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Found 642 results

  1. Hi, Does anyone use ISOFIX, or have a car with ISOFIX? Can anyone tell me what used Australian cars have ISOFIX? I won't be buying new, so need one about 3-5 years old. I know all about this system not being legal, so please no debate on this topic!! Thanks
  2. Can anybody help in advising as to whether the Diploma in Nursing (EEN) qualification gained here in Australia qualifys you to register as a nurse in the UK? Looking at the application form it seems the Enrolled nurse isn't recognised. Very confusing as am registered as a nurse here in Ozzie. :goofy: Any assistance on this would be greatly appreciated.
  3. Guest

    BT Expand Into Australia!

    Well it's a global company and very experienced at providing this sort of thing. I wonder if they would have won the contract if it was the WA government that was making the decisions? http://www.perthnow.com.au/business/business-old/british-telcommunications-wins-fiona-stanley-contract/story-e6frg2qu-1226116159580 http://www.btplc.com/News/Articles/Showarticle.cfm?ArticleID=089401CD-F787-455B-AF97-4C03B9F0BBDC
  4. derham

    Australian Qualifications

    Hi All I need some help. We are just about to start our skilled visa application my problem is one agent is telling me that my HNC is suitable to apply under a ''Building Associate'' and one agent has told me that I need a HND as a building associate needs an equivilant ''Higher diploma'' and the HNC is only classed as a ''Diploma''. Has anyone tried to get their HNC assesed and if so what was it classed as? Getting worried as we are tight on points and time!!:arghh:
  5. INTERNATIONAL airline passengers entering Australia tomorrow face delays and disruption due to quarantine employees voting to strike for four hours over a pay claim. The union representing Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries employees said inbound international travellers should be prepared for delays and urged those collecting passengers to take account of this, The Australian reported. The Community and Public Sector Union said the industrial action would also affect cargo inspections, the release of imported goods and X-ray screening of international mail. In a letter to the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, a Sydney Airport senior manager, Jeff Stirk, warned the action would have a "very significant impact'' on operations. Increased congestion in the Customs hall and baggage reclaims areas would heighten security risks, and there could be problems with baggage handling, including on transfer flights. Strike scheduled for 19th August 2011
  6. IrishDigger

    Australian Citizenship

    To those who wonder if it's worthwhile taking out Australian Citizenship, http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/latest/9208325/british-man-to-be-deported-40-years-on/
  7. Bellbirds By channels of coolness the echoes are calling, And down the dim gorges I hear the creek falling: It lives in the mountain where moss and the sedges Touch with their beauty the banks and the ledges. Through breaks of the cedar and sycamore bowers Struggles the light that is love to the flowers; And, softer than slumber, and sweeter than singing, The notes of the bell-birds are running and ringing. The silver-voiced bell birds, the darlings of daytime! They sing in September their songs of the May-time; When shadows wax strong, and the thunder bolts hurtle, They hide with their fear in the leaves of the myrtle; When rain and the sunbeams shine mingled together, They start up like fairies that follow fair weather; And straightway the hues of their feathers unfolden Are the green and the purple, the blue and the golden. October, the maiden of bright yellow tresses, Loiters for love in these cool wildernesses; Loiters, knee-deep, in the grasses, to listen, Where dripping rocks gleam and the leafy pools glisten: Then is the time when the water-moons splendid Break with their gold, and are scattered or blended Over the creeks, till the woodlands have warning Of songs of the bell-bird and wings of the Morning. Welcome as waters unkissed by the summers Are the voices of bell-birds to the thirsty far-comers. When fiery December sets foot in the forest, And the need of the wayfarer presses the sorest, Pent in the ridges for ever and ever The bell-birds direct him to spring and to river, With ring and with ripple, like runnels who torrents Are toned by the pebbles and the leaves in the currents. Often I sit, looking back to a childhood, Mixt with the sights and the sounds of the wildwood, Longing for power and the sweetness to fashion, Lyrics with beats like the heart-beats of Passion; - Songs interwoven of lights and of laughters Borrowed from bell-birds in far forest-rafters; So I might keep in the city and alleys The beauty and strength of the deep mountain valleys: Charming to slumber the pain of my losses With glimpses of creeks and a vision of mosses.
