 5800 is likely and would suggest another test of 5950/6000.

ASX 200

Banks also rallied, with the ASX 300 Banks index headed for a test of 8500. Expect strong resistance.

ASX 300 Banks

Perhaps this UBS report had something to do with it.

I believe that the latest rally is a secondary reaction and that the ASX is headed for a down-turn, with miners and banks leading the way. But it’s no use arguing with the (ticker) tape.

A prudent speculator never argues with the tape. Markets are never wrong, opinions often are.

~ Jesse Livermore

ASX retreats as iron ore breaks support

Iron ore broke support at $60, signaling another decline. The medium-term target is $50*.

Iron ore

* Target: 60 – ( 70 – 60 ) = 50

Resources stocks lost momentum, with the ASX 300 Metals & Mining index respecting resistance at 3000. Twiggs Money Flow seemed to be recovering after a strong bearish divergence but has again slipped below zero, warning of selling pressure. Expect another test of primary support at 2700.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

The big banks face selling pressure, with Twiggs Money Flow falling sharply. The primary down-trend on the ASX 300 Banks Index, having broken support at 8500, offers a medium-term target of 8000*.

ASX 300 Banks

* Target: 8500 – ( 9000 – 8500 ) = 8000

The ASX 200 respected resistance at 5800. Breach of 5700 is likely and would confirm another test of primary support at 5600*. Breach of 5600 would signal a primary down-trend, offering a target of 5200*.

ASX 200

* Target medium-term: 5600 – ( 6000 – 5600 ) = 5200

Aussie meets resistance

The Aussie Dollar met resistance at the former support level of 75 US cents, with a tall shadow on Tuesday’s shooting star candlestick pattern. Respect of resistance is likely and would warn of another test of support at 73.50. Breach of support would offer a target of 72, putting pressure on ASX stocks as international investors retreat.

AUDUSD

The Aussie tends to take its direction from commodities. At present iron ore displays a weak rally that coincides with the rally on AUDUSD. Reversal through support at 60 is likely, and would warn of a decline to 50.

Iron Ore

Broad commodity indexes like the DJ-UBS Commodity Index are consolidating in a rectangle, between 82 and 90 on the chart below. Commodities have been trending lower since 2011, as shown yesterday. Breakout above 90 is unlikely but would signal a primary up-trend. Breach of support is more likely and would indicate a decline to test support at the January 2016 low, between 72 and 74.

DJ-UBS Commodity Index

Beijing eases pressure

China’s PBOC eased up on its crackdown on wealth management products (WMPs) and related bank lending. The resulting fall-off in new credit and a spike in interbank lending rates threatened to precipitate a sharp contraction.

Copper rallied off long-term support at 5400. The reaction is secondary and breach of 5400 remains likely, signaling a primary down-trend.

Copper A Grade

Iron ore is consolidating in a narrow bearish pattern above support at 60. Breach seems likely and would signal another decline, with a target of 50*.

Iron Ore

* Target: 60 – ( 70 – 60 ) = 50

Shanghai’s Composite Index rallied to test its new resistance level at 3100, after breach signaled a primary down-trend. Respect would confirm the decline, with a medium-term target of 2800*, but government intervention may bolster support. Recovery above 3100 would mean all bets are off for the present.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target medium-term: May 2016 low of 2800

ASX banks break support

The big banks fell sharply on the week’s turmoil, with the ASX 300 Banks Index breaking support at 8500. Breach signals a primary trend reversal, offering a medium-term target of 8000*.

ASX 300 Banks

* Target: 8500 – ( 9000 – 8500 ) = 8000

Resources stocks rallied over the week. Expect strong resistance on the ASX 300 Metals & Mining index at 3000.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Iron ore continues in a bearish narrow consolidation above support at $60. Breach would offer a short-term target of $50*.

Iron ore

* Target: 60 – ( 70 – 60 ) = 50

These are ominous signs for the ASX 200 which is testing medium-term support at 5700. A sharp fall on Twiggs Money Flow flags strong selling pressure. Breach of primary support at 5600* would signal a reversal, offering a target of 5200*.

ASX 200

* Target medium-term: 5600 – ( 6000 – 5600 ) = 5200

ASX 200 bearish consolidation

The big banks fell sharply on news of a new levy on bank liabilities in the latest budget. At this stage the ASX 300 Banks Index merely shows a secondary reaction. Breach of 8500, however, would signal a primary trend reversal, offering a medium-term target of 8000*.

