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Market Reviews

Market Review September 2020

Monthly Market Review – September 2020

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How the different asset classes have fared: (As at 30 September 2020)

1 Bloomberg AusBond Bank 0+Y TR AUD, 2 Bloomberg AusBond Composite 0+Y TR AUD, 3 Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate TR Hdg AUD, 4 S&P/ASX All Ordinaries TR, 5 Vanguard International Shares Index, 6 Vanguard Intl Shares Index Hdg AUD TR, 7 Vanguard Emerging Markets Shares Index, 8 FTSE Developed Core Infrastructure 50/50 NR AUD, 9 S&P/ASX 300 AREIT TR, 10 FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global REITs NR AUD

Australian Dollar and Australian Shares

The Australian dollar fell during September as risk sentiment deteriorated and investors speculated that the Reserve Bank of Australia will further reduce interest rates from 0.25% to 0.1% at its next meeting in early October. The dollar rose slightly as a rally in local and international share markets at the end of the month signaled improving risk sentiment but still finished the quarter down by almost 3%. Australian shares also ended the month lower as a new bout of volatility raised questions about high valuations in IT and consumer discretionary stocks. The prolonged economic shutdown pulled down valuations in commercial real estate.

International Shares and infrastructure

International shares finished the month lower as investor sentiment turned negative with technology stocks dragging down the overall market. The month saw brief rallies following reports of progress on a COVID-19 vaccine. However, concerns about the November election in the US and an increase in European COVID-19 cases weighted heavily on investor sentiment.

Valuations in Europe continue to remain more attractive on a price-to-earnings basis than in the United States but repeated waves of COVID-19 and a poor outlook for the region’s banking system has meant that the regional index has struggled to rise. Japan continued to rally, albeit at a slower pace than in August as the country brought its second wave under control and attractive valuations drew in investment. US shares were more volatile than in July and August as high valuations, particularly in the technology sector, led to volatility.

Emerging Markets

Emerging markets rallied in September given attractive valuations relative to developed market equities. There are headwinds for EM with ongoing US efforts to prevent Chinese companies from accessing the US marketplace which will continue to weigh on sentiment. An end to the sell-off in the US dollar may cause more pain for EM companies and households making purchases of imported goods.

Fixed income

Australian fixed income rallied in September as speculation that the Reserve Bank of Australia will announce further easing at its October meeting placed downward pressure on yields. International fixed-income investors were also helped by central banks. In the US, yields fell as the Federal Reserve signaled it plans to maintain near-zero interest rates until 2023.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this material is current as at date of publication unless otherwise specified and is provided by ClearView Financial Advice Pty Ltd ABN 89 133 593 012, AFS Licence No. 331367 (ClearView) and Matrix Planning Solutions Limited ABN 45 087 470 200, AFS Licence No. 238 256 (Matrix). Any advice contained in this material is general advice only and has been prepared without taking account of any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any such information, a person should consider its appropriateness, having regard to their objectives, financial situation and needs. In preparing this material, ClearView and Matrix have relied on publicly available information and sources believed to be reliable. Except as otherwise stated, the information has not been independently verified by ClearView or Matrix. While due care and attention has been exercised in the preparation of the material, ClearView and Matrix give no representation, warranty (express or implied) as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information. The information in this document is also not intended to be a complete statement or summary of the industry, markets, securities or developments referred to in the material. Any opinions expressed in this material, including as to future matters, may be subject to change. Opinions as to future matters are predictive in nature and may be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties and may differ materially from results ultimately achieved. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Market Review August 2020

Monthly Market Review – August 2020

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How the different asset classes have fared: (As at 31 August 2020)

1 Bloomberg AusBond Bank 0+Y TR AUD, 2 Bloomberg AusBond Composite 0+Y TR AUD, 3 Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate TR Hdg AUD, 4 S&P/ASX All Ordinaries TR, 5 Vanguard International Shares Index, 6 Vanguard Intl Shares Index Hdg AUD TR, 7 Vanguard Emerging Markets Shares Index, 8 FTSE Developed Core Infrastructure 50/50 NR AUD, 9 S&P/ASX 300 AREIT TR, 10 FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global REITs NR AUD

Financial markets gained in August as US shares recovered their losses and soared to new highs. The Australian dollar surged to nearly 74c by month-end as bearish sentiment drove the US dollar to multi-year lows. International shares also rose strongly in August but gains for unhedged investors were offset by a rise in the Australian dollar. Unlike July, emerging markets retraced some of their gains as fresh tensions between the United States and China sent Chinese stocks tumbling. Government bonds also gave back some of their gains as faith in vaccine trials fueled investor optimism and a rise in bond yields. Listed property and infrastructure also gained on rising optimism about the path of economic recovery but the rising Australian dollar offset gains for unhedged investors.

