A mixed bag
- After January’s bounce, February was a little quieter but still ended in positive territory, with global shares up by 3.4% and 5.6% in hedged and unhedged terms respectively.
- US shares similarly were up 3%, a more modest rise than January’s 7.9% rally, which was driven by a better-than-expected US reporting season.
- The full effects of the long US government shutdown are yet to be seen, but US GDP growth slowed significantly in the December 2018 quarter, to 2.6% following 3.4% growth in the September quarter.
- Australian shares performed well – twice as well as US shares, in fact – up 6% for the month.
- The RBA is currently forecasting growth of around 3% for the Australian economy in 2019, supported by increased business investment and public infrastructure spending.
- In the eurozone, hopes for avoiding widespread recession seem to be pinned on a strong Asian recovery, while the Brexit issue continues to cloud the UK economy.
- China-US trade relations have thawed somewhat, with Trump announcing that tariff increases on Chinese goods would be delayed, raising hopes that a trade agreement will be reached soon.
- The Australian dollar slipped slightly against all the major currencies, down to US71c and €0.62 at the end of the month.
Major asset class performance (%)
|Asset classes||1 month||12 months||5 years (p.a.)|
|Global shares (hedged)||3.4||2.4||9.4|
|Global shares (unhedged)||5.6||10.1||11.7|
|Global emergi- ng markets |
| Global small |
|Global listed property||0.2||15.9||8.6|
| Australian |
|International fixed income||0.1||3.7||4.5|
Source: JP Morgan & ANZ Wealth, 28 February 2019. Indices: Australian shares: S&P/ASX 300 Accumulation | Global shares (hedged/unhedged): MSCI World ex Australia Net | Global emerging markets: MSCI Emerging Markets Net in AUD (unhedged) | Global small companies (unhedged): MSCI World ex Aust Small Cap | Global listed property: FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Developed Rental Index ex Australia (hedged) | Cash: Bloomberg Bank Bill | Australian fixed income: Bloomberg AusBond Composite 0+ Yr Index | International fixed income: Barclays Global Aggregate Bond Index (hedged). Please note: Past performance is not indicative of future performance
|Exchange rates||At close on 28/2|| % change |
| % change |
|Trade weighted index||60.5||-1.5||-4.6|
Source: Bloomberg & ANZ Wealth, 28 February 2019.All foreign exchange rates are rounded to two decimal places where appropriate. Please note: Past performance is not indicative of future performance.