ASX 300 Banks

* Target: 8500 – ( 9000 – 8500 ) = 8000

Resources stocks compensated, with the ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index rallying to test resistance at 2850/2900. Breakout is unlikely given the weak lead from iron ore. Reversal below 2700 remains likely and would strengthen the bear signal for resources.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Iron ore formed a bearish consolidation above support at $60. Breach would offer a short-term target of $50*.

Iron ore

* Target: 60 – ( 70 – 60 ) = 50

Selling of the Aussie Dollar continues, with a medium-term test of primary support at 71.50/72.00 now likely.

Aussie Dollar

Consolidation of the ASX 200 above support at 5800 is a bearish pattern. Breach would signal a correction to test primary support at 5600*. Twiggs Money Flow still indicates long-term buying pressure and only a fall below zero would warn of a reversal.

ASX 200

* Target medium-term: 5800 – ( 6000 – 5800 ) = 5600

Iron Ore warns of further decline

Iron Ore broke support at $60, warning of a decline to test the 2015 low at $40.

Iron Ore

China’s crackdown on wealth management products may be fueling the sell-off.

2 More Warning Signs for the ASX

The recent Iron ore rally has faded and the commodity is again testing support at $60. Twiggs Momentum (13-week) below zero indicates a primary down-trend.

Iron ore

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index broke support at 2850, warning of a down-trend. A Twiggs Money Flow peak below zero flags strong selling pressure.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

Falling ore prices will place strong downward pressure on the ASX and the Aussie Dollar.

Aussie Dollar

ASX 300 Banks Index retreated below 9000. Declining Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term selling pressure. Follow-through below 8900, or Twiggs Money Flow below zero, would warn of a correction.

ASX 300 Banks

The large red engulfing candle on the weekly ASX 200 chart also warns of a (secondary) reversal. Breach of support at 5800 would signal a correction. Twiggs Money Flow still shows long-term buying pressure and only a fall below zero would warn of a market top (primary trend reversal).

ASX 200

* Target medium-term: 5800 + ( 5800 – 5600 ) = 6000

ASX 200 advance slows as iron ore falls

Iron ore found support at $60.

Iron ore

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index has taken some encouragement from the rally, with support at 2850. But bear rallies are normally short in duration and reverse sharply.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

The ASX 200 advance has slowed after the recent sell-off in the resources sector. But rising Twiggs Money Flow still signals buying pressure and another attempt at 6000 seems likely.

ASX 200

* Target medium-term: 5800 + ( 5800 – 5600 ) = 6000

ASX 300 Banks, the largest sector in the broad index, is consolidating above its new support level at 9000. Declining Twiggs Money Flow warns of medium-term selling pressure. Reversal below 8900 is unlikely but would warn of a correction.

ASX 300 Banks

Bank exposure to residential mortgages is the Achilles heel of the Australian economy and APRA is likely to keep the pressure on banks to raise lending standards and increase capital reserves, which would lower return on equity.

IMF predicts Australian GDP rise but iron ore drops

From Latika Bourke at Sydney Morning Herald:

Australian economy to boom as unemployment drops, IMF

…The IMF predicts Australia’s economy will grow by 3.1 per cent in 2017 and 3 per cent in 2018. This is better than the most recent forecast by the Australian Treasury and released by the Australian government in December last year, which predicted GDP would “pick up to 2¾ per cent in 2017-18 as the detraction from mining investment eases.”

Broad projections like those of the IMF offer little comfort. The very next headline warns of falling iron ore prices:

From Timothy Moore at The Age:

Spot iron ore extends retreat, sliding another 4.6pc

The spot price of iron ore now has fallen one-third from its February peak, as the slide into a bear market turns into an accelerating rout.

At its Tuesday fix, ore with 62 per cent iron content slid $US3.05, or 4.6 per cent, to $US63.20 a tonne, according to Metal Bulletin. The price has tumbled more than 20 per cent so far this month….

Breach of the rising trendline warns that spot iron ore is likely to test primary support at 50. Reversal of 13-week Twiggs Momentum below zero warns of a primary down-trend.

Iron Ore Spot Price

Falling resources stocks are dragging the ASX 200 lower. The up-trend is still intact but expect strong resistance at 6000. Reversal below 5680 would signal reversal to a down-trend.

ASX 200

Falling iron ore weighs on Resources stocks

Iron ore broke support at 70. Follow-through below the rising trendline would warn that the up-trend is weakening.

Iron Ore

Australian resources stocks, represented here by the ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index [$XMM], reflect strong selling pressure with a bearish divergence on Twiggs Money Flow. Follow-through below 2850 would warn of a (primary) reversal.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining Index

3 Headwinds facing the ASX 200

The ASX 200 broke through stubborn resistance at 5800 but is struggling to reach 6000.

