Monthly and Quarterly Updates

Market Insights

The Australian market finished the month of April down -1.5% at 5774 points as measured by the All Ordinaries. Australia was below its global peers with the US S&P 500 Index up slightly +0.87% and the MSCI Developed Market Index (ex-Australia) up 2.19%.

How Australian sectors performed

Weakness during the months of January and March was comfortably made up for by the strength of global markets during February, with the MSCI World Index posting a total gain for the first quarter of 2015 of +1.8%.
Australia’s performance
The Australian equity market posted its strongest first quarter on record and convincingly outperformed the MSCI World Index, with the ASX200 returning +8.9% (+10.3% acc.). The Index rallied close to 6,000 points after ECB President Mario Draghi announced an extended asset purchase program.

The Australian market was buoyant in February posting its best result since October 2011 with a +6.1% return for the S&P/ASX 200. Australia remained in the black and on par with its global peers with the US S&P 500 Index up +5.5% and the MSCI Developed Market Index up 5.7%.

How Australian sectors performed

The Australian market started 2015 on a good note with +3.3% return on the S&P/ASX 200 during January. Australia outperformed its global peers with the All Ordinaries (+3.0%) strong compared to the US S&P 500 Index (-3.1%), the MSCI World ex Australia Index (-0.7%) and the MSCI Asia Pacific ex Japan Index (+2.7%).

The MSCI World Index continued to post positive performance during the final quarter of 2014 (+2.9%) largely due to the increasingly strong macro data stemming from the US. With Australia experiencing a decline in consumer confidence, investors continued to preference companies with reliable earnings streams and USD exposure.

The Australian market has given up its gains this year after a -3.9% decline in the S&P/ASX 200 during November. Australia underperformed its global peers with the All Ordinaries (-3.8%) weak compared to the US S&P 500 Index (+2.5%), the MSCI World ex Australia Index (+2.9%) and the MSCI Asia Pacific ex Japan Index (+0.1%).

How Australian sectors performed

With Australian banks reporting results broadly in-line with expectations and dividend payout dates on the horizon, the Australian equity market finished the month with a positive 4.4% gain (S&P/ASX 200).

The equity market’s rally was curbed during the quarter owing to a change in expectation for an earlier-than-expected rise in US Fed Fund rates, a weaker economic growth outlook for China and increasing geopolitical tension. A rally in the US Dollar affected commodity indices during the quarter.

Australia’s performance vs the world

It was a flat month for the Australian market with the S&P/ASX 200 posting a -0.1% return. In local currency terms, the All Ordinaries (+0.0%) underperformed the US S&P 500 Index (+3.8%) and the MSCI World ex Australia Index (2.5%) but was in line with the MSCI Asia Pacific ex Japan Index (+0.0%).

The Australian market outperformed most of its global peers during July with the S&P/ASX 200 posting a +4.4% return. In local currency terms, the All Ordinaries (+4.5%) outperformed the US S&P 500 Index (-1.5%), the MSCI Asia Pacific ex Japan Index (+3.8%) and the MSCI World ex Australia Index (-0.9%).