  8. Hi, We have applied for our visa(176).PCC uploaded,medicals to be done.Today my OH -the main applicant,has received a call from the local australian embassy confirming his designation.he Few hours later,his manager has also received a call and has been asked to confirm OH job duties. This sounds very scary!!:wideeyed: Is this normal prior to a grant?Is this part of the security checks? Any advice? Thanks in advance:notworthy:
  9. The week before last, investors all wanted Swiss francs and none wanted the Australian dollar. Last week those roles were (eventually) reversed and the Aussie was the world's best-performing major currency. It must have been the 4.75% interest rate that attracted them, because the economic statistics had little good to say about the Australian economy. The best figures of the week were an improvement in business confidence from 0 to 2 and an uptick in consumer confidence from -8.3 to a still-negative -3.5. Home loans were down by -4.4% in July and the employment numbers were a grave disappointment. The unemployment rate jumped from 4.9% to 5.1% and the number of people in work was almost unchanged, having been expected to rise by more than 10k. The weak employment data provided more evidence to support a minority view that the next move for AUD interest rates will be downwards.
  10. Guest

    Australian Film Red Dog

    This film may be of interest to some members.. set in the Pilbara of Western Australia, Red Dog was the local character particularly after his owner died. My husband often used to pick him up in his truck.. he hitchhiked around Dampier, Karratha, Port Hedland... my husband works on Signals and one of Red Dog's greatest sports was stopping the trains and riding in the cab. A great heartwarming family film! Then you've heard of Red Dog, one of Australia's most endearing legends, and one that has now been immortalised in a new film based on his home life in Dampier, Western Australia. Australian producer Nelson Woss (Venus & Mars, Ned Kelly) had been living and working in Hollywood when he heard that British writer Louis de Bernières (author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin) had written a book about Red Dog after visiting WA's Pilbara region. Louis had collected and compiled local stories about the legendary canine that would take no master until he chose one for himself and whose endearing qualities were often attributed to helping unite the region's transient mining population in the 1970s into the strong community it boasts today. At the time, Nelson wanted to return to his home country and was looking for an Australian project to sink his teeth into. "When I heard that Louis had actually travelled to WA and written a story based on the fabulous Pilbara region, I decided there couldn't be a better opportunity for me to do a film," Nelson said. Nelson had a personal interest in the story as he had grown up in Perth hearing about the legendary dog who was out there "hitchhiking about the country". "We'd meet these people who would tell amazing stories about this red dog that somehow stopped their car, jumped into it, and stayed with them for a week before moving on," Nelson said. "One of the best stories I've heard was about this truck driver who picked Red Dog up in Pilbara and drove him all the way to Perth only to lose him at a beach in the city. "He searched for hours before giving up but knew people back in Dampier's Mermaid Hotel would not forgive him when they found out he'd lost Red Dog. "When the driver finally pulled up to The Mermaid, Red Dog was already there. Somebody had picked him up. The dog had beaten him home!" Nelson secured the rights to the film on the promise to Louis that it would be set and filmed in WA, going one up on big names such as Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks. He then set about pulling together a team of experienced people including director Kriv Stenders (Boxing Day, Lucky Country), screen writer Dan Taplitz (The Squeeze, Breakin' All the Rules), production designer Ian Gracie (The Sum of U?s, The Thin Red Line, Moulin Rouge, Ned Kelly, Australia, Star Wars Episodes 11 and 111) and casting director Christine King (Two Hands, Ned Kelly, Rabbit Proof Fence, Wolverine, Chronicles of Narnia), and began to produce the film. "Everyone in this movie was very passionate about it," Nelson said. "They didn't do it for the money." Red Dog received willing support from major mining companies such as Rio Tinto, Woodside Petroleum and an organisation called Royalties for Regions which helped with funding and logistics. "The mining companies allowed us to shoot their trains, operations and conveyor belts and that was a really important part of the story. That's where Red Dog used to hang out," Nelson said. Although much of the film was set on location, some scenes were recreated in and around Adelaide including those set in the town of Dampier itself as it no longer resembled the small mining outpost it did in the 1970s. The interior of the Mermaid Hotel was also reconstructed inside an industrial warehouse in Adelaide using reference photos, stories, documentary footage and still images from the WA library. The film's cast include well-known Australian actors Rachael Taylor, John Batchelor, Arthur Angel, Rohan Nichol, Noah Taylor and popular American actor Josh Lucas. The real star of the show, however, is Koko, a well-trained red kelpie given the big task of representing the great dog. "I've worked on a lot of films ... you always find good actors but occasionally, you find stars," Nelson said. "I think this dog is a star. People will love his performance. "If you like dogs, you'll love this movie."
