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Weekly ETF Monitor for week ending 31 August 2018

  • The S&P/ASX 200 added 1.2% last week, led higher by financial and mining stocks as the market digested the change of leadership and cabinet reshuffle. Offshore, the S&P 500 gained 0.9%, while the EURO STOXX 50 dropped 1.0%. Emerging markets underperformed, with Argentina joining Turkey as a country of focus. Asian stocks, however, performed strongly with ITW, IKO and IJP all amongst the top performing ETFs for the week. ETFS ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ROBO) also had a strong week, returning 4.4%.

  • The U.S. dollar strengthened last week on rising global uncertainty and higher rate expectations following the release of the latest FOMC minutes. The Australian dollar fell 1.9% to US71.89c, its lowest level since late-2016. U.S. 10-year Treasury yields increased by 5 basis points.

  • Commodities were mixed. Gold ended the week marginally lower at US$1,204/ounce, while palladium jumped 4.9%. WTI crude gained 1.6% to US$69.80/bbl. The Bloomberg Commodities Industrial Metals subindex fell 1.7% and copper hit a 12-month low on emerging market concerns and the stronger U.S. dollar.

  • The Australian ETF market saw inflows of $116m into and outflows of $18m from domestically domiciled funds last week. The largest inflows were into cash ETFs (AAA and BILL) and domestics equity funds (MVW, A200 and KSM). Outflows were spread across a range of different exposures.

  • ETF Securities has launched ETFS Battery Tech & Lithium ETF (ACDC), which provides exposure to developers of battery storage technology and lithium miners. Trading on the ASX commenced on 3rd September.