The S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2% last week, led higher by resources and energy sector stocks. Domestic resource sector ETFs, QRE and OZR, were amongst the top performers for the week, both returning 2.8%. The S&P 500 added 0.6% despite the IT sector declining as reporting season continued. The highlight was Facebook, which declined 16.7% for the week, leading the Nasdaq 100 Index 0.7% lower. U.S. financials fared much better - BetaShares Global Banks ETF (BNKS) returned 3.2% for the week. The EURO STOXX 50 Index rose 1.9% as Europe-U.S. trade talks progressed. In Asia the Shanghai Composite added 1.6%.
The Australia dollar firmed to US74c, while the euro declined as the ECB confirmed its plans to end its asset purchasing programme this year. U.S. Treasury yields rose 6 basis points on an improved economic outlook as GDP grew by 4.1% in Q4.
Commodities were mixed last week with WTI crude falling 2.5% to US$68.69/bbl. Gold dropped 0.4% to US$1,224/ounce. ETFS Physical Palladium (ETPMPD) was the top performing fund for the week, returning 4.3%, while gold mining ETFs (MNRS and GDX) were amongst the poorest performers. Bloomberg Industrial Metals Subindex rose 1.8% for the week.
The Australian ETF market saw inflows of $102m into and outflows of $81m from domestically domiciled funds last week. The largest inflows were into iShares Core Cash ETF (BILL), while there were significant outflows from SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Fund (STW).