Global stocks were mixed last week, with the S&P/ASX 200 falling 0.2% and the S&P 500 declining 1.2% as financials and technology stocks weakened and U.S. political uncertainty continued. Financial sector ETFs, QFN, OZF and MVB all declined by more than 1.7%. In Europe the EURO STOXX 50 added 0.5%. Asian markets had a strong week with the Nikkei 225 gaining 1.o%, the Hang Seng up 1.6% and the S&P Asia 50 Index gaining 2.3%. Four of the five best performing ETFs last week were Asian equityfocused, with UBS IQ MSCI Asia APREX 50 Ethical (UBP) returning 4.0% for the week.
The Australian dollar retreated 1.7% against the USD to end the week just above US 77c. U.S. rate-hike expectations firmed, with movement from the Fed considered to be likely this week. The Japanese yen gained 0.8% against the U.S. dollar and 2.4% against the Australian dollar.
WTI crude oil added 0.5% to end the week at US$62.34/bbl. Precious metals declined, with gold falling 0.7% to US$1,314 and silver declining 1.5%. The broad Bloomberg Commodity Index lost 0.7% for the week.
The Australian ETF market saw inflows of $74m into and outflows of $62m from domestically domiciled funds last week. The largest inflows were into BetaShares S&P/ASX 200 Resources Sector ETF (QRE), while the biggest outflows were from BetaShares FTSE RAFI Australia 200 ETF (QOZ).