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 22, 2017
ETFS S&P/ASX 300 High Yield Plus ETF (ZYAU) In this week’s ETF Securities trade idea we look at dividend yield strategies and how they can be used in different ways depending on the investor's goals. Dividend strategies can be implemented in different ways to achieve different goals, which have their own pros and cons. Beware of dividend traps, chasing yield may lead to poor investment choices. Capital growth versus income generation – don’t sacrifice one for the other.
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%.
Aug 09, 2017
Is AUD/USD risk on the downside? ETFS S&P 500 High Yield Low Volatility ETF (ZYUS) Key Teakeaways: The AUD/USD exchange rate is currently close to 2 year highs, at just below US 80c. US rate expectations pulled back in July as political developments have cast uncertainty over the pace of US reforms and growth. Investors with a view that the USD is undervalued or the AUD is overvalued can play a reversal via ZUSD, which is the most cost effective way to access direct US dollar exposure with an ETF. A declining USD has been the key theme in foreign exchange markets this year. The AUD has gained more than 8% from its mid-May lows, while the US Dollar Index (DXY), a measure of the value of the USD against a collection of major world currencies, has dropped nearly 7% over the same period. As shown in Figure 1 the recent appreciation of the AUD has been particularly steep, with the currency peaking at US 80.66c in late July, while the DXY has been in a downward trend for most of 2017, falling over 10% from its peak in the final days of 2016. Chaotic administration weighing on the US dollar. With the Russia investigation, continual changes in key personnel and failures to negotiate Congress, the Trump administration is failing to meet the lofty expectations set by the market last November. Whilst the Fed is now considered likely to raise rates only once more this year, the US economy is generally in good health. US 10 year treasury yields have fallen by just over 10 basis points since the start of July, suggesting that the long-term monetary policy outlook is relatively unchanged. With temporary factors and uncertainty being the main drivers of the lower dollar, a swift reversal is a possible scenario if confidence is restored. Last Friday’s US employment numbers, which exceeded analyst expectations, were an example, with the DXY jumping 0.75% almost immediately. RBA talking AUD down. The strength of the AUD has in part been a result of a shift in the expected direction of the RBA’s next rate move. However, the RBA last week noted that the higher currency is a concern for growth and cut its estimates for 2017 GDP growth by 0.5%. Further validation of a slowdown could quickly shift AUD sentiment to a bearish stance. What does this mean for investors? Investors wishing to express a bullish USD/bearish AUD view may consider the ETFS Physical US Dollar ETF (ZUSD) . ZUSD offers exposure to an appreciation of the USD against the AUD with a management fee of 0.30% per annum, making it the most cost effective ETF offering this exposure in Australia.