INVESTMENT UPDATES

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February 22, 2021

WEEKLY INVESTMENT 

Key points:

  • Global and local stock indices hit all-time highs last week before rising bond yields halted gains. The Australian dollar also traded stronger against other major currencies.
  • The Australian, US and global share indices all struck new all-time highs on Tuesday, as traders returned to work after the President’s Day holiday on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 hit 30,000 points for the first time since 1990, the Bitcoin price exceeded $50,000, and oil passed US$60 per barrel after freezing temperatures in Texas caused power blackouts.
  • New coronavirus cases continue to fall as lockdowns slow the spread. The global vaccination effort is in full swing, with the European Union reaching a deal with Moderna to increase distribution in the region. The first vaccines arrived in Australia, and the first local vaccinations took place over the weekend.

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February 15, 2021

WEEKLY INVESTMENT UPDATE

Key points:

  • Global equities hit a new high on Friday, after a disappointing week for the Australian share market. Earnings are so far falling short of expectations.
  • In other stories, Tesla announced plans to buy $1.5bn of bitcoin, the Federal Reserve sees true unemployment close to 10%,  Victoria strives to contain the airport hotel outbreak, and the first Pfizer vaccine doses are due to arrive in Australia this week.
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February 08, 2021

WEEKLY INVESTMENT UPDATE

Key points:

  • Risk assets performed well last week. Data were supportive, and the US Democrats overcame a major hurdle with their fiscal stimulus proposal.
  • Equity markets were particularly strong last week. The VIX volatility index declined, the Australian dollar regained some strength and bond yields rose.
  • The RBA extended Quantitative Easing (QE) beyond April, adding another A$100bn in purchases. The Reserve Bank expects interest rates to remain on hold at 0.10% until mid-2024.
  • This week brings more company reports, the Trump impeachment trial, and the start of the lunar new year celebrations.
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February 01, 2021

WEEKLY INVESTMENT UPDATE

Key points:

  • Sentiment soured on global markets last week. The equity sell-off has been attributed, perhaps unfairly, to retail investors attacking hedge fund shorts on online platforms. But other possible causes included a slight miss in US GDP and concerns over vaccine efficacy.
  • The worldwide tally of coronavirus cases has surpassed 100 million.
  • This week the RBA will likely tweak monetary policy but maintain a very accommodative stance.
  • Australian Corporate reporting season starts this week. 

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January 25, 2020

WEEKLY INVESTMENT UPDATE

Key Points: 

  • The change of power in the US   lifted equity markets last week.
  • Janet Yellen’s pleas to Congress to “act big” on stimulus boosted investor risk appetite at her confirmation hearing as the new Treasury Secretary.
  • The Federal Reserve will meet this Wednesday, and the market will be looking for signs of an increase in QE to absorb some of the planned new bond issuance.
  • Combatting the pandemic is a top priority for President Biden in his first one hundred days of office. Last week, the US passed 400,000 total deaths, more than the second world war.

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January 18, 2021

WEEKLY INVESTMENT UPDATE

Key points:

  • Global pandemic deaths exceed 2 million.
  • Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday. Even as his predecessor was impeached for a second time, the unveiling of the $1.9tn “American Rescue Plan” to stimulate the economy and tackle the coronavirus pandemic was the most significant event for investors last week. Despite concerns over vaccination hold-ups and disappointing recent data, the plan was received well with growth estimates generally being revised higher.
  • Besides the American transfer of power, the US earnings season gathers pace this week. The ECB and Bank of Japan will hold meetings on Thursday.
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