Stocks recorded their first weekly loss of 2018, with the S&P 500 Index suffering its worst weekly drop in two years. All global sectors were in the red as market volatility crept higher. The S&P/ASX 200 managed to end the week up 1.2% aided by positive gains in the financial sector. In Europe, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 3.4% while the MSCI Emerging Markets Index dropped 3.3% for the week.
In his first State of the Union address, President Trump called for greater investment in US infrastructure and reiterated his protectionist stance, although the net effect on US rates and the USD was negligible. The AUD lost 2%, ending just below US80c on Friday.
Commodities broadly declined for the week with oil prices down 1%, ending at US$65/bbl and gold falling to 1,333 (US$/troy ounce) . BetaShares US Equities Strong Bear Hedged (BBUS) was the top performing fund for the week, posting a 7.12% gain, while the BetaShares Geared US Equity Fund - Ccy Hedged (GGUS) fell 6.29%.
The domestic Australian ETF market saw strong net inflows last week of $85.9m. The largest inflows were into iShares S&P/ASX 200 ETF (IOZ) and into the BetaShares U.S. Dollar ETF (USD) while the largest outflow was seen in BetaShares Australian High Interest Cash ETF (AAA).