Monthly Archives: November 2018

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Spanish yields hit new record high

Spain’s 10-year borrowing costs rose to a euro-era record after the nation’s credit rating was cut to one step above junk by Moody’s.
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Italy’s yields reached the highest in almost five months as it prepared to auction 4.5 billion euros ($5.7 billion) of three-, seven- and eight-year bonds after borrowing costs climbed at a sale of 12-month bills yesterday.

German bunds rose before a report that economists said will confirm European inflation eased to the slowest pace since February 2011.

Moody’s downgraded Cyprus and lowered Spain’s rating three steps to Baa3 after the nation asked for aid to support its lenders.

‘‘The debt markets are telling us that they’re unconvinced by the bank bailout and that the next step is that the government will have to concede, capitulate, and go for a sovereign loan,’’ James Stewart, head of macro research at AX Markets, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s ‘‘Countdown.’’

‘‘That seems to me quite likely, and even now I think it’s moving on from Spain to Italy.’’

Spain’s 10-year yield climbed 10 basis points to 6.86 per cent in early trade and reached 6.89 per cent, the highest since before the euro was introduced in 1999. The 5.85 per cent security maturing in January 2022 fell 0.68, or 6.80 euros per 1000-euro face amount, to 93.09.

Italy’s 10-year yield rose 8 basis points to 6.29 per cent, after advancing to 6.34 per cent, the most since January 20.

German 10-year yields dropped three basis points to 1.46 per cent. The rate has climbed from a record-low 1.127 per cent on June 1.

Spanish securities have lost 5.6 per cent this year, according to indexes compiled by Bloomberg and the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies. German debt has returned 2.5 per cent and Italian bonds rose 5.4 per cent.

Bloomberg

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European shares wane after Spain’s rating cut

Europe’s top shares edged lower in early trade, with caution prevailing among investors as Moody’s became the latest rating agency to downgrade Spain, ahead of an Italian bond auction later in the session and the Greek election over the weekend.
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The FTSEurofirst 300 was down 2.27 points, or 0.2 percent, at 984.89, having closed 0.3 per cent lower on Wednesday in nervous trade as worries over global growth in the wake of the eurozone debt crisis crimped appetite for risk.

In London, the FTSE 100 index was down 13.52 points, or 0.3 per cent, at 5470.29, having gained 0.2 per cent on Wednesday. Frankfurt’s DAX 30 dipped 0.1 per cent to 6146.92 points and in Paris the CAC 40 shed 0.2 per cent to 3022.40. Madrid’s IBEX 35 index opened 0.6 per cent lower.

Moody’s action, ahead of an Italian bond auction at which borrowing costs are seen sharply rising, saw Spain’s rating cut by three notches to ‘Baa3’ from ‘A3’, while Cyprus was also knocked down, by two notches.

“Until there is more calm around Greece and Spain, one should just stay a bit on the sidelines and watch what will happen,” Heinz-Gerd Sonnenschein, equity markets strategist at Deutsche Postbank, in Germany, said.

He said stocks are attractive on price-to-book and price-to-earnings levels but until a clearer picture is formed of what will happen in Greece and Spain investors are better off adopting a wait-and-see approach to investing.

With uncertainty swirling around equity markets, riskier banking and mining shares were among the top falling sectors on the index.

BSkyB was the biggest blue-chip faller on the London bourse, dropping 6.9 per cent after the satellite broadcaster paid 2.28 billion pounds ($3.55 billion) to broadcast 116 English Premier League soccer matches per season in a new three-year deal that will start from 2013-14.

Reuters

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Aussie invasion: why we took over ‘Whistralia’

Spot the Aussie? It’s not hard in Whistler, Canada.The Canadian village of Whistler is home to so many Australians that it has been dubbed ‘Whistralia”. Ben Groundwater finds out what they’re doing there.
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The Australians have taken over. In fact, they took over long ago. Everywhere you go in Whistler, Canada, there’s an Australian. You couldn’t throw a snowball without hitting an Australian.

