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Published on: Monday, July 17, 2017

  • This week, the preliminary auction clearance rate across the combined capital cities was 72.4% compared to last week’s final clearance rate of 68.4%. According to research house CoreLogic, auction volumes have continued to taper during winter, with around 1,600 properties taken to auction this week compared to 1,766 last week. However, volumes were even lower at the same time last year, with 1,391 properties taken to auction. This week, Melbourne had the best preliminary clearance rate of all the cities, at 77.4%. See the table below for all (preliminary) capital city auction statistics:

Source: CoreLogic

  • Major shareholders in BHP Billiton have backed Elliott Management’s campaign for change to the big miner’s dual-listed structure and petroleum division. The US hedge fund visited Sydney and Melbourne recently and, according to The Australian, Australian Foundation Investment Company (AFIC) and Wilson Asset Management (WAM) said they met with Elliott and are optimistic about their campaign. AFIC MD, Ross Barker, reportedly said Elliott has been helpful in bringing into the public focus that BHP has underperformed over recent years.
  • The oil price lifted more than 1% on Friday on the back of heightened Chinese demand. AAP reports that just two rigs were added in the latest week by U.S. crude producers, while there were also signs of increased Chinese demand. Brent crude rose US49 cents or 1.0% to US$48.91 a barrel, and US Nymex rose US46 cents or 1.0% to US$46.54 a barrel. Over the week, Brent rose 4.7% and Nymex rose 5.2%. 
  • The Aussie dollar rose to 15-month highs on Friday, breaking through US78 cents. This morning, the Aussie dollar is still holding most of its gains, after disappointing US inflation and retail data. The Aussie dollar stood at around 78.21 US cents at 7am AEST, up from 77.49 US cents on Friday (AAP). See the chart below: 

Source: Bloomberg

  • At 0715 AEST on Monday, the share price futures index was up 14 points, or 0.25 per cent, at 5,704.

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