Cash and Fixed Income

Interest rates remained fixed near zero in August and central banks continued to use their balance sheet to hold down bond yields. The RBA also restarted its purchases of 3-year Australian Government Securities as Stage 4 restrictions in Victoria and new cases in NSW and Queensland impacted economic activity. The central bank has also revised its forecasts for the impact of COVID-19 and now predicts that unemployment will peak at 10%. At the same time, though, pharmaceutical companies and leading universities have now advanced vaccine trials to their third and final stage before potential approval. Bond yields rose moderately (and prices therefore fell) as investors priced in a potential resolution to the global pandemic that has sent yields tumbling across the fixed-income complex.

Australian Shares

The Australian share market gained in August as investors continued to crowd into IT and consumer discretionary stocks. Mining and healthcare stocks largely tracked the index. Unlike in July, though, mining stocks fell and listed property rose on investor optimism that a vaccine for COVID-19, which has seen valuations for shopping centres and office towers fall substantially, might be approved before the end of the year.

International Shares

International share markets soared in August as US shares recovered their losses from earlier in 2020 and closed at all-time highs. International shares continue to be led by US shares, especially investor optimism in the so-called FAANGM (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Microsoft) universe of consumer technology stocks. Unlike in July, Japanese stocks rose strongly as a second wave appeared to gradually subside throughout the month. European stocks continued to underperform – the divergence between valuations in European and US shares is now at its highest level in almost a century.

Emerging Markets

Emerging markets experienced a mild sell-off in July as tensions between the US and China led to new measures from the United States. US President Donald Trump issued an executive order forcing Chinese technology company Bytedance to divest or sell its US operations, leading to a bidding war between US technology companies for its popular app Tiktok. As in developed markets, Chinese technology stocks dominate the emerging markets index. Tencent, Alibaba and Meituan now constitute 38% of the Chinese index and Chinese stocks make up a majority of the emerging markets index. Efforts by the US and other developed countries like Australia and the UK to restrict Chinese technology companies’ access to their markets has therefore had a negative effect on EM valuations.

The Australian Dollar

The Australian dollar rose to almost 74c in August driven mostly by a sell-off in the US dollar. Iron ore prices climbed to $120/ tonne as Chinese appetite for iron ore continued to grow. COVID-19 is still causing issues with supply chain issues in Brazil and other emerging-market iron ore producers, further supporting the price of the bulk commodity. The spread between Australian and US Government, 10-year securities also climbed to 28 basis points by the end of the month, further supporting the Australian dollar (because offshore investors can gain a secure income by exchanging US dollars for Australian dollars and buying local government securities).

Disclaimer

The information contained in this material is current as at date of publication unless otherwise specified and is provided by ClearView Financial Advice Pty Ltd ABN 89 133 593 012, AFS Licence No. 331367 (ClearView) and Matrix Planning Solutions Limited ABN 45 087 470 200, AFS Licence No. 238 256 (Matrix). Any advice contained in this material is general advice only and has been prepared without taking account of any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs.  Before acting on any such information, a person should consider its appropriateness, having regard to their objectives, financial situation and needs. In preparing this material, ClearView and Matrix have relied on publicly available information and sources believed to be reliable.  Except as otherwise stated, the information has not been independently verified by ClearView or Matrix. While due care and attention has been exercised in the preparation of the material, ClearView and Matrix give no representation, warranty (express or implied) as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information. The information in this document is also not intended to be a complete statement or summary of the industry, markets, securities or developments referred to in the material. Any opinions expressed in this material, including as to future matters, may be subject to change. Opinions as to future matters are predictive in nature and may be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties and may differ materially from results ultimately achieved. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Market Review July 2020

Monthly Market Review – July 2020

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How the different asset classes have fared: (As at 31 July 2020)

1 Bloomberg AusBond Bank 0+Y TR AUD, 2 Bloomberg AusBond Composite 0+Y TR AUD, 3 Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate TR Hdg AUD, 4 S&P/ASX All Ordinaries TR, 5 Vanguard International Shares Index, 6 Vanguard Intl Shares Index Hdg AUD TR, 7 Vanguard Emerging Markets Shares Index, 8 FTSE Developed Core Infrastructure 50/50 NR AUD, 9 S&P/ASX 300 AREIT TR, 10 FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global REITs NR AUD

