Global equity markets advanced slightly last week as upbeat commentary from the Federal Reserve and strong earnings reports from U.S. banks mostly offset tariff concerns. The S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3%, led higher by financials. Offshore the S&P 500 ended the week slightly higher, the EURO STOXX 50 gained 0.2% while the Nikkei 225 added 0.4%. Domestic and global bank ETFs (BNKS and MVB) were amongst the top performers along with Japanese equity funds (UBJ and IJP).
The U.S. dollar weakened against the majors despite rising Treasury yields. The euro appreciated by 0.3%, while the yen gained 0.9%. The Australian dollar fell slightly to US74.15c.
Commodities retreated, led lower by precious metals. Gold fell 1.2%, while silver was down 1.9% and palladium dropped 4.7%. WTI Crude declined by 0.8%. The five poorest performing ETFs for the week were all commodity-linked. Soft commodities were the exception. BetaShares Agriculture ETF (QAG) was the top performing ETF for the week.
The Australian ETF market saw inflows of $158m into and outflows of $213m from domestically domiciled funds last week. The largest inflows were into SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Fund (STW), while there were significant outflows from both BetaShares S&P/ASX 200 Resources Sector ETF (QRE) and VanEck Vectors Australian Resources ETF (MVR) as well as BetaShares Australian High Interest Cash ETF (AAA).