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The S&P/ASX 200 had a mixed week, ending 0.1% higher with Utilities and Energy sectors performing strongly, while Industrials and Materials lagged. The S&P 500 gained 1.5% as the US Senate passed the tax reform bill. Technology stocks sold off as investors rotated into defensive sectors in the US. US-focused ETFs with more defensive sector exposures performed strongly; QUS, MOAT and ZYUS were amongst the top performers for the week. Asia and emerging markets sold off, with UBP, IBK, IAA and IZZ all declining by more than 3.7%. The Australian dollar was relatively flat for the week. The euro and yen declined against the US dollar, while the pound sterling jumped over 1%, reaching a 2 month high.  Precious metals mostly declined; gold dropped 0.6% and silver fell 3.6%, while WTI crude dipped 1% and iron ore gained 3.2%. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of A$587m and outflows of A$36m from domestically domiciled ETFs last week. Inflows were largely into S&P/ASX 200 trackers (IZO and STW). ...
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The S&P/ASX 200 declined by 0.3% last week, dragged down by the financials and real estate sectors. ETFs in those sectors (MVB, QFN and OZF) were amongst the poorest performers for the week. Offshore, the S&P 500 added 1.4%, the Nikkei 225 gained 1.2% and the EURO STOXX 50 also posted a modest gain. The Australian dollar continued to range trade, ending the week 0.5% higher at US 79.75c. It has now traded almost exclusively within a US78-80c range for the past 7 weeks. The euro lost 0.5% against the US dollar, only its second weekly decline since June, while the yen also lost 0.8%. Precious metals made strong gains last week, with gold up 2.6% and silver up 3.9%. Gold and gold mining ETFs (GDX, MNRS and QAU) were amongst the top performers for the week. WTI Crude declined for a fifth consecutive week. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of A$65m and outflows of A$21m from domestically domiciled ETFs last week. Inflows were into broad-based equity funds (IOZ and SFY) and cash/fixed-income products (PLUS, QPON and FLOT). Outflows were primarily from BetaShares Australian High Interest Cash ETF (AAA). ...
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Equity markets rebounded last week with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.4% and the S&P 500 gaining 0.9% and hitting a new record high. Europe and Asia also posted strong gains, with the EURO STOXX 50 up 1.0% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng up 2.3%. ETFS ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ROBO) was the top performing equity ETF last week, returning 2.6% for the week and 9.0% for the month as investor interest in the robotics, automation and AI theme continues to grow both in Australia and offshore. Australian resource sector ETFs also performed strongly with QRE, OZR and MVR all returning over 2%. The Australian dollar gained 0.7% last week, rising back above US 76c, while the euro gained 1.2% and the Japanese yen gained 0.5% against the US dollar. Precious metals mostly declined as risk-on sentiment returned; gold dropped 0.3% and silver fell 1.5%. WTI crude added 4.2%, ending the week above US$58/bbl for the first time in over 2 years. Iron Ore posted its third consecutive weekly gain, adding 8.5%. The Australian ETF market saw inflows of A$106m and outflows of A$1