  11. UK ECONOMY GROWS BY 0.2% IN THE SECOND QUARTER But it could have been more without unusual factors such as the royal wedding Australian interest rates expected to hold steady at 4.75% this week. For a second week the Australian dollar made headway against the pound, touching a new high. It was a two-way street though, with a sharp fall for sterling on Wednesday and a rally that carried through Thursday and Friday morning. The net loss to sterling on the week was two cents. The Washington debt impasse overshadowed the market all week. With legislators unwilling to compromise on a budget deal the FX market was uncertain which way to jump. Sentiment changed almost on a daily basis, draining liquidity and making it more difficult than usual to judge direction. The result was relatively narrow ranges for most currencies and net movements only half as big as those of the previous week. Sterling made the best of a varied set of economic indicators. In particular it dodged the potentially negative effect of two weak figures from the Confederation of British Industry. In its industrial trends survey the CBI identified a -10% monthly fall in industrial orders and the distributive trades survey found retail sales down by -5%. That investors did not sell sterling on the news was principally because they were too busy selling the dollar – and they had to buy something. Whatever its ailments, Britain does not have a debt crisis and it does have a triple-A credit rating. And it was not all bad news from the ecostats. The British Bankers' Association and the Bank of England both reported a small rise in the monthly number of mortgage approvals. Nationwide's house price index rose by 0.2%, to leave it lower by just -0.4% in the year to July. In its press release, the bank speculated optimistically that, "as the economic outlook brightens, labour market conditions strengthen and housing affordability becomes less stretched, so demand for housing should improve". The first estimate of Britain's second quarter gross domestic product was less of a strong figure, more of a relief that it did not turn out worse. GDP grew by 0.2% on Q2, exactly as analysts had forecast. Crucially, it was not a negative. Also, the Office for National Statistics said in its bulletin that the figure would have been more like 0.7% had it not been for several unusual factors that influenced economic activity in Q2 – including the royal wedding and its extra bank holiday, the after-effects of the Japanese tsunami, the first phase of Olympics ticket sales and record warm weather. For the Australian dollar it was business as usual. Australia is thousands of miles from the nearest debt crisis and there is steady demand for its mineral and energy exports. There was one point last week at which the media were seriously tossing around the notion that the Aussie had become a "reserve" currency. They were not being totally stupid: investors who dislike the US dollar (and therefore by extension the Canadian dollar), the euro and the pound have turned their nose up at 71% of the world's traded currency. If, as last week, they also do not fancy the yen very much that’s 81% of tradable currency out of the window. So they ended up buying the NZ and Australian dollars and the Swiss franc. And gold, of course. The Australian economic indicators mostly had little bearing on the value of the dollar. A 3.4% rise in producer prices and a -0.1% fall for the Conference Board's leading index did not matter. Nor did a slight slowdown in the growth of private sector lending. What did make an impact was the CPI inflation number. Consumer prices rose by 3.6% in the year to June. It was a bigger number than the 3.6% that investors had been expecting and, with the Reserve Bank of Australia meeting this week to discuss monetary policy, encouraged investors to look for an increase in the cash rate from its current 4.75% level. Local analysts are in disagreement that this will happen. Whilst most acknowledge a possibility that the RBA could react to higher inflation with a rate increase, some believe the next move will be downwards, at the end of the year. The consensus is that Tuesday's meeting will result in no change. Other Australian indicators this week cover house prices, building permits, purchasing managers' indices and retail sales. On the fairly short list of UK economic statistics are the purchasing managers' indices, the producer price index and the Halifax house price index. On Thursday there is little doubt that the Monetary Policy Committee will leave the Bank Rate unchanged at 0.5%. On the broad front, sterling's relatively decent performance last week was a welcome reminder that investors do, after all, set some store by fiscal responsibility and AAA credit ratings. But they also value high and possibly rising interest rates. With a 4.75% return the Aussie already looks attractive, and just because it’s overvalued doesn’t mean it must go down.
