Oct 13, 2017
The S&P/ASX 200 advanced strongly last week, adding 1.8%. Eurozone industrial production continued to exceed expectations, pushing the EURO STOXX 50 marginally higher despite some uncertainty from the Catalonian independence claim. The S&P 500 gained 0.2%, while the Nikkei 225 added 2.2% ahead of this week's election. The US dollar pulled back against most major currencies last week after the Fed Reserve's September minutes showed some divided opinions on monetary policy over the coming months. The Australian dollar climbed 1.8% to end the week at US 78.87c. The euro added by 0.8% and the Japanese yen gained 0.7%. Commodities also performed strongly last week with WTI crude up 4.4% and all four precious metals advancing. Palladium was the big mover gaining 7.4% for the week. BetaShares Crude Oil ETF (OOO) and ETFS Physical Palladium (ETPMPD) were the two best performing ETFs last week. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of A$147m and outflows of A$38m from domestically domiciled ETFs last week. The largest inflows were into SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Fund (STW), a range of cash and fixed income funds (AAA, QPON, FLOT, PLUS, IHHY and IHCB) and ETFS Physical Gold (GOLD).
Sep 22, 2017
Monetary policy was in the spotlight last week, with the US Fed announcing plans to begin winding down it's balance sheet. The S&P 500 dropped on the news, but finished the week slightly up. Elsewhere, the EURO STOXX 50 added 0.7% on strong PMI figures in the lead up to the weekend's German election. The Nikkei 225 gained 1.9%. Domestically, the S&P/ASX 200 declined by 0.2%. Global sector plays (BNKS, FUEL and IXP) and US small caps (IJR and IRU) were the top performing ETFs for the week. The US dollar strengthened against most major currencies. The Australian dollar pulled back 0.5% to below US 80c. Precious metals retreated further, with gold down 1.7% and silver down 3.4%. Iron ore dropped by 11.9% on Chinese demand concerns. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of A$99m and outflows of A$13m from domestically domiciled ETFs last week. The largest inflows were into ETFS Physical Gold (GOLD) and iShares S&P/ASX 200 ETF (IOZ) as well as cash and floating rate income funds (AAA, QPON and FLOT). ETF Securities launched ETFS Global Core Infrastructure ETF (CORE).
Sep 15, 2017
The S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4% last week as mining and resource stocks dragged on the local market. Offshore, global stocks hit new highs with the S&P 500 up 1.6%, the EURO STOXX 50 adding 2.0% and the Nikkei 225 up by 3.3% despite continued North Korean aggression. BetaShares WisdomTree Japan ETF (HJPN) was the top performing equity ETF for the week, returning 3.9%. The US dollar strengthened against most major currencies and US Treasury yields rose sharply. The Australian dollar pulled back 0.7% to US 80c, while the euro declined by a similar amount. The Japanese yen dropped 2.8% against the US dollar. Pound sterling gained 3.0% against the US dollar. Precious metals retreated last week, with gold down 2.0% and silver down 2.1%. WTI Crude added 5.1%, trading above US$50/bbl for the first time since July. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of A$76m and outflows of A$10m from domestically domiciled ETFs last week. The largest inflows were into cash and fixed income funds (PLUS and BILL) with a range of equity funds also attracting inflows. ETF Securities launched ETFS ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ROBO), Australia's first specialist robotics, automation and AI ETF.
Aug 18, 2017
Tensions between the US and North Korea eased last week, proving positive for risk assets. The S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.0% and the EURO STOXX 50 added 1.2%. The S&P 500 declined by 0.7% as Fed minutes showed a divided outlook for inflation. The top performing equity ETFs for the week were Australian property funds with MVA and VAP returning 2.7% and 2.3% respectively. The Australian dollar strengthened above US 79c, trading as high as US 79.63c on Thursday. The euro strengthened by over 1% against the US dollar as the ECB expressed concern over the strength of the currency. Gold and silver declined as safe haven assets gave up some of the previous week's gains. Palladium posted a new 16-year high on rising demand from the auto sector and supply concerns. ETFS Physical Palladium (ETPMPD) was the top performing fund for the week returning 3.3%. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of A$110m and outflows of A$32m from domestically domiciled ETFs last week. Inflows were mainly across defensive assets such as US dollar cash (USD), gold (GOLD) and fixed income (PLUS, IAF and AAA). Outflows were mainly from domestic equity funds (ZOZI and HVST).
Aug 11, 2017
Global equities sold off and safe-haven assets rallied last week as tensions between the US and North Korea escalated. The S&P/ASX 200 fell by 0.5%, the S&P 500 dropped 1.4% and the EURO STOXX 50 lost 2.9%. The top performing equity ETFs for the week were both from the gold mining sector (GDX and MNRS), often seen as a leveraged play on the price of gold. The VIX reached its highest levels for 2017 to-date. The Australian dollar fell back below US 79c, trading as low as US 78.39c on Friday. Safe-haven currencies performed strongly, with the Swiss franc up 1.2% against the US dollar and the Japanese yen climbing 1.4%. US 10 year Treasury yields fell by 7 basis points. Gold jumped by 2.4% and silver by 5.2%, with other precious metals following suit. WTI crude declined by 1.5%.