ASX 200

There are three headwinds that make me believe that the index will struggle to break 6000:

Shuttering of the motor industry

The last vehicles will roll off production lines in October this year. A 2016 study by Valadkhani & Smyth estimates the number of direct and indirect job losses at more than 20,000.

Full time job losses from collapse of motor vehicle industry in Australia

But this does not take into account the vacuum left by the loss of scientific, technology and engineering skills and the impact this will have on other industries.

…R&D-intensive manufacturing industries, such as the motor vehicle industry, play an important role in the process of technology diffusion. These findings are consistent with the argument in the Bracks report that R&D is a linchpin of the Australian automotive sector and that there are important knowledge spillovers to other industries.

Collapse of the housing bubble

An oversupply of apartments will lead to falling prices, with heavy discounting already evident in Melbourne as developers attempt to clear units. Bank lending will slow as prices fall and spillover into the broader housing market seems inevitable. Especially when:

  • Current prices are supported by strong immigration flows which are bound to lead to a political backlash if not curtailed;
  • The RBA is low on ammunition; and
  • Australian households are leveraged to the eyeballs — the highest level of Debt to Disposable Income of any OECD nation.

Debt to Disposable Income

Falling demand for iron ore & coal

China is headed for a contraction, with a sharp down-turn in growth of M1 money supply warning of tighter liquidity. Falling housing prices and record iron ore inventory levels are both likely to drive iron ore and coal prices lower.

China M1 Money Supply Growth

Australia has survived the last decade on Mr Micawber style economic management, with something always turning up at just the right moment — like the massive 2009-2010 stimulus on the chart above — to rescue the economy from disaster. But sooner or later our luck will run out. As any trader will tell you: Hope isn’t a strategy.

“I have no doubt I shall, please Heaven, begin to be more beforehand with the world, and to live in a perfectly new manner, if — if, in short, anything turns up.”

~ Wilkins Micawber from David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Iron Ore Wrap

From Andy Semple at Andika:

The iron ore price has slumped to a one-month low as investors fret over the strength of Chinese demand. The commodity weakened 1.7% to $US53.50 a tonne at the end of last week, its lowest price since April 11. It’s the commodity’s seventh red session in the past eight and the price has now dropped to below the [Australian] government’s recent budget forecast of $US55 a tonne.

Iron ore: Only question now is how rapid the fall | MINING.com

From Frik Els:

According to Platts Mineral Value Service, a Munich-based iron ore and steel research company, domestic iron ore’s contribution to the Chinese steel market has declined from 36% of market share in 2010 to around 22% in 2015.

Domestic iron ore output from an industry plagued by fragmentation, high costs and low grades (only around 20% Fe) has halved since 2013 and may dip below 200 million tonnes Fe 62% equivalent this year…..

Even if more Chinese mines shut down and the shift to seaborne ore continues, the seaborne market is not exactly short of tonnage. All-in-all new seaborne supply set to increase by approximately 245 million tonnes by end of 2018 according to Platts MVS.

The big three – Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton – last week lowered future production guidance, but the aggregate 35 million tonnes in possible lost production hardly changes the oversupply picture and the giants would still hit actual annual output records even at these lowered levels. Citigroup’s analysts expect around an additional 75 million tonnes of iron ore this year to be shipped out of Australia, more than a third of which would come from Roy Hill. The Gina Rinehart mine has brought forward ramp-up plans and now expects to be producing at full annualized capacity of 55 million tonnes by the end of this year. Later this year, Rio’s board is likely to give the go-ahead to build Silvergrass which would add another 20 million tonnes of high-grade, low cost ore to the company’s Pilbara output.

Source: Iron ore price: Only question now is how rapid the fall | MINING.com

The future of Chinese steel | MacroBusiness

Chinese Steel

From Andrew Batson’s interview with Cai Rang, chairman of the China Iron & Steel Research Institute Group:

China’s current steel production capacity is 1.2 billion tons, but domestic demand cannot completely absorb this capacity. In 2015 China exported about 100 million tons of steel products; this was a relief for domestic capacity but a shock to the international market. Already nine European countries have made antidumping complaints, and Japan, Korea and India have also complained. This shows that our country’s current steel production capacity is not sustainable, and must be genuinely reduced.

Now the relevant departments are drafting the 13th five-year plan for the iron and steel industry, and the preliminary plan is to first cut 200 million tons, and eventually stabilize steel capacity around 700 million tons.

How will a 40 percent cut in Chinese steel production impact on Australian iron ore exports? Not well, I suspect.

Source: The future of Chinese steel – MacroBusiness