  12. k3nj1

    Australian half sister

    I am currently on a 457 visa and have been working on this for 3 years here in Sydney. I am looking to apply for my PR. I have a half sister (same father) who is Australian - would she be able to sponsor my application? Or have me on some kind of family visa? Thanks
  13. Hi All, I need some help/guidance/support regarding emigrating to Australia, so anything anyone can advise will go along way. I am hoping to be offered a position for a role in Australia (although highly unlikely that ill get it) but i need to understand more details around the Australlian 457 Visa and anything that i can do to assist myself and my family getting Permanent Residency. Obviously moving to Australia on a 457 Employer Sponsored Visa is probably the quickest way to get myself, my wife, 2 step kids and another on the way but i understand it carries huge risk which is where my concern lies, im sure all will understand that uprooting the kids from school/college is a big thing and i have read that if you lose your sponsorship you have 28 days to find another one or be expected to leave. Can anyone give any information on there own experiences using the 457 Visa, im sure there are plenty of posts similar to this but i am new here so figured it best to start another post. We would obviously like to get Permanent Residency ASAP but i dont know the rules around this or even where to start. Guys can anyone shed any light/assistance please....... :confused:
  14. Olga

    Australian Police Check

    Is there an expiry date for Police Certificates? I 've received mine, but I am not gonna apply for GSM for another month probably...still waiting for my skills assessment to be processed.
  15. Woman suing the Australian government. Its on sky news ............. on its teletext section, so it must be correct. :mad: A woman visiting a remote area of Australia was staying in a hotel and she was having sex with her partner, or someone ............ could have been anyone, when ................ the light fitting fell down hitting her in the face, breaking her tooth slashing open her face, where she needed stitches and she is suing the government ............. surely any claim should be against the hotel and ................ Just how frantic were they going at it to bring the ceiling lights down.:laugh:
  16. UK spending power improves Inflation abates to 4.2% while average earnings accelerate to rise by 2.3% Game over for higher Australian interest rates. Sterling moved higher last week with no sense of urgency. It was not until Wednesday that it got into its stride; two and a half days later it was two and a half cents higher and close to the week's high. After covering a range of three and a half cents, the pound opened in London yesterday a net two and a half cents higher on the week. Sterling did its best to keep its head down, with few UK economic statistics to mess things up. The RICS house price balance and the BRC retail sales monitor came out early on Tuesday. Both figures were bad in the traditional sense; the RICS figure showed a net 27% of estate agents reporting lower prices and the BRC said retail sales in June were down by -0.6% compared with June last year. However, both were better than the previous month's result so they didn’t create too much mischief. On Friday, Rightmove reported a -1.6% monthly fall in residential property asking prices that left them still a long way from reality. Seven out of ten properties offered for sale this year are still in the estate agent's window and there was not even the hint of a suggestion that the other three had sold. The two data sets most likely to make a difference were Tuesday's inflation figures and the employment numbers on Wednesday. After rising by 4.5% in the 12 months to April and May, Britain's consumer price index went up by only 4.2% in the year to June. The Bank of England is sure to have been happy to see the tick-back, as are savers who now see their money being eroded less quickly. Investors, who might have been expected to see the change as lessening upward pressure on interest rates, did not seem perturbed. Nor were they taken aback on Wednesday by a higher than expected 24.5k monthly increase in the number of people claiming jobseekers' allowance. Instead they apparently focused on average earnings, which were up by an annual 2.3% in the May quarter. Combined with the drop in inflation to 4.2%, it means spending power is falling by only -1.8% a year rather than the -2.5% implied by the previous month's figures. It might not be cause for celebration on the high street, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. The Aussie dollar's main handicap was the ongoing concern that Euroland will make a mess of the Greek/Irish/Portuguese/Italian debt problem, panicking financial markets and sending the global economy into a tailspin. As the week progressed, nervousness was also growing about the US debt ceiling. If America is to pay its bills after 2 August it needs to borrow more money, a course not permissible unless the borrowing limit is raised by congress. The prospect of that not happening because of intransigence on the Hill and in the White House increased the threat of a downgrade to US Treasury Bonds and a setback for the global economy. Against that background the Aussie was always going to have a traction problem. Another slowdown would inevitably dampen demand for its commodity and energy exports. The economic data didn’t provide much help. NAB's business survey registered a big fat zero on the confidence scale, while Westpac's consumer confidence index fell by more than three percentage points to -8.3%. Although the employment situation is holding up well, some other Australian economic indicators are not as punchy as they once were. It is perhaps because of this that investors and analysts have changed their minds about a rate increase by the Reserve Bank of Australia later this year. Westpac now expects "a sequence of rate cuts beginning with 25 basis points in December 2011 and through 2012 totalling 100 basis points prior to a period of steady rates [at 3.75%] in 2013". If it lasts, that change of emphasis is likely to be a significant negative factor for the Australian dollar. It will not be a busy week for statistics in either Australia or Britain. The main event for the AUD, especially in view of the new rate outlook, will be Thursday's publication of the RBA minutes. The week brings even fewer UK ecostats than the one just gone. Beyond Nationwide's consumer confidence index, public sector net borrowing and June's retail sales there is nothing other than the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee's July meeting. The last few days have thrown up multiple examples of the FX market's unpredictability and there will almost certainly be more this week.
