“ASX closes flat after volatile session - The Australian Financial Review” plus 3 more

“ASX closes flat after volatile session - The Australian Financial Review” plus 3 more

ASX closes flat after volatile session - The Australian Financial Review

Posted: 22 Jun 2020 12:12 AM PDT

The precious metal reached $US1758.83 an ounce in Asia trade in morning trading, which is $US6.60 away from the high set on May 18 and a fresh 7 1/2-year high.

Share prices of the ASX-listed gold miners rose as a result, with the S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Gold index outperforming the broader benchmark by 4.6 per cent.

Shares in Australia's three largest gold producers are all now above where they began the year, with Newcrest Mining adding 3.7 per cent to close at $30.95, Northern Star Resources advancing 4.1 per cent to $13.56, and Evolution Mining rising 1.9 per cent to close at $5.35.

The top-performing gold miner was Ramelius Resources; its shares surged 16.8 per cent to $2.09 after management upgraded its full-year production guidance.

Also in mining, nickel producer Oz Minerals told investors it would acquire its joint venture partner, ASX-listed Cassini Resources.

The $76 million deal means Oz Minerals will lift its interest in the West Musgrave copper and nickel project in Western Australia to 100 per cent, paying an implied price of 16¢ per Cassini share.

The offer represents a 31 per cent premium to Cassini's one-month volume weighted average share price of 12.3¢.


The market revalued the junior miner in line with the offer price, with Cassini's shares gaining 24 per cent on Monday to 15.5¢. Oz Minerals shares edged up 0.2 per cent to $10.42.

A final decision on Virgin Australia's future is expected by June 30 after Bain Capital and Cyrus Capital Partners submitted their binding offers for the airline.

Lead administrator Vaughan Strawbridge said bidders have received Foreign Investment Review Board clearance and it will now run the ruler over the final offers to provide an answer by mid next week. Virgin shares last closed at 8.6¢ on April 9 when management called in the administrators. Its market capitalisation had dropped to $726.3 million.

Results and earnings updates

Metcash shares closed 1.1 per cent higher at $2.86, buoyed by the wholesaler's results for the year ended April 30.

The company reported a flat underlying net profit of $209.7 million but it suffered a $56.8 million statutory net loss after accounting for $255.6 million in impairments, mostly stemming from the loss of major contracts with 7-Eleven and Drakes.

Among the companies to issue trading updates was Altium, whose shares dived 7.6 per cent to $33.60 after it said revenue was tracking below estimates. James Hardie shares closed 7.3 per cent higher at $28.64 after raising its June-quarter earnings estimate for its North American business as housing market activity improves.


Fund manager Australian Ethical Investments updated profit guidance for financial year 2020, telling investors to expect underlying profit between $6.8 million - $7.5 million. Its shares closed 4.9 per cent lower at $8.63.

VGI Partners announced the resignation of its head of research and executive director, Doug Tynan, who will step back to a non-executive board seat with the hedge fund. Investors took the news as a negative, and its shares fell 8.5 per cent to close at $8.50.

Stockland warned it will take a 6 per cent hit on the book value of its commercial property portfolio and also announced the retirement of its chief executive of seven years, Mark Steinert. Its shares closed 2.8 per cent lower at 3.52.

Yoga with Adriene is a YouTube phenomenon. This is the history of the practice in the West - ABC News

Posted: 22 Jun 2020 12:43 AM PDT

Adriene Mishler is the undisputed face of yoga in 2020.

Dubbed the "patron saint of quarantine", she's a social media phenomenon, with 7.7 million subscribers on YouTube.

She has videos for seemingly every occasion: for uncertain times, for courage, for back pain, for when you're angry, for your birthday, for bedtime. There's yoga for busy people, artists, office workers, chefs, surfers, for people with chronic pain, for those who are grieving. There's also Benji the dog.

Yoga is at our fingertips like never before — but while many of us know our Downward Dogs from our Crows, lesser known is the story of how the ancient Indian practice travelled across the world and became popular in the West.


Yoga masters head West

The practice of yoga dates back to thousands of years BCE. The word yoga itself first appeared in writing in the Rig Veda, an ancient and sacred text of Hinduism.

Yoga was more spiritual then, with its handful of seated postures designed to aid meditation and the quest for enlightenment.

It wasn't until about a thousand years ago that yogis started to incorporate the types of poses we see today.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s yoga masters began to travel to the West, attracting attention and followers.

Particularly important was Swami Vivekananda, who caused a sensation when he spoke at the 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago.