Financial markets were mixed in July as a sell-off in the US dollar and promising earnings reports from US technology giants fueled investor enthusiasm. However new COVID-19 outbreaks across the world undermined faith in the economic recovery. The Australian dollar surged to US 72c by month-end as bearish sentiment drove the US dollar to multi-year lows. International shares also rose strongly in July but gains for unhedged investors were offset by a rise in the Australian dollar. As in June, emerging markets also enjoyed robust gains as a sell-off in the US dollar eased financial conditions in developing countries and investors bought into Chinese technology companies that are likely to benefit from changes to commerce during the global pandemic. Government bonds largely traded sideways as central banks around the world maintained ultra-low interest rates. International bond yields fell (and prices therefore rose) in large part because new viral outbreaks dampened faith in the economic recovery from COVID-19. Small gains in listed infrastructure and global listed property were offset for unhedged investors by the rising Australian dollar.

Cash and Fixed Income

Interest rates remained fixed near zero in July and central banks continued to use their balance sheet to hold down bond yields. International and Australian bonds rallied as a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Australia and overseas renewed fears of deflation and a prolonged downturn. The RBA kept rates fixed close to zero but allowed rates on 3-year Australian Government Securities to float above their target of 0.25% during July (rates peaked at 0.28% in the middle of the month). The RBA has subsequently pledged to restart its purchases as a new lockdown in Victoria and the closure of state borders placed new pressure on the Australian economy.

Australian Shares

The Australian share market was relatively subdued in July, returning 0.95% for the month. New restrictions on domestic movement following the outbreak in Victoria and new clusters in NSW have set back the clock for the economic recovery. The RBA has revised its estimates for the Australian economy and now expects unemployment to peak at around 10%.

The increase in the ASX 200 index was largely driven by mining and technology stocks. Mining stocks outperformed as Chinese stimulus buoyed prices in international markets and the IT sector strengthened as investors gain faith in the long-term beneficial impact of COVID-19 on e-commerce providers. Healthcare and bank stocks dragged in July as a second wave of infections in Victoria and NSW undermined recent gains and undermined faith in the recovery.

International Shares

International share markets gained momentum in July as strong earnings reports from US technology companies fueled a surge in prices and renewed investor optimism in the so-called FAANGM (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Microsoft) universe of consumer technology stocks. The S&P 500 finished the month strongly enough to offset falls in Europe and Japan’s equity markets.

Emerging Markets

Emerging markets were also supported by new inflows and investors’ growing appetite for risk. As in developed markets, Chinese technology stocks like Tencent and Alibaba have attracted significant new investment as investors look for companies that are likely to gain from the global pandemic.

The Australian Dollar

The Australian dollar rose to 72c in July in large part driven by a sell-off in the US dollar. A worsening COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria and news that Australian consumer prices had fallen at the fastest quarterly rate since 1931 failed to dampen investor sentiment. Iron ore prices climbed more than 10% as Chinese stimulus fueled new demand for Australian bulk commodities.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this material is current as at date of publication unless otherwise specified and is provided by ClearView Financial Advice Pty Ltd ABN 89 133 593 012, AFS Licence No. 331367 (ClearView) and Matrix Planning Solutions Limited ABN 45 087 470 200, AFS Licence No. 238 256 (Matrix). Any advice contained in this material is general advice only and has been prepared without taking account of any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any such information, a person should consider its appropriateness, having regard to their objectives, financial situation and needs. In preparing this material, ClearView and Matrix have relied on publicly available information and sources believed to be reliable. Except as otherwise stated, the information has not been independently verified by ClearView or Matrix. While due care and attention has been exercised in the preparation of the material, ClearView and Matrix give no representation, warranty (express or implied) as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information. The information in this document is also not intended to be a complete statement or summary of the industry, markets, securities or developments referred to in the material. Any opinions expressed in this material, including as to future matters, may be subject to change. Opinions as to future matters are predictive in nature and may be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties and may differ materially from results ultimately achieved. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Market Review June 2020

Monthly Market Review – June 2020

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How the different asset classes have fared: (As at 30 June 2020)

1 Bloomberg AusBond Bank 0+Y TR AUD, 2 Bloomberg AusBond Composite 0+Y TR AUD, 3 Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate TR Hdg AUD, 4 S&P/ASX All Ordinaries TR, 5 Vanguard International Shares Index, 6 Vanguard Intl Shares Index Hdg AUD TR, 7 Vanguard Emerging Markets Shares Index, 8 FTSE Developed Core Infrastructure 50/50 NR AUD, 9 S&P/ASX 300 AREIT TR, 10 FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global REITs NR AUD

