Mid-year correction ahead for Australian markets? Scams cost $89m last year

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Analysts suggest the Australian market could be facing a mid-year correction... the Aussie proves highly attractive to foreign investors... household spending down $10billion but retailers should pull through... and scams on the increase costing $89 million last year...

Australia heading for a market correction?
With oil prices continuing to rise with unrest in Iraq, and iron ore prices falling, there are fears that Australia could see a correction in the market. With Australia’s relatively high interest rates attracting investors who had been putting their money into European bonds, the value of the Aussie is high. However the iron ore price, rising house prices and falling consumer confidence, there could be some changing times ahead for the market. Economists expect flat trading at the start of the week, after a two-month low on Friday, and ahead of the release of Reserve Bank of Australia minutes, the NSW budget on Tuesday and a meeting of the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday. Read the full story.
 
The Aussie considered ‘safe haven’ for investment
Economists are slightly baffled by foreign investors’ thirst for the Australian Dollar, which is continuing to rise in value. Generally it is not where the money goes at times of unrest or uncertainty, so you might have expected it to be falling now. However analysts, although not entirely sure, believe that it's Australia’s relative position that makes the Aussie attractive. Domestic issues aside, there is relatively low government debt, relatively high interest rates and a relatively high credit rating. Foreign investors make up 67 per cent of the ownership of Australian government bonds. Read the full story.
 
Household spending down $10billion
Consumer spending following the budget is likely to be down by around $10billion within the next couple of years according to figures from Deloitte Access Economics. The firm has been considering the impact of the budget on spending in the retail sector after profits warnings from some major retailers. Its prediction is that, although at the moment consumer confidence is low; spending will recover partly due to the recovery in housing. The discretionary retail sector may suffer, but this is a relatively small part of overall household spending. Read the full story.
 
Love hurts…your wallet
New figures from the consumer watchdog show a 10 per cent rise in reported scams last year, costing Australians around $89 million. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s report reveals that dating and romance was the biggest sector for scams in monetary terms, but a fairly small percentage in actual reports, so people seem prepared to take a bigger risk when it comes to finding love. Phishing and identity theft were among growth areas reported and while the number of over 65’s reporting scams doubled, the biggest age group filing reports were in the 45-54 demographic. Read the full story.

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