  17. I'm hoping someone out there can help as after searching the internet and both uk and aus tax office websites i cant find any answers! I am a british citizen and my partner is australian. We live in australia and have done for the past 5years . After becoming pregnant with my second child we have decided to move back to the uk and i have a job opportunity working for an australian company however i will be based from home in the uk. The australian company does not have an entity in the uk, they will be transferring wages into my uk account so my question is, how do i pay tax and who do i pay it to? Thanks for your help! uk. My other
  18. Australian dollar dives as Westpac forecasts cut to interest rates OK, so 1.07 US and 1.51 GBP is hardly a dive but expectations seem to be shifting from higher interest rates to lower ones, while higher rates may be forced on the big Western economies and those waiting for a better time to exchange pounds may still be in for a very long wait - no-one knows. One thing that can't be argued is that this a big change in sentiment from a few months ago. Mods - consider not moving this to money & finance as very few people read that and exchange rates are important to a large number of people. Of course no paper currencies are really rising, they're just sinking against real money at different rates :wink:
  19. Hi Guys! Just wondering if there`s any particular differences between each and every different sub classes of Australian permanent resident? I am currently holding a CLASS BW Resident, Sub Class 857 ( RSMS ). Any responses and answers are appreciated!! Cheers
  20. LOW-PROFILE STERLING DODGES MOST BULLETS NIESR estimates UK economy grew by just 0.1% in the first quarter Australian employment rebounds in June For the first three days of the week sterling looked comfortably lodged within a cent-and-a-half channel. On Thursday morning it moved lower, eventually touching a record low against the Aussie. Friday afternoon brought a bounce of nearly two cents, courtesy of a hugely disappointing US employment report. When London opened yesterday morning the week's net damage amounted to a little less than one cent. The UK economic data were not a great problem for sterling. Purchasing managers' indices (PMIs) for the construction and services sectors were no worse than expected. For construction, the figure was down by less than half a point on the month and exactly on target at 53.6. The services PMI came in at 53.9 – better than forecast and fractionally higher on the month. House prices were up by 1.2% in June, according to the Halifax, and the annual decline slowed from -4.2% to -3.5%. The British Retail Consortium revealed its shop price (inflation) index at midnight, showing a 2.9% annual rise in the year to June – the highest reading since October 2008. The UK industrial and manufacturing production data included good and bad news. Manufacturing production rose by 1.8% in May instead of the predicted 1.0%, and the annual increase was 2.8% instead of the -0.6% decline investors had been expecting. The broader industrial production figures, which include energy and mining production, came in lower than expected at 0.9% and -0.8% for the month and the year. Producer prices continued to accelerate, with UK manufacturers' costs rising by 17.0% in the year to June, while factory gate prices rose by 5.7%. The one fly in sterling's ointment was the estimate by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research for gross domestic product growth in the second quarter. At 0.1% it was close enough to zero to mean a risk that the official figures later this month could turn out to be negative. The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee conformed to market expectations on Thursday, leaving the Bank Rate steady at 0.5% for a 29th month and making no new asset purchases. Investors will be keen to see the minutes of the meeting, which come out on 20 July, to see how the voting went and how much consideration the Committee gave to a renewal of quantitative easing with the asset purchase programme. Australia's PMIs did not look at all good. The services PMI was a point and a half lower in June at 48.5. The construction index languished at 35.8 on a scale of 0-100 where anything below 50 represents shrinking activity. Australia's trade surplus looked good though, rising to $2.3 billion in May from April's upwardly-revised $1.6 billion. Better yet were the June employment figures. Unemployment held steady at 4.9% while the employment change number showed 23.4k new jobs – far better than the 15.3k increase that investors had been expecting. There was little reaction to the Reserve Bank of Australia's announcement that it would be holding the cash rate at 4.75% for another month. Governor Glenn Stevens said in his statement that "CPI inflation is expected to be close to target over the next 12 months" and that "the current mildly restrictive stance of monetary policy remained