Financial markets were slightly more subdued in June than in April and May as the reopening of economies caused new outbreaks in the Americas, Middle East and India. Australian shares and the local currency rose, buoyed by authorities’ relative success at containing the local epidemic. International shares also rose modestly in June but gains for unhedged investors were offset by a rise in the Australian economy. Emerging markets rose more robustly as an economic recovery in China and successful containment of viral outbreaks in Asia raised investor confidence. Government bonds largely traded sideways as central banks around the world maintained ultra-low interest rates and asset purchases while credit spreads narrowed as the economic reopening continued. Listed infrastructure underperformed in June as investors priced in the effects of a pandemic with multiple waves on sensitive infrastructure assets like toll roads and airports.

Cash and Fixed Income

Interest rates remained fixed near zero in June and central banks continued to use their balance sheet to hold down bond yields. Investment-grade spreads narrowed as Federal Reserve purchases of bond ETFs (exchange-traded funds) drew in new investment and raised prices while government and high-yield bonds largely traded sideways.

Australian Shares

The Australian share market extended its rally with another gain of 2.34% in June. An increase in the ASX 200 index was largely driven by banks, IT and consumer stocks. Mining stocks underperformed the index as a whole as Brazilian mining supply gradually came back online. A new outbreak in Victoria towards the end of June placed some downward pressure on prices, as well as the Australian dollar as the state was forced to reintroduce selective lockdowns to contain the spread of COVID-19.

International Shares and Emerging Markets

International share markets continued to recover in June although the incremental improvement in valuations was smaller and accompanied by much greater volatility. As in May, the global economic reopening and a continuation of extraordinary fiscal and monetary support supported higher valuations, but new outbreaks nevertheless forced localized lockdowns or a delay in reopening.

Once again, though, US IT stocks outperformed even as news of a Facebook advertiser boycott briefly shook investors’ optimism in the mega-cap tech stocks. International shares are now trading around the same price-to-earnings ratio that they were before the pandemic. Emerging markets were also supported by new inflows and an investors’ growing appetite for risk after the sell-off in March.

The Australian Dollar

The Australian dollar continued to rise in June. However, the local currency trimmed rapid gains at the beginning of the month by the end of June as a new outbreak and some adverse economic data dampened investor sentiment. Iron ore prices remained steady as Brazilian miner Vale, which has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in Brazil, gradually brought more supply to the market. The Australia/US interest rate differential (the difference between yields on 10-year US and Australian government bonds) has stabilized at around 25 basis points, which means that investors earn more from holding Australian government bonds. Along with a gradual increase in investors’ appetite for risk and Australia’s apparent success at controlling the coronavirus, the interest-rate differential helped the Australian dollar finish the month at just under 69c.

Market Review May 2020

Monthly Market Review – May 2020

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How the different asset classes have fared: (As at 31 May 2020)

1 Bloomberg AusBond Bank 0+Y TR AUD, 2 Bloomberg AusBond Composite 0+Y TR AUD, 3 Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate TR Hdg AUD, 4 S&P/ASX All Ordinaries TR, 5 Vanguard International Shares Index, 6 Vanguard Intl Shares Index Hdg AUD TR, 7 Vanguard Emerging Markets Shares Index, 8 FTSE Developed Core Infrastructure 50/50 NR AUD, 9 S&P/ASX 300 AREIT TR, 10 FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global REITs NR AUD

Financial markets continued to rally in May, continuing on from the momentum seen in April. Share markets, both in Australia and internationally, rose and the Australian dollar appreciated as risk sentiment improved. Government bond yields largely moved sideways over the month, while credit markets gradually rallied as investor confidence rose and central banks continued their support.

Cash and Fixed Income

Interest rates remained on hold in May, with central banks already having lowered rates as much as reasonably bearable. Bond markets generally traded sideways over the month. Credit markets rallied modestly particularly after the US Federal Reserve began buying credit exchange traded funds (ETF’s). There remains an ongoing debate about how effective central bank intervention will be, in the short term central banks can help support confidence and liquidity. In the longer term its solvency that counts, which will be driven more by the state of the economy, and less by central bank intervention.

Australian Shares

The Australian share market extended its rally with another gain of 5% in May which was welcome news by investors. To some extent this growth can be attributed to the Australian government getting the Covid-19 pandemic under control with markets looking forward to the prospects of a quick reopening of the economy.