"He, like many of his compatriots, arrived with nothing, and ended up befriending some wealthy women who were connected to the upper reaches of society in Chicago at the time," Stefanie Syman, an author who has researched the story of yoga in America, tells ABC RN's Rear Vision.

"They became ardent supporters, and then connected him to others in the US."

Indian school students dress in orange robes like Swami Vivekanand walk down a street alongside his statue.
Indian school students dressed in orange robes like Swami Vivekanand pass a statue of the yogi.(Getty: Sam Panthaky)

It was a time of great interest in alternative forms of spirituality. The Theosophical Society, established in New York by Helena Blavatsky, had been influential in spreading Hindu and Buddhist thought.

But the arrival of Vivekananda took things to a new level: now there was someone who could be physically in the room, guiding and teaching.

"You start to get people actually practising yoga rather than just looking at pictures of yogis, and incorporating it into a sort of homegrown spirituality," says Mark Singleton, a scholar of yoga.

He says that would have involved meditation, breathing and concentration practices — but "probably not much of the kind of yoga practices that we associate with the word 'yoga' today".

How photography helped yoga's rise

In the 1920s and 30s, enthusiasm for physical fitness saw hatha yoga, with its focus on physical postures, become more popular.

Dr Singleton says it had "quite a fascinating interconnection ... with the modern physical culture movement which was a global movement of physical development".

He says it was "very much related to nationalism, to cultivating strong healthy bodies in order to cultivate a strong, healthy nation".

The advent of photography also helped; it was easier to do a pose you could see than than one you could only read about.

"In the old yoga texts ... it's often very hard to know what you are supposed to do, but with photos, that message could travel very quickly," Dr Singleton says.

"I think it's because of this that the postures of yoga suddenly, over the course of a few decades, started to be much more widely accepted, much more widely practised."

'The Great Oom' and the 'First Lady of Yoga'

As the practice of yoga grew, so did a split between those teaching postures and those who were more interested in the philosophical side.

"In any given generation you have a more spiritual version or a more Tantric version or a more whitewashed version ascendant," Ms Syman says.

"Through the 20s and early 30s there were some people who get involved in a very devotional kind of version, like Margaret Woodrow Wilson. She is a very devout student, she is the daughter of the US president, and she eventually moves to India and joins an ashram there.

"And then you have figures like Pierre Bernard who is part of the American esoteric community, actively promoting Tantra."

Known as "The Great Oom" and "The Omnipotent Oom", Bernard was a pioneering American yogi and a source of much scandal.

A Caucasian mature-aged man sits cross-legged with no shirt on.
Pierre Bernard's compound in upstate New York was a mecca for celebrities.(Wikimedia Commons)

In 1910, two teenage girls, feeling that he'd taken too much psychic control over their lives, had him charged with kidnapping.

The charges were later dropped and Bernard found favour with the high society of New York, and established "an amazing compound" for the philosophy and practices of yoga and Tantra.

"It's a mecca for celebrities, intellectuals and artists, and he is teaching some of the most outré practices in yoga, gaining a following, has a bunch of different personas," Ms Syman says.

But Bernard's sexual teachings attracted ongoing controversy, and his following eventually withered away.

The importation of yoga to the West continued at a trickle until Indra Devi opened her yoga studio in Hollywood in 1947.

Nicknamed the "First Lady of Yoga", she counted many celebrities as pupils, including Greta Garbo, Eva Gabor and Gloria Swanson.

A black-and-white photo shows a woman in a sari instructing a yoga student.
Yogi Indra Devi instructs a student in her studio in Hollywood, circa 1952.(Getty: Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives)

She was a pioneering teacher of yoga for exercise and stress relief, and is said to have planted the seeds for the yoga boom of the 1990s.

"Indra Devi was constantly trying to root people in nature and tune in to your body through a more gentle yoga practice," Ms Syman says.

"But she was also a savvy marketer, so she would talk about yoga and beauty and anti-ageing, and that really served her."

Yoga on TV ... and Down Under

In the UK, yoga came to television in 1948, just after the end of World War II.

"This man called Sir Paul Dukes had a demonstration with a few ballerinas. He had learnt his yoga a bit eclectically, partially from Pierre Bernard in New York, partially from his travels to Russia where he imbued a guru-type figure of spirituality," explains author Suzanna Newcombe.

"He did headstands on television ... and a variety of breathing exercises. But the British public really had a mixed reaction to this, and ... the BBC decided to give yoga a good long rest after this because they felt the British public wasn't ready for it."