appropriate". Investors will not be holding their breath for a rate increase. The biggest move of the week came on Friday afternoon after the US Bureau of Labor revealed its latest employment report. Including revisions to earlier months, US payrolls fell by -22k in May. Investors had been looking for a figure to the north of +100k. The extremely weak performance made investors nervous about the global economy as a whole and they sold risk-related assets, including commodity-export-related currencies. The Aussie dropped nearly two cents against the pound in less than an hour and has recovered very little of that loss. This week kicked off with an unremarkable 4.4% increase in housing loans. The number was close to forecast. All that’s left on this week's Australian agenda is subjective measures for business conditions, business confidence, consumer confidence and inflation expectations. The UK data are crammed into today and tomorrow, which started with the RICS house price balance, the BRC retail sales figure and Nationwide consumer confidence at midnight yesterday. Today there’s the trade deficit and the inflation numbers. CPI inflation is forecast to be steady at 4.5% for a third month with RPI 5.2% higher on the year. Tomorrow the employment statistics could well repeat the patter of recent months with more people in work and simultaneously more people claiming jobseekers' allowance. The AUD is close to record highs against the US dollar and has just scored a new one against the pound. But however tempting it might be to look for a reversal, history teaches that unjustifiable currency strength is not in itself reason for a turnaround. Almost every currency move goes too far. The problem is that it’s impossible to tell until afterwards what constitutes "too far". Hindsight, as they say, is a wonderful thing.
  21. Just seen this on the news today and i can well believe it! You might get paid more wages but its all relative with the cost of living. I was quite well off in the UK but I feel like I have had to start again financially, not being able to afford things like i used to and having to buy things on interest free credit, even then you are charged extra things on your statement which add up which you didnt get in the UK!! :confused: THE rise in the Australian dollar means we now have four of the 15 most expensive cities in the world to live in, according to a survey released today by the UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit. Sydney has moved up from 32nd place two years ago to sixth now and Melbourne is up from 38th to seventh, with a cost of living more than 40 per cent higher than New York, The Australian reports. Perth and Brisbane, which are almost 25 per cent more expensive than New York, are ranked 13th and 14th. All four cities are now costlier than major cities including London, Vienna, Rome, Berlin, Hong Kong and Beijing, according to the survey, which compares the cost of living using more than 400 individual prices in 133 cities around the world. Tokyo, Oslo and Osaka take the top three places overall while Mumbai, Tunis and Karachi are the three cheapest. The Australian cities' rankings have climbed sharply in the unit's surveys in recent years. Read more: http://www.news.com.au/business/australian-dollar/high-dollar-pushes-relative-cost-of-living-in-australian-cities-up-world-rankings/story-fn6t6wad-1226089881392#ixzz1RPGnMfLP
  22. Prospect of renewed QE puts sterling to flight MPC apparently gave serious consideration to more asset purchases. RBA reverses interest rate expectations again. Last week cost the pound another quarter of a cent against the Aussie, but there was never a sense of panic. There was not even much sense of movement, with a range of less than three cents for a second week. There were very few economic data to make it move. Public sector net borrowing was £15.2 billion –less than the expected £16.3 billion. The two surveys from the Confederation of British Industry pointed in opposite directions: industrial orders were up by 1% when they should have fallen by -5% and retail sales fell by -2% instead of rising by the predicted 12%. British Bankers' Association mortgage approvals in May numbered 30,500 – better than the previous month's 29,700, but still pretty pathetic. So it was not the ecostats that sent the pound lower at mid-week. It was the Bank of England. On Tuesday Paul Fisher, the Bank's director of markets and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), told a conference in London that the possibility of further quantitative easing was still on the MPC’s table. "It hasn't been ruled out", he said. If investors did not like the sound of that, they were mightily unimpressed by the minutes of the June MPC meeting, which came out the following day. There was no problem with the 7/2 vote in favour of keeping the Bank Rate at 0.5% for a 28th month. With Andrew Sentance having completed his three-year term on the Committee at the end of May, one of the three