We would offer some words of caution to those expecting significant additional gains in the near term from today’s levels. The Australian share market is trading on a rich valuation multiple relative to its history. Additionally there remains considerable uncertainty about the scale and scope of the recovery in the economy, even with a promising beginning.

Within the share market we witnessed a shift from healthcare and tech and back to the banks as well as some of the more economically sensitive sectors.

International Shares

International share markets continued to recover in May, supported by the substantial and coordinated fiscal and monetary response to the coronavirus globally and the prospect for social distancing measures to be eased in a number of countries.

As with the Australian share market, it should be noted that a lot of good news is already in the price with valuation levels high relative to longer term historical norms.

While Australia has handled the Covid-19 crisis reasonably well, the same cannot be said for America, home of the world’s largest and most important share market. Unfortunately it seems likely that there will be a second wave of infections as the US economy opens up. This fact, along with the potential for volatility associated with the upcoming US elections is keeping us a little cautious about both US share market generally.

The Australian Dollar

The Australian dollar continued to rally in May. The Australian dollar was also supported by resilient iron ore prices and a widening in the Australia/US interest rate differential (with the Australian 10-year government bond yield now higher than the US 10-year government bond yield).

Disclaimer

The information contained in this material is current as at date of publication unless otherwise specified and is provided by ClearView Financial Advice Pty Ltd ABN 89 133 593 012, AFS Licence No. 331367 (ClearView) and Matrix Planning Solutions Limited ABN 45 087 470 200, AFS Licence No. 238 256 (Matrix). Any advice contained in this material is general advice only and has been prepared without taking account of any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any such information, a person should consider its appropriateness, having regard to their objectives, financial situation and needs. In preparing this material, ClearView and Matrix have relied on publicly available information and sources believed to be reliable. Except as otherwise stated, the information has not been independently verified by ClearView or Matrix. While due care and attention has been exercised in the preparation of the material, ClearView and Matrix give no representation, warranty (express or implied) as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information. The information in this document is also not intended to be a complete statement or summary of the industry, markets, securities or developments referred to in the material. Any opinions expressed in this material, including as to future matters, may be subject to change. Opinions as to future matters are predictive in nature and may be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties and may differ materially from results ultimately achieved. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Market Review April 2020

Monthly Market Review – April 2020

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How the different asset classes have fared:
(As at 30 April 2020)

1 Bloomberg AusBond Bank 0+Y TR AUD, 2 Bloomberg AusBond Composite 0+Y TR AUD, 3 Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate TR Hdg AUD, 4 S&P/ASX All Ordinaries TR, 5 Vanguard International Shares Index, 6 Vanguard Intl Shares Index Hdg AUD TR, 7 Vanguard Emerging Markets Shares Index, 8 FTSE Developed Core Infrastructure 50/50 NR AUD, 9 S&P/ASX 300 AREIT TR, 10 FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global REITs NR AUD

Financial markets partly recovered in April after very steep falls in March. Share markets, both in Australia and internationally, rose and the Australian dollar appreciated as risk sentiment improved. Government bond yields largely moved sideways over the month as liquidity conditions in bond markets improved and global central banks reaffirmed significant policy easing that had been announced in March.

Cash and Fixed Income

Global government bond yields largely moved sideways in April, at very low levels, after significant volatility in March. Central banks, including the Reserve Bank of Australia, reaffirmed the significant policy easing that they had announced in March.

Corporate credit spreads narrowed over the month after widening very sharply in March, but they remain at historically elevated levels as the perceived riskiness of buying corporate debt remains high due to the coronavirus crisis.

Australian Shares

After plunging by 21% in March, the Australian share market recovered by 9.5% in April alongside other global share markets. The recovery was fueled by the large monetary and fiscal easing measures that have been announced by both Australian and global authorities, combined with news of flattening coronavirus curves and moves towards relaxing lockdowns in a number of countries. However, further volatility in share markets is likely in the months ahead.

ANZ and NAB both reported their half-year profit results in April. ANZ deferred the decision on its 2020 interim dividend until there is greater clarity regarding the economic impact of the coronavirus and announced a 60% decline in its interim cash profit. ANZ will provide a dividend update in August. NAB announced that it will reduce its interim dividend to 30c per share (from 83c per share last year) and it will raise $3.5 billion in capital to improve its balance sheet ahead of an expected spike in credit losses due to the coronavirus crisis. The two banks underperformed the broader market in April, to finish the month little changed.

