Global stocks rallied last week as positive economic data outweighed the impact of the Italian election result and the fallout from the U.S. steel and aluminium tariffs. A strong U.S. employment report saw the S&P 500 end the week up over 3.5%. Elsewhere, the EURO STOXX 50 gained 2.9% while the Nikkei 225 added 1.4%. Domestically, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.6% for the week, led higher by strong performances in healthcare stocks. The top sector plays in the ETF market last week were ETFS Morningstar Global Technology ETF (TECH) and BetaShares Global Healthcare ETF (DRUG), returning 3.5% and 3.2% respectively.
The Australian dollar gained 1.1% against the USD to end the week above USc 78, having dipped earlier in the week on a slightly weaker than expected GDP report. U.S. 2 year Treasury yields continued to push upwards, ending the week above 2.25% for the first time since September 2008.
WTI crude oil added 1.3% to end the week at US$62.04/bbl. Precious metals were largely unchanged, with gold rallying above US$1,340 early in the week before pulling back to close below US$1,325. The broad Bloomberg Commodity Index lost 0.2% for the week on declining industrial metals prices.
The Australian ETF market saw inflows of $148m into and outflows of $8m from domestically domiciled funds last week. The largest inflows were into SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Fund (STW) and BetaShares Australian High Interest Cash ETF (AAA).