Tensions between the US and North Korea eased last week, proving positive for risk assets. The S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.0% and the EURO STOXX 50 added 1.2%. The S&P 500 declined by 0.7% as Fed minutes showed a divided outlook for inflation. The top performing equity ETFs for the week were Australian property funds with MVA and VAP returning 2.7% and 2.3% respectively.
The Australian dollar strengthened above US 79c, trading as high as US 79.63c on Thursday. The euro strengthened by over 1% against the US dollar as the ECB expressed concern over the strength of the currency.
Gold and silver declined as safe haven assets gave up some of the previous week's gains. Palladium posted a new 16-year high on rising demand from the auto sector and supply concerns. ETFS Physical Palladium (ETPMPD) was the top performing fund for the week returning 3.3%.
The Australian ETF market saw inflows of A$110m and outflows of A$32m from domestically domiciled ETFs last week. Inflows were mainly across defensive assets such as US dollar cash (USD), gold (GOLD) and fixed income (PLUS, IAF and AAA). Outflows were mainly from domestic equity funds (ZOZI and HVST).