International Shares

International share markets partly recovered in April, supported by the substantial and coordinated fiscal and monetary response to the coronavirus globally and the prospect for social distancing measures to be eased in several countries. The recovery in shares was despite the release of economic data which showed a huge hit to global economic activity, including sharp falls in consumer confidence, surging unemployment claims and a record plunge in US retail sales.

The breadth of the recovery in the US S&P500 has been fairly narrow and has not been led by the traditional cyclical sectors. Rather, healthcare and technology sectors have outperformed based on their perceived defensive characteristics. The top five stocks in the S$P 500 now account for 20% of the overall index and these stocks have been leading the recovery, meaning that the breadth of the recovery has been very low. According to Morgan Stanley, the percentage of S&P500 stocks outperforming the index on a rolling two-month window is at the lowest level since 2008.

Oil prices remained under intense pressure in April, with the US oil benchmark (WTI) briefly plunging

into negative territory for the first time in history. Oil prices have fallen due to a sharp decline in demand because of global coronavirus shutdowns, travel bans and a disagreement between Saudi Arabia and Russia about cutting oil production. Since the start of the year, oil prices are down by between 60-70%. While this is bad news for producers, low fuel prices are good news for consumers as it frees up spending power which will eventually help consumer spending.

The Australian Dollar

The Australian dollar rebounded by around 6.5% in April due to positive risk sentiment as global share markets partly retraced their sharp March falls. The Australian dollar was also supported by resilient iron ore prices and a widening in the Australia/US interest rate differential (with the Australian 10-year government bond yield now higher than the US 10-year government bond yield); sharp falls in coal prices had little impact.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this material is current as at date of publication unless otherwise specified and is provided by ClearView Financial Advice Pty Ltd ABN 89 133 593 012, AFS Licence No. 331367 (ClearView) and Matrix Planning Solutions Limited ABN 45 087 470 200, AFS Licence No. 238 256 (Matrix). Any advice contained in this material is general advice only and has been prepared without taking account of any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any such information, a person should consider its appropriateness, having regard to their objectives, financial situation and needs. In preparing this material, ClearView and Matrix have relied on publicly available information and sources believed to be reliable. Except as otherwise stated, the information has not been independently verified by ClearView or Matrix. While due care and attention has been exercised in the preparation of the material, ClearView and Matrix give no representation, warranty (express or implied) as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information. The information in this document is also not intended to be a complete statement or summary of the industry, markets, securities or developments referred to in the material. Any opinions expressed in this material, including as to future matters, may be subject to change. Opinions as to future matters are predictive in nature and may be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties and may differ materially from results ultimately achieved. Past performance is not an indicator of future

Market Review March 2020

Monthly Market Review – March 2020

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How the different asset classes have fared:
(As at 31 March 2020)

1 Bloomberg AusBond Bank 0+Y TR AUD, 2 Bloomberg AusBond Composite 0+Y TR AUD, 3 Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate TR Hdg AUD, 4 S&P/ASX All Ordinaries TR, 5 Vanguard International Shares Index, 6 Vanguard Intl Shares Index Hdg AUD TR, 7 Vanguard Emerging Markets Shares Index, 8 FTSE Developed Core Infrastructure 50/50 NR AUD, 9 S&P/ASX 300 AREIT TR, 10 FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global REITs NR AUD

Financial markets were extremely volatile in March as investors grappled with immense uncertainty about the depth and the duration of the coronavirus’s impact on global growth. Share markets remained under intense pressure as the number of new coronavirus cases continued to surge and financial markets (particularly bond markets) experienced significant liquidity issues during the month. Governments around the world announced very large stimulus measures to support economic activity and central banks announced aggressive monetary easing to stabilise financial markets. While economic pain cannot be avoided in the near term, there are plenty of tools available to fight the economic slowdown in the longer term.

During this period of market volatility, it’s important to remember that financial markets have been through all sorts of crises and this is one from which the economy will eventually emerge. Long-term returns to share markets have historically been in the 7-9% per annum range for most markets around the world. However, these great returns come at the price of bouts of volatility every 10 or so years.