Black and white retro image of Sir Paul Dukes doing a handstand on his head alongside two ballerinas.
Sir Paul Dukes demonstrating yoga poses alongside two ballerinas.(Getty: Harold Clements/ Stringer)

Yoga classes also started popping up in Australia around this time.

Fay Woodhouse, who has researched yoga's history in Australia, says Australia's first yoga teacher was man by the name of Michael Volin.

"[He] was a white Russian who had come from Shanghai after the Communists came to power in 1949," Dr Woodhouse says.

"He opened the first school in Sydney in '49, '50, and began a bit of publicity in newspapers," she says, adding that it really wasn't until the mid to late 50s that this school "took off".

Another early yoga teacher here was Margrit Segesman, a Swiss national who had travelled to Australia via India and Tibet.

"She had been living with a guru in the caves in India, and she was told to go to the West to teach. She arrived in Melbourne in 1954," Dr Woodhouse says.

"From the very beginning in Australia, it was women that yoga was promoted to most of all.

"After the Second World War, when so many women had to go back to their homes after having worked all those years, they were really looking for something else."

Exploration, experimentation and abuse

The 1960s were a time of rapid social change across the Western world, of intellectual exploration and experimentation, especially by young people.

The Beatles famously became disciples of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and went to India to study transcendental meditation.

Black and white photo of yogi Maharishi Mahesh with long hair alongside members of The Beatles.
Members of the Beatles pictured with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India in 1968.(Getty: Keystone Features)

"In the 60s people are obviously getting a bit fed up with the Vietnam War, the American culture of conformity, and you have this post-war boom and these kids that really have the luxury of turning inward," Ms Syman says.

America's immigration policy also opened up; for the first time since the 1920s, Indian gurus started to return.

"So at this moment where the American youth is hungering for a different way of being in the world, watching their brothers and sisters die in the Vietnam War, you have a dozen gurus and swamis arrive, offering them an alternative," Ms Syman says.

They were embraced and developed huge followings — but that power sometimes turned dark.

"Over time as these organisations grew, and grew quite wealthy in some cases, signs of trouble emerged," Ms Syman says.

She says many gurus — among them Yogi Bhajan and Swami Muktananda — ended up abusing their power.

"That took the form of sexual abuse, mishandling money," she says.

In later years Bikram Choudhury, the founder of the hot yoga class that bears his name, built a wildly successful empire, but it came crashing down in 2014 when five former students sued him over sexual assault allegations.

Man with a headband on teaches a large room of people yoga.
Bikram Choudhury's yoga classes in hot rooms attracted a huge following.(Wikimedia Commons: Ambermarquez31)

Let's get physical

The 1980s fitness craze drove changes in yoga, particularly when it came to the physical practice. The spiritual side of yoga was further stripped away.

"Students said, 'Look, there's still a lot to be gained from this physical practice that is somewhat meditative, but we don't need all those spiritual trappings to really realise these benefits, we can let those go,'" Ms Syman says.

"So you saw these Iyengar studios crop up and start to thrive, alongside aerobics culture and Jane Fonda's videos.

"The very soft form of yoga couldn't quite compete with the fitness trends ... which became much more intense and focused on cardiovascular health and jogging and feeling the burn."

But yoga came back with a boom the next decade, as celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna took up the practice.

"You also had famous athletes who were starting to practice and admit it," Ms Syman says.

"There was also starting to be much more scientific research around it, so there was science legitimising it as helpful as a form of exercise, and it had a cultural cachet."

Yoga, in its many forms, has gone on to become part of the landscape in the West; big business for some and a salve for many.

Group of people stretching and sitting on the floor in a yoga class.
Whether in a class or at home, yoga has become a common practice in the West.(Unsplash: Anupam Mahapatra)

Yoga at the click of a finger, from the comfort of your own home, no matter where you are in the world, is just the latest stage in the evolution of the practice.

And while the ripples of change have also influenced how yoga looks and feels in studios across India, a very distant past is still present.

"Within the religious traditions of professional ascetics and holy men and women, they really still regard yoga and practice yoga in the way that it has been practised for hundreds of years," says James Mallison, who has researched yoga's history.

"So there is still this idea amongst the living traditional ascetic lineages of yoga being part of a system of trying to subdue and control the body rather than cultivate it.

"That exists side-by-side now with the more body positive attitudes that did develop in India but then snowballed ... over the course of the 20th century and have taken on a life of their own."

