The S&P/ASX 200 declined by 1.5% last week, led lower by the big four banks, as the Liberal Party elected the country's sixth Prime Minister in the past 10 years. Financial sector ETFs (MVB, QFN and OZF) were the poorest performers for the week, all declining by more than 4%. Offshore, markets rallied on expected advances in trade negotiations. The S&P 500 added 0.9% as technology and energy stocks continued to push higher. The EURO STOXX 50 gained 1.6%, its first weekly gain in four weeks, while the Nikkei 225 added 1.5%.
The U.S. dollar softened and Treasury yields fell as President Trump and Jerome Powell both spoke of a gradual pace to interest rate rises. The Australian dollar gained 0.2% to end the week at US73.29c. The euro gained 1.6% against the dollar.
Commodities rebounded last week, with the broad Bloomberg Commodities Index up 0.4%. WTI Crude jumped by 4.3%. Precious metals also rose, with gold up 1.8% to US$1,205/ounce. ETFS Physical Palladium (ETPMPD) was amongst the top performing funds for the week, returning 3.4%.
The Australian ETF market saw inflows of $114m into and outflows of $21m from domestically domiciled funds last week. The largest inflows were into BetaShares Australian Ex-20 Portfolio Diversifier ETF (EX20), with other notable inflows into AAA, WDMF, MVW and QUAL. The largest outflows were from BetaShares Dividend Harvester Fund (HVST) and BetaShares U.S. Dollar ETF (USD).