Cash and Fixed Income

Global government and corporate bond markets were highly volatile in March. Australian and international government bond yields initially plunged to historic lows, before rebounding sharply as investors sold positions across-the-board and bond markets became highly illiquid. The rebound higher in bond yields saw many central banks respond with aggressive monetary easing, including a combination of rate cuts, quantitative easing and liquidity injections aimed at restoring liquidity and proper market functioning to government bond and interest rate markets. The response by central banks was much faster and more aggressive than their response in 2008. As a result of the central bank action, government bond yields retraced lower towards the end of the month, with the 10-year Australian government bond yield finishing the month largely unchanged.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) was one of the central banks to announce a package of policy measures in March, including two 25 basis point rate cuts to a historic low of 0.25% and quantitative easing (QE). QE involves the RBA buying large quantities of longer-term securities such as government on the open market. The RBA bids in the market to buy the bonds and can in theory buy almost unlimited quantities of bonds because it does so with newly created bank reserves. Its effects are:

  1. If the RBA buys bonds and pays bondholders cash, the cash from the purchase of the bonds is deposited in the banking system resulting in banks being kept liquid in stressed environments. They have a lot of cash on hand that they can lend if need be.
  2. When the RBA buys bonds, they tend to push down long-term interest rates, which may stimulate the economy. It also tends to weaken the currency because you get lower interest rates when investing in Australia.

Therefore, QE is designed to provide both liquidity and stimulus to the economy in stressed times.

Corporate bond markets were also extremely volatile in March. Credit spreads widened substantially, particularly for high-yield bonds, but also for investment-grade bonds. This increases funding costs for corporations. Due to poor liquidity conditions in corporate bond markets, central banks announced a raft of liquidity measures. In particular, the US Federal Reserve stated that they would start purchasing investment-grade corporate bonds in the secondary market (i.e. bonds currently held by banks and funds). This was a crucial step in improving credit market liquidity and as a result corporate bond spreads retraced modestly lower towards the end of the month, but they remain very elevated.

Australian Shares

The Australian share market plunged by 21% in March due to the very major impact of the coronavirus on the economy and the financial system. As a result of the surge in new coronavirus cases across the globe, countries restricted the movement of people across borders and implemented social distancing measures. The falls in equity prices were broadly based across sectors, although the energy and tourism sectors fell particularly sharply. The equity prices of banks also fell significantly. Equity prices did stage a partial recovery late in the month after governments around the world, including Australia, announced large stimulus packages. At the end of the month, the Australian Treasury announced the single biggest post-war fiscal measure in Australia – a A$130bn JobKeeper Payment to business to keep their staff. The JobKeeper Payment is worth 6.5% of GDP and takes the combined fiscal stimulus measures by the Australian government to around 11% of GDP.

International Shares

International share markets (hedged) fell sharply by 13% in March due to ongoing concerns about the impact of the coronavirus on global growth. However, unhedged international shares were partly cushioned by a depreciation in the Australian dollar, falling by 8%. The declines in equity prices were broad-based, although some sectors were hit harder than others. Banks fell sharply. Sectors like oil and gas and basic resources were also hit hard, followed closely by a range of consumer-related sectors like tourism and leisure, auto, transport and travel, retail, food and beverages, and electronics.

The Australian Dollar

The Australian dollar finished the month roughly 5% lower due to negative risk sentiment, but it also experienced sharp swings over the month like other financial markets – dropping to 55.11c at one stage (the lowest level since 2002) before rebounding to around 61c at the end of the month.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this material is current as at date of publication unless otherwise specified and is provided by ClearView Financial Advice Pty Ltd ABN 89 133 593 012, AFS Licence No. 331367 (ClearView) and Matrix Planning Solutions Limited ABN 45 087 470 200, AFS Licence No. 238 256 (Matrix). Any advice contained in this material is general advice only and has been prepared without taking account of any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any needs. In preparing this material, ClearView and Matrix have relied on publicly available information and sources believed to be reliable. Except as otherwise stated, the information has not been independently verified by ClearView or Matrix. While due warranty is also not intended to be a complete statement or summary of the industry, markets, securities or developments referred to in the material. Any opinions expressed in this material, including as to future matters, may be subject to change. Opinions as to future matters are predictive in nature and may be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties and may differ materially from results ultimately achieved. Past performance is not an indicator of future

Market Review February 2020

Monthly Market Review – February 2020

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Thoughts on Recent Events

As many of you would be aware US, European and Australian stock indices have fallen as investors grapple to understand the impact of COVID-19 on economies around the world. Following initial cuts to official interest rates it seems likely that further monetary stimulus will be provided by governments including the increasing probability of quantitative easing to sure up liquidity. Domestically, Scott Morrison announced a range of fiscal measures designed to boost economic activity and help to avoid a recession.