Wake up in the morning and go for breakfast – you’re being served by an Australian. Grab your ski gear from the hotel – the girl behind the desk is Australian. Smile at the cleaner – he’s Australian.

Head to the chairlift – the operator is Australian. Maybe take a lesson – your instructor is Australian. Eat lunch – served by an Australian. Grab a beer once the lifts closed – cracked open, of course, by an Australian. Time for dinner – guess where your waiter’s from? Australia.

You’re starting to get the idea now. There’s a reason this place, North America’s largest ski resort, has been nicknamed “Whistralia”: because it really is chock full of Australians.

It’s difficult to get your head around the sheer scale of the invasion until you actually arrive and take in the number of Australian accents at Whistler Blackcomb. There are others, too – plenty of English accents, even the odd Canadian one – but the massive majority are speaking genuine Strine.

So what’s the attraction? Why do some many young Australian travellers wind up living and working in Whistler when Canada and the USA offer so many alternatives? Why are we taking over en masse?

Dylan Stewart is the Marketing and Communications Editor at IEP, an organisation that helps travellers get over to North America with the appropriate working visas. He says Whistler has plenty of attractions, not least of which is that huge bulk of other Australians.

“Many Aussies end up at Whistler because they know that there’ll be countless other Australians there as well,” Stewart says. “The benefit for Aussies is that with all the Australian accents, they never seem too far away from home.”

Then there’s the not-insignificant lure of the Whistler nightlife. Unlike some of the more family-oriented resorts, once the sun goes down in Whistler the nation’s biggest ski area becomes the nation’s biggest party. And for some reason that seems to appeal to young Australians.

“Whistler has always had the connotations of being a huge party town,” says Stewart, “and you don’t need to spend long there to realise that the reputation is warranted. Apres-ski activities are as big a drawcard as the mountain itself, and it means that even if you aren’t a great skier or boarder – or if you break your arm on the first run of the winter – there’s still plenty to do.”

More than anything else, however, Whistler is just well known. You could probably find better terrain at Revelstoke, or nightlife in Banff, or beauty in Lake Louise. But ask anyone which ski resorts they know in Canada and Whistler will inevitably be top of the list. So where else are you going to go?

There’s also a certain ease for Australians in taking a working holiday in Whistler, or Canada as a whole. It’s not just the familiar accents, the similarities in culture between Canada and Australia and the many opportunities for employment on the mountain, but the lack of issues in getting there in the first place.

If you’re under 31 it’s relatively straightforward to get hold of a working holiday visa for Canada through the International Experience program. The visa lasts for two years, but get talking to a few people around the mountain and you soon realise that plenty of Aussies have figured out ways to extend the fun. And given Whistler is a year-round resort, with the ski area morphing into a mountain-biking park in the warmer months, most people never feel the need to go anywhere else.

Plus, the ski terrain is long and varied. If you’ve got two mates, one of whom fancies himself as the next Shaun White and the other who’s never strapped into a binding, Whistler is the sort of place that’s going to please them both. And there’s always the Tube Park if you want to hang out together.

The jobs Australians are doing in Whistler range from the predictable to the bizarre, the well-paid to the… well, not very well paid. There are the traditional ski-bum jobs like lift operator, cleaner, chalet all-rounder (a nice way of saying that you have to do everything), and barmen.

(There’s an Australian guy called Dave working at a hotel there, and his sole job seems to be to replace broken doors. “You wouldn’t believe how many people manage to kick their doors in here,” he says with a sigh. “Mostly drunk Czechs for some reason.”)

But there are other employment options in Whistler as well.

Right now there are Aussies driving shuttle buses for hotels, as well as cooking the food in the restaurants. Some wind up spending their nights behind the wheel of the huge snow groomers, while others with experience nab a coveted position as a ski or snowboard instructor. And there’s more.