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Smart Speaker Market | Covid-19 Impact | Demand, Cost Structures, Latest trends, and Forecasts to 2026 | Google, Amazon, Terratec, Edifier, Samsung, etc. - 3rd Watch News

Posted: 22 Jun 2020 03:29 AM PDT

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Key Product type

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Factors such as industry value chain, key consumption trends, recent patterns of customer behaviors, overall spending capacity analysis, market expansion rate, etc. The report also incorporates premium quality data figures associated with financial figures of the industry including market size (in USD), expected market size growth (in percentage), sales data, revenue figures and more. This might enable readers to reach quicker decisions with data and insights at hand.

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The Smart Speaker report is presently broke down concerning different types and applications. The Smart Speaker market gives a section featuring the assembling procedure examination approved by means of essential data gathered through Industry specialists and Key authorities of profiled organizations.

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Main Street investors bank profits on rally that Wall Street doubted - Kitco NEWS

Posted: 19 Jun 2020 05:42 AM PDT

SINGAPORE/SEOUL (Reuters) - Main Street investors who have reaped windfall gains from the steepest stock market rebound on record now seem to be making for safety, brokers say, just as Wall Street experts are advising clients to dip their toes into riskier assets again.

Over the past three months, the favourite stocks of "mom-and-pop" traders have run up even harder than the broader market's 40% rise.

But many of these novices, who began trading partly as entertainment and partly as plunging prices made stocks more attractive, now appear to be shifting strategy and cashing out of the frothiest sectors, or moving into safer-seeming bets.

Customers at Saxo Markets in Singapore have been reducing long positions at gathering pace this month. Asian investors with TD Ameritrade are selling soaring tech companies for banks, while other brokers report demand for blue chips.

The moves flip the image of retail investors as "moths," as they are called in Thailand for their reputation of being drawn to bright lights only to get burned, since small traders appear to have led rather than lagged professionals this time.

"Some of the pros on Wall Street might be pulling their hair out, saying that this fundamentally doesn't make sense," said Chris Brankin, chief executive at TD Ameritrade in Singapore.

"But I don't think they have anything to compare it with...whereas retail investors kind of go more with the money flow and sentiment of the markets."

A basket of stocks popular with retail investors, including Tesla (TSLA.O), Moderna (MRNA.O) and Snap Inc (SNAP.N), surged 61% from Wall Street's March low, compared with a 45% rise in a portfolio favoured by professionals, according to Goldman Sachs.


Like other banks, Goldman analysts recommend clients avoid the energy sector, prefer utilities to financials and expect techs' hot run to continue. But Asian broker analysis suggests retail buyers are going their own way.

"Sometimes I think reports out of fancy brokerages are bullshit," said Lee Sang-hoon, a 37-year-old office worker in South Korea.

He has made a 44% return on his initial 140 million won ($115,740) investments since March, trading U.S. stocks in the Seoul night and relying on Google Trends data to track investor mood.

"When Google says there's going to be more buyers, I buy. Forget numbers, if the sentiment is strong, the market goes up."

Lee has exposure to volatile U.S. shale oil and gas, and does not plan to reduce his investments yet, but also holds local blue-chips to balance his portfolio.

TD Ameritrade said its Asia clients sold Apple (AAPL.O) and Tencent (0700.HK) last month, and bought Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N) and J.P. Morgan (JPM.N). Singapore's PhillipCapital said its customers, even in the 18-25 year-old bracket, were buying dividend-paying blue chips or cashing out.

Australia's biggest retail broker, CommSec, reported a shift away from volatile stocks such as Treasury Wine Estates (TWE.AX) and into big banks and miners.

To be sure, retail traders are still placing incredibly risky bets, such as on bankrupt car-rental company Hertz (HTZ.N).

"I can't imagine that anyone who went to business school or works at an asset manager would buy shares in a bankrupt company," said Rob Almeida, global investment strategist and portfolio manager at mutual fund MFS in Boston.

"Historically, the retail investor is the last one at the party and they don't know the cops are on their way," he said.

But the fear of passing up a once in a lifetime chance is strong.

"Retail investors had missed out on the long-term big rally since the 2008 global financial crisis," said Taye Shim, president director of Indonesia's Mirae Asset Sekuritas.

"I think they are more encouraged to not let this one pass," he said.

Reporting by Cynthia Kim in Seoul, Orathai Sriring in Bangkok, Fransiska Nangoy in Jakarta, Karen Lema in Manila, Noel Randewich in New York, Sujata Rao in London and Tom Westbrook in Singapore.; Writing by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Vidya Ranganathan and Kim Coghill


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