Australia Day! It’s the day Captain James Cook raised the Union flag to claim Sydney Cove in 1788, and the day a ship-full of castaway English convicts took the Aussie Islands for their own. The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX200) is closing. It will reopen again on Tuesday, along with most Straya companies running reduced hours. This is the day to light up the barbie and crack open a cold one, but there’s a #changethedate controversy afoot, which may leave some Aussies out.
Aussie Angst 😡
The land down under is a cultural melting pot with over 200 different languages and dialects, including 45 indigenous languages. In a similar way to America’s Thanksgiving holiday, it’s the minorities have the majority to say. Pointing to history, they argue that the start of colonial rule in Australia meant the start of aboriginal oppression. It’s true. Tribes that had occupied the island for some 65,000 years were robbed of their homeland and turned into slaves before an often unceremonious slaughter.
The debate rages on as to whether January 27th is the right date for Australia Day. However, most Australians seem in no two-ways about taking their day off. Many businesses have been stackin’ loot for weeks in advance of this day.
Aussie Outgoings 🍺
Host a pavlova cook-off and go surfing with the sharks. Celebrations on the 27th typically involve food and drink with family and friends, benefiting local economies as well as public companies like Domino’s Pizza, Woolworths, and by far the most popular e-commerce player down under, Ebay.com!
Aussie Economy 💰
The Australian dollar was the 5th most valuable traded currency by forex investors in 2018, but the country’s mining sector charts its long-term path. The outback is mineral-rich, loaded with a diverse array of resources from dirty coal to lithium needed in ion electric car batteries.
The main players in this line of business include Kirkland Lake Gold, South32, Evolution Mining, and Sandfire Resource. A vast cattle population grants Straya the third-most beef to export in the world, Graincorp being at the center of that. And the agricultural business is shored up by a dynamic services sector which until recently included a vibrant tourism industry!
Aussie Inferno 🔥
As bushfires rip through the East-coast, Australia’s 1.3 billion-dollar stock market and 2% annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth is under threat. The economy has been forced to do without air travel and hotel bookings. Sightseers are ducking Qantas Airways and AccorHotels as blazes and flash floods lay the region to ruin, and investors have responded by pressing the sell button on those stocks.
A turnaround is already underway, however. The question now is whether credit ratings firm Moody’s is right to now that China’s coronavirus could be the next headwind to Oceania travel volumes!
Aussie Outcome 🏁
All-in-all, turbulent changes in market sentiment could flip the ASX200 over this celebratory week. Several high-profile organizations around the world have big decisions to make about Australia’s travel safety ratings and economic expansion prospects. Investors will keep an eye out for those! Happy Australia Day!