“Some manage to use their trade to carve out a living, which often keeps them employed once the season has finished, too,” says Stewart. “HR and hotel guest staff are other positions that many of our participants find themselves working in both at Whistler and other resorts throughout Canada, as well as in shops, takeaway restaurants, car parks and tourist info places.”

Of course, it doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as you’re doing something to keep the cash flowing in and the dream alive. What you’re really there for is that huge mountain, those metres of snow, those pumping bars – and the fact that you’re a long, long way from home.

For more on working holidays in Canada, visit https://www.whpcanada南京夜网.au/

The writer travelled as a guest of the Canadian Tourism Commission and Tourism British Columbia.

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Gloomy June and wet Saturday ahead

June is traditionally our gloomiest and wettest month of the year, but this June has been much gloomier and wetter than normal.
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We have been short-changed more than 20 hours of sunshine already, which is an hour a day less sunshine than average, Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said.

It has been so wet that some sport has had to be cancelled due to sodden ovals. There is a chance of this happening again this weekend.

Cloud will roll in from western New South Wales early tomorrow night as another low and pool of cold air develop.

Rain will not take long to reach Sydney, starting on Saturday morning and it may last all day. Some sport will again have to be cancelled.

Thankfully for most, the whole weekend won’t be a washout. Sunday is looking brighter with temperatures reaching the high teens.

In the past few weeks, low pressure systems have been a regular feature off the New South Wales coast. The lows have driven cloud and rain over much of the east of the state, Mr Dutschke said.

With 100-150mm of rain in the past few days, it has already become Sydney’s wettest June in five years.

The city has gained 200mm so far, 70mm more than the monthly average.

Eastern suburbs have been particularly wet. Dover Heights has been drenched by 280mm this month and Rose Bay and Randwick 240mm, all doubling their monthly average only halfway through the month.

Some northern and western suburbs have also put up with a wet few weeks. Homebush and Marrickville have had about 200mm each.

Unfortunately for outdoor types, much of this rain has fallen on the weekends.

It is also the wettest start to a year in 11 years.

After heavy downpours earlier in the year, this has now become the city’s wettest start to a year since 2001, recording 900mm, compared with the January-to-June average of 728mm.

Looking ahead to the rest of winter, overall temperatures and rainfall should be near average as we continue with a neutral climate phase.

As we head into spring there is increased chance of sunnier, drier and warmer days due to the likely onset of El Nino.

smh南京夜网.au

Weatherzone南京夜网.au is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website.

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‘Hello, hello’: birdnappers steal talking macaws

Worth about $7000 each … a blue and gold macaw. Stolen and returned last year … Lisa Barrett with her macaw Lotto.
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Thieves left a trail of feathers across a car park when they stole two birds each worth $7000 from a pet store in north-west Sydney.

The blue and gold macaws, Zazu and Kiaria, were taken from the Kellyville Pets store about 9.30pm yesterday.

The birds can laugh – and say “hello” and “step up” – but their theft is no laughing matter.

Jes Jonkmans, Kellyville Pets’ marketing manager, said CCTV footage showed the silhouettes of two men entering the store’s aviary and taking the young macaws. The thieves were believed to have used bolt cutters to break into the aviary, Hills News reported.

“Birds are really fragile so if they are stressed or traumatised that can cause really serious health issues. Particularly the way they were taken. There was a trail of feathers through the car park so … they would have been struggling,” Ms Jonkmans said.

Ms Jonkmans said the store had been burgled before and there was an online black market for exotic birds.

Last year, blue and gold macaw Lotto, worth $7500, was returned to its Cessnock pet shop owners two months after it was taken.

“There has been a lot of theft in this local year in recent years. Generally the birds are taken interstate and sold online,” Ms Jonkmans said.

“There was a couple of customers and people that we know through the store had their birds stolen just out of their backyards. They can’t even have their bird out in the aviary in the backyard because people will jump the fence to steal them.”

The blue and gold macaws originate from Central and South America, Ms Jonkmans said.

“Over and above the value of the birds, we just want to make sure that they are safe and sound. Our staff are just devastated that they are gone.”

with Hills News

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