votes for a rate increase had gone. Mr Sentance's replacement on the MPC, Ben Broadbent, might favour higher rates but he saw no point in going head-to-head with the governor at his first meeting. The problem lay in the Committee's apparently protracted discussion about renewed asset purchases. As Paul Fisher had warned the previous day, further quantitative easing is still up for grabs. For investors who favour currencies with rising interest rates, this was a potential step in exactly the wrong direction. Sterling took an immediate hit and carried on lower. The week's two Australian ecostats put the Westpac leading index at 0.2% in April after an upwardly-revised 0.6%, and the Conference Board leading index at 0.1% following a -0.1% for March (revised down from +0.4%). Taken as a pair, they did not tell investors much. The one bit of excitement arose from the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's policy meeting earlier this month. Recent comments by RBA Governor Glenn Stevens had been taken as hints that Australian interest rates would be going up sooner rather than later. Tuesday's minutes appeared to contradict that urgency. The penultimate sentence said that the Board "therefore considered that the current monetary policy setting was appropriate”. When central bankers talk of a policy rate being "appropriate", they mean they are not thinking of changing it. The news did not go down well with investors and the Australian dollar received a half-cent smack. This week's Australian statistics cover private sector lending, the AiG manufacturing purchasing managers' index and new home sales. UK statistics are only slightly more plentiful this week compared to last. Today brings the finalised figure for first quarter gross domestic product, together with business investment and the current account deficit. On Wednesday there is money supply, consumer credit and the overall mortgage approvals number. Nationwide's house price index might or might not emerge on Thursday, and Friday's sole offering is the manufacturing purchasing managers' index. Like the other commodity currencies, the Australian dollar is feeling the pinch as a result of the blow dealt to investor confidence by the potential bankruptcy of Greece. But sterling is also under the cosh, partly as a result of the reawakened fear of QE and partly because a disaster in Greece would do no favours to Britain. Buyers of the Australian dollar would be wise to continue to hedge their risk, fixing a price for up to half the money they need with a forward purchase.
  23. INVESTORS STILL WARY OF BOE ASSET PURCHASES Bank again resurrects the possibility of renewed QE. Aussie prospers as confidence returns. The Australian dollar was one of a handful of currencies to strengthen by around 2% against the pound last week. The pound began last week in reasonably buoyant mood, rising by half a cent on Monday morning. After that it was a different story. By Thursday afternoon the pound was four and a half cents off its high and at a record low. Since then it has been treading water in a cent-and-a-half range, going nowhere and shouting for help. The UK economy was unable to throw up any convincing evidence of progress. The finalised figures for first-quarter gross domestic product served only to remind investors of the big problem that faces the chancellor and his adoring electorate: prices are going up and incomes are not. Earlier in the month the 4.5% inflation figure and the 1.8% rise in average earnings showed spending power going down by -2.7% a year. The GDP numbers confirmed that the economy grew by 0.5% in Q1 (incidentally the same performance as that put in by the United States). What they also showed, though, was that household spending had gone up in money terms while the volume of goods and services had fallen. Bluntly, Brits are paying more for less. The rest of the week's ecostats did little to improve sterling's situation. Mortgage approvals in May numbered just under 46k, half as many as for the same month 20 years ago. Consumer confidence fell from -21 to -25 in June. Nationwide's house price index was unchanged between May and June, -1.1% lower than a year earlier. The manufacturing sector purchasing managers' index, which assesses activity and order levels, was down by three quarters of a point to 51.3 (50 represents stagnation while anything lower than that means shrinkage). Sterling's main problem was a renewed fear that the Bank of England might decide on another round of the quantitative easing that saw it purchase £200 billion of government and corporate bonds in 2009-10. Adam Posen is the Monetary Policy Committee member who has constantly been pushing for another £50 billion to help lubricate the economy. He was at it again at the beginning of the week, arguing against the criticism by the Bank for International Settlements that the MPC was being negligent in its duty to hold down inflation. He dismissed the BIS call for higher interest rates as "nonsense". The following day his colleague, Deputy Governor Paul Tucker, did his best to defuse the situation, saying: "This is not a committee that's drifting towards thinking that more stimulus may be needed." He told that to parliament's Treasury Committee and he might have managed to put the genie back in the bottle had he not been accompanied to Westminster by the governor and by written statements from two more MPC members. Sir Mervyn King insisted that a further round of quantitative easing (asset purchases) is still an option because it is "... a perfectly conventional monetary policy tool. This is something we can do." As for higher interest rates, the governor also leaned towards Adam Posen's point of view. Rates would only go up "in the context of a much stronger economy, with unemployment falling rather than rising". The supporting statements from David Miles and Spencer Dale suggested both of those conditions were unlikely to arise anytime soon. One of them spoke of "risks that the recovery in output becomes weaker and then disappears"; the other said "the economic recovery in the UK remains fragile." The market's inference was that it might be another year before UK interest rates head higher. The Australian dollar's fortunes were in the hands of Greece. As the week progressed investors became steadily more confident that Greece would swallow its austerity medicine, thus earning the next €12 billion cheque from last year's bailout fund and qualifying for a second bailout when that one runs out. True enough, the Greek parliament voted for the austerity package and then voted for the hideous details it includes — pay cuts, tax increases and all. By Friday it seemed all that remained was to compose the congratulatory telegrams. As the Greek problem evaporated before their very eyes, investors embraced the Aussie dollar and other commodity-oriented currencies. Although there is still a massive question mark over the proposed restructuring of Greek government debt, investors feel comfortable at the moment that the authorities will come up with a way to avoid it becoming an event of default, so forcing some banks to book sizeable losses. As long as that default can be dodged, investors believe the global economy can rebuild a head of steam and, with it, an appetite for Australia's commodity exports. The Australian ecostats did not have much to do with the dollar's spurt to stardom, partly because they were not much good and partly because there were not many of them. The best result was AiG's manufacturing PMI, which jumped by five points to 52.9. Private sector credit fell short of forecast with a 3.1% annual and a 0.3% monthly increase. New home sales were down by a monthly -0.2%, reversing the previous month's increase. This week opened with a slump in the number of building permits issued in May. The figure was -7.9% down on April and -14.4% fewer than May 2010. Retail sales were down by a monthly -0.6%, having been expected to go up by 0.3%. Yet to come on this week's agenda are the services and construction sector PMIs, the balance of trade and the important employment numbers on Friday. On Tuesday the Reserve Bank of Australia announced its decision on monetary policy, and the expected no change at 4.75% was what transpired. There are just three important UK data sets on the list: the services sector PMI, industrial and manufacturing production and the producer price index. There is also a vanishingly remote chance that the MPC might decide on Thursday to fall in with Mr Posen and increase the size of the asset purchase programme. The AUD is close to record highs against the US dollar and the pound. However tempting it might be to look for a reversal, history teaches that unjustifiable currency strength is not of itself reason for a turnaround. Almost every currency move goes too far. The problem is that it is impossible to tell until afterwards what constitutes "too far". Buyers of the Australian dollar should continue to hedge their risk, and consider fixing a price for up to half the money they need with a forward purchase.
  24. Hi guys, just a quick one (sorry if this is in the wrong place!), My partner is applying for his First Australian Passport this week. Just looking at the form and it asks whether he is intending to travel over the next 2 months, and the dates. Just wondering why they ask this? We ARE planning on going to the UK at some point after he's got his passport.... not sure on the dates, probably will be within the next 2 months though. Does he just tick 'no' because we don't know for sure, and def. don't know the dates yet? Will we have any issues travelling once he's said he isn't going to? Or do we tick 'yes' and just make up the dates/leave the dates blank? Does it make a difference? Can't be to speed up their processing, as the options are standard (10 working days processing) or priority (2 working days). Any suggestions? Thanks! Sophie.
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