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.
Feb 16, 2018
Global stocks rebounded last week, with the S&P 500 gaining 4.3% heading into the Presidents' Day holiday. The EURO STOXX 50 added 3.0% and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index gained 5.0%. The VIX pulled back to 19.5, having nudged above 50 early last week. The S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.1% for the week. BetaShares Global Gold Miners ETF (MNRS) was the top performing unleveraged fund for the week, returning 5.8%, while Information Technology was the top performing sector globally. In the U.S., CPI inflation surprised to the upside pushing 10 year Treasury yields to new four year highs. FOMC meeting minutes due out on Thursday should provide the market with further guidance on the Fed's reaction to this. The US dollar declined against most majors. The Australian dollar rose 1.2% to end the week back above US79c. Commodities performed strongly across the board last week aided by the lower US dollar. WTI Crude added 4.2% to end the week above US$61.6/bbl, while gold gained 2.3% and palladium jumped 7.2%. The broad Bloomberg Commodity Index gained 3.0%. ETFS Physical Palladium (ETPMPD) was the top performing commodity fund for the week, returning 5.4%. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of $101m into and outflows of $25m from domestically domiciled funds last week. The largest inflows were into SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Fund (STW) and BetaShares S&P/ASX 200 Resources Sector ETF (QRE), while the largest outflows were seen in BetaShares Nasdaq 100 ETF (NDQ) and SPDR S&P Global Dividend Fund (WDIV).
Feb 13, 2018
Global stocks again suffered heavily in a volatile week, with the S&P 500 and NASDAQ 100 both recording losses over 5% despite a late recovery in Friday's session. The S&P 500 stumble, which at one point fell 12% from the latest highs, recorded its steepest slide since January 2016. No sector was spared in the rout but financials and I.T. detracted most. The S&P/ASX 200 fell 4.6% while, in Europe, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 5.6%, hitting 12-month lows. Emerging Markets did not fare much better, down 7.2%. In the U.S., lawmakers agreed to a budget deal and an increase in the debt ceiling. The USD was mixed against the G10 in volatile trading. GBP underperformed with negative Brexit headlines and the AUD ended the week at US78c. With heightened inflation fears being cited as one of the catalysts for the recent market selloff, this week’s U.S. CPI data (released Wednesday) is likely to be a focus for markets. Commodities including oil, gold and industrial metals moved lower Friday. Oil was down over 9% for the week ending at US$59/bbl its lowest level in six weeks as concerns mounted about increasing production levels. Gold fell 1.3% to 1,317 (US$/troy ounce). BetaShares Australian Equities Strong Bear (BBOZ) was the top performing fund for the week, posting a 13.4% gain, while the BetaShares Geared US Equity Fund - Ccy Hedged (GGUS) lost 13.3%. The domestic Australian ETF market again saw positive net inflows last week of $39.1m. The largest inflows were into SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Fund (STW) and into the VanEck Vectors Australian equal Weight ETF (MVW) while the largest outflow was seen in BetaShares Australian High Interest Cash ETF (AAA).
Feb 09, 2018
With volatility picking up, why don’t you consider owning gold? Trade idea – ETFS Physical Gold (GOLD)/ ETFS Physical Singapore Gold ETF (ZGOL) Volatility has returned to the markets Downside risks have increased dramatically Gold has been consistently one of the best portfolio hedges against geopolitical risk and inflation Below we take a further look at why you should be holding gold There are three reasons why you should own gold. 1) Portfolio protection against volatility 2) Inflation hedging 3) Event risk hedging Points 1 and 2 have recently increased from “no concern” or “neutral” in investors’ minds to “serious concerns” so we believe that all advisers and planners should be considering including gold in their client portfolios, as it’s one of the most historically reliable hedges in such circumstances. Gold protects portfolios against negative equity volatility Just last week we had an example of gold performing as an event risk hedge when equity markets plummeted and the gold price surged upwards. On 5th February, we saw global equity markets fall with the S&P 500 down 4.1% and the ASX 200 down 1.6%, meanwhile the gold price was up 0.5% in USD terms as investors were turning risk averse. The year-to-date performance chart on the right highlights the price actions of the day. (Source: Bloomberg, data as of 13th February 2018) Historical performance is not an indication of future performance and any investments may go down in value. Gold against inflation Gold is also widely viewed as a tool against inflation. Historically, the gold price tends to appreciate when inflation and interest rates are on the rise. The chart below shows how the gold price moves largely in-line with the inflation (CPI) of the United States. Event Risk Hedge Lastly, although there have been no significant geopolitical events this year so far, it only takes one to roil the markets. As the table below shows, being in gold in nine out of ten of the events below was a positive when held within an investor portfolio. Summary There are three reasons why investors should own gold and two of them have dramatically spiked in terms of relevance. We believe all advisers should at least consider owning gold through this late economic cycle, where the probability of inflation and volatility is heightened.
Feb 06, 2018
Stocks recorded their first weekly loss of 2018, with the S&P 500 Index suffering its worst weekly drop in two years. All global sectors were in the red as market volatility crept higher. The S&P/ASX 200 managed to end the week up 1.2% aided by positive gains in the financial sector. In Europe, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 3.4% while the MSCI Emerging Markets Index dropped 3.3% for the week. In his first State of the Union address, President Trump called for greater investment in US infrastructure and reiterated his protectionist stance, although the net effect on US rates and the USD was negligible. The AUD lost 2%, ending just below US80c on Friday. Commodities broadly declined for the week with oil prices down 1%, ending at US$65/bbl and gold falling to 1,333 (US$/troy ounce) . BetaShares US Equities Strong Bear Hedged (BBUS) was the top performing fund for the week, posting a 7.12% gain, while the BetaShares Geared US Equity Fund - Ccy Hedged (GGUS) fell 6.29%. The domestic Australian ETF market saw strong net inflows last week of $85.9m. The largest inflows were into iShares S&P/ASX 200 ETF (IOZ) and into the BetaShares U.S. Dollar ETF (USD) while the largest outflow was seen in BetaShares Australian High Interest Cash ETF (AAA).