Apr 10, 2018
US-China trade tensions dominated financial markets last week. The S&P 500 fell by 1.4%, with technology and industrial stocks leading the decline. The VIX peaked above 24.0 on Tuesday. In Europe, PMI data failed to meet expectations, but the EURO STOXX 50 still added 1.4%. Domestically, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.5%. Australian resource sector ETFs were amongst the best performers last week, with MVR, QRE and OZR all returning in excess of 1.6%. The Australian dollar range traded last week, ending slightly higher at US 76.84c. The U.S. dollar gained against both the euro and yen. U.S. and Australian treasury yields both rose. WTI crude oil dropped 4.4% for the week. Gold gained 0.6% as investors looked to diversify out of volatile equity markets. Platinum declined 1.6% and palladium dropped 5.0% as auto-industry concerns around U.S. - China trade tariffs heightened. Palladium was further impacted by potential sanctions on Russia, the world's largest producer. ETPMPD, OOO and ETPMPT were all amongst the poorest performing funds for the week. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of $27m into and outflows of $246m from domestically domiciled funds last week. Inflows were spread across a range of equity and fixed income funds. iShares S&P/ASX 200 ETF (IOZ), saw redemptions of $185m and BetaShares Australian High Interest Cash ETF (AAA) lost $56m in assets.
Mar 23, 2018
Global stocks retreated as volatility returned last week. Trade war fears, White House uncertainty and the Facebook data scandal combined with tightening monetary policy in the U.S. spooked markets worldwide. The S&P 500 declined 6.0%, its worst week in over 14 months, while the VIX peaked above 26 late on Friday. Elsewhere, the EURO STOXX 50 declined 4.1% and the Nikkei 225 fell 4.9%, while locally the S&P/ASX 200 dropped 2.2%. U.S. focused ETFs were the poorest performers for the week, with the technology sector hardest hit. NDQ declined 7.2%, IVV and SPY were both down 6.1% and TECH also dropped 6.1%. Crude oil, gold and gold mining ETFs were the top unleveraged plays for the week. The Australian dollar retreated 0.7% against the USD to end the week just below US 77c. The U.S. Fed Reserve raised its target rate by 25 basis points and signalled a faster pace of tightening than previously expected. The Japanese yen gained 1.2% against the U.S. dollar to reach its highest level since November 2016, while the euro gained 0.5% to sit just below its recent three-year high. WTI crude oil jumped 5.7% as inventories dropped, to end the week at US$65.88/bbl. Precious metals gained, with gold adding 2.5% to US$1,347 and silver adding 1.4% on safe-haven buying. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of $209m into and outflows of $31m from domestically domiciled funds last week. The largest inflows were into domestic equity funds with the biggest movers being STW, adding $110m, and resource sector ETF QRE adding $41m.
Mar 16, 2018
Global stocks were mixed last week, with the S&P/ASX 200 falling 0.2% and the S&P 500 declining 1.2% as financials and technology stocks weakened and U.S. political uncertainty continued. Financial sector ETFs, QFN, OZF and MVB all declined by more than 1.7%. In Europe the EURO STOXX 50 added 0.5%. Asian markets had a strong week with the Nikkei 225 gaining 1.o%, the Hang Seng up 1.6% and the S&P Asia 50 Index gaining 2.3%. Four of the five best performing ETFs last week were Asian equityfocused, with UBS IQ MSCI Asia APREX 50 Ethical (UBP) returning 4.0% for the week. The Australian dollar retreated 1.7% against the USD to end the week just above US 77c. U.S. rate-hike expectations firmed, with movement from the Fed considered to be likely this week. The Japanese yen gained 0.8% against the U.S. dollar and 2.4% against the Australian dollar. WTI crude oil added 0.5% to end the week at US$62.34/bbl. Precious metals declined, with gold falling 0.7% to US$1,314 and silver declining 1.5%. The broad Bloomberg Commodity Index lost 0.7% for the week. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of $74m into and outflows of $62m from domestically domiciled funds last week. The largest inflows were into BetaShares S&P/ASX 200 Resources Sector ETF (QRE), while the biggest outflows were from BetaShares FTSE RAFI Australia 200 ETF (QOZ).
Mar 09, 2018
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).
Mar 06, 2018
Global stocks retreated last week as president Trump announced that the U.S. will impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. The S&P 500 dipped 2.0%, the S&P/ASX 200 was down 1.2% for the week, while the Nikkei 225 fell 3.3%. The EURO STOXX 50 fell 3.4% in the lead up to the Italian election on Sunday. Bearish exposures (BBUS and BBOZ) were the top performing equity funds for the week, while hedged exposure to Japan (HJPN) was amongst the poorest returning funds. U.S. yields continued to pick up last week as rate-hike expectations firmed. The Japanese yen strengthened against the dollar, while the pound sterling declined 1.2% as Brexit uncertainty returned to focus. The Australian dollar weakened by 1.2% against the U.S. dollar, 1.0% against the euro and 2.2% against the yen. BetaShares Strong US Dollar Hedge Fund (YANK) was amongst the top performing funds for the week, returning 2.3%. WTI crude oil dropped 3.6% to end the week at US$62.25/bbl. Precious metals retreated, with gold down 0.5% and palladium dropping 5.2% as Trump's tariff plans hit expectations of auto demand. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of $52m into and outflows of $22m from domestically domiciled funds last week. The largest inflows were into iShares S&P/ASX 200 ETF (IOZ), while outflows were from a range of domestic and international equity funds.