Positive news for Asian markets, DAX hits record high and Aussie Post job losses confirmed

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Asian markets up... US falls from highs…Germany hits record high… bad news for Australian Post workers… housing market seems to be cooling and retail may have a tough winter...

Asian markets end slightly up
Asian markets ended Tuesday slightly up after some highs on Wall Street on Monday and China’s inflation figures edging up, which added gains in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Japan fell slightly due to a weaker Yen while there was a slight rise for Australia. US stocks were slightly down from the highs but were not moving massively and Europe was largely up, especially in Germany where the DAX hit a record high. Read the full story.
Bad news in the Post
Australia Post has confirmed the rumoured 900 strong job cut, mainly from its Melbourne HQ, which will take place over the next year. It was the news many postal workers spent the holiday weekend dreading but frontline staff including posties and retail staff will not be affected. It is a familiar story around the world as physical mail has been replaced by online delivery. In the UK the Royal Mail has shed 50,000 in a decade and the US postal service has cut 70,000 jobs in the last two years. Read the full story.
Home loan figures suggest cooling market
Last year Australia saw rapid price rises in the housing market; this year things seem to be cooling to a more sustainable level. Official figures for April show that the number of new mortgages for owner-occupied homes was unchanged, while loans for construction and purchase of new property fell. While the growth in value of owner-occupied home loans was 1.4% in the month, for investment properties the value of loans grew by 2.3% and investors now account for 40% of mortgages, the highest level in more than 10 years. Read the full story.
Analysts warn of retail slump
With two of Australia’s major retail brands issuing profit warnings on Tuesday, analysts say there will be more to come. Discretionary retail is likely to be hit hardest with consumer confidence lower following the federal budget and a warmer than usual winter affecting clothing brands in particular. Read the full story.
Global private wealth now $152 trillion
The value of the private wealth of households rose by 14% last year to an eye-watering $152 trillion. Much of the growth was from rising stock markets. In North America there was an above average rise of 15.6% to reach just more than $50 trillion – the largest region in value – but Asia-Pacific saw the biggest growth, rising by 37% last year. China’s households saw particular growth in wealth, gaining 49%. Relative economic stability in the US and Europe and recovery seen in many regions, helped the rise in share values. Read the full story.