Some interesting points to consider:

  • Exposures to cash, fixed income and alternative assets can offset the fall in equity valuations.
  • Whilst share valuations have fallen, dividends haven’t. Companies like to smooth their dividends over time. They never go up as much as earnings in the good times and so rarely fall as much in the bad times.
  • When thinking of any long-term asset such as shares, over 90% of their value is dependent on profits more than 12 months out. Thus, a few quarters of deteriorating profits should not have a long-term impact on valuations.
  • The recent correction is quite possibly providing the best buying opportunities since the GFC 10 years ago.
  • For long term investors, as opposed to short term speculators, price fluctuations have only one significant meaning – an opportunity to buy wisely when prices fall and to sell wisely when they advance a great deal.
  • One of the primary reasons individuals can fail as long-term investors is they pay too much attention to what the stock market is currently doing and react to it.

How the different asset classes have fared:
(As at 29 February 2020)

1 Bloomberg AusBond Bank 0+Y TR AUD, 2 Bloomberg AusBond Composite 0+Y TR AUD, 3 Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate TR Hdg AUD, 4 S&P/ASX All Ordinaries TR, 5 Vanguard International Shares Index, 6 Vanguard Intl Shares Index Hdg AUD TR, 7 Vanguard Emerging Markets Shares Index, 8 FTSE Developed Core Infrastructure 50/50 NR AUD, 9 S&P/ASX 300 AREIT TR, 10 FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global REITs NR AUD

Australian and global share markets plunged in February due to concerns about the coronavirus’s impact on global growth and corporate profits. The US S&P 500 recorded its fastest correction since the Great Depression, falling by 12 per cent over six days from its record closing high on February 19. Australian and international bond yields fell, and the Australian dollar depreciated against the US dollar.

Cash and Fixed Income

Australian and international bond yields fell in February to record lows in many countries, including Australia, as investors flocked to safe-haven assets due to developments and risks associated with the coronavirus. Investors bought bonds, pushing bond prices up and bond yields down, as expectations for monetary easing increased due to concerns about the impact of the coronavirus on global growth.

Earlier in the month, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept the cash rate unchanged at 0.75%. On February 28, following sharp falls in equity markets, the US Federal Reserve issued a press release stating that they will use their tools to act as appropriate to support the economy as the coronavirus poses evolving risks to economic activity. This statement signaled that the Federal Reserve would likely cut rates at its meeting in March.

Australian economic data was mixed over the month and was overshadowed by news about the coronavirus. Retail sales fell by more than expected in December after Black Friday sales pulled forward spending in November. Employment data was mixed; employment growth was stronger than expected (driven by part-time jobs) but the unemployment rate increased unexpectedly to 5.3%, underemployment rose, and wages growth remained subdued. House prices strengthened further in January and housing loan approvals also continued to increase, led by owner-occupiers. However, housing credit growth, which relates to the stock of housing debt, remained subdued because new lending has been offset by a faster repayment of existing mortgages.

Australian Shares

The Australian share market plunged by 8.1% in February, led by losses in the information technology, energy and materials sectors. Losses in the Australian share market were concentrated later in the month following a rapid escalation in new coronavirus cases outside China, notably in South Korea, Italy and Iran. This raised concerns that the coronavirus will disrupt economic activity more deeply and for longer than had been initially expected by the market. Australia’s export earnings will be significantly impacted, particularly in the tourism, education and resources sectors, since China accounts for nearly one-third of Australia’s exports. The uncertainty that the coronavirus creates will likely also negatively affect domestic spending. The Australian share market continues to face significant uncertainty and there is likely more volatility to come.

A number of Australian companies reported profit results in February for the half year to December 2019. Only 53% of companies reported an increase in profits compared to a year ago, and several companies issued profit downgrades related to the impact of the coronavirus.

International Shares

International share markets (hedged) fell sharply by 8.4% in February due to renewed concerns about the impact of the coronavirus on global growth following a large increase in new cases outside China. However, unhedged international shares were partly cushioned by a depreciation in the Australian dollar, falling by 4.8%. The coronavirus is a fast-developing situation and it is too early to tell how persistent the effects of the coronavirus will be on global growth and at what point the global economy will return to an improving path. Chinese economic activity has experienced a severe decline, global supply chains and international travel have been disrupted and global consumer spending may start to be impacted as households become more cautious. The uncertainty created by the coronavirus will likely result in further volatility in financial markets.

The US profit reporting season for Q419 continued in February, with most companies surprising to the upside. However, a number of US companies, including Microsoft, Apple, Walmart and Nike, announced that their near-term revenues will likely fall short of guidance due to the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

The Australian Dollar

The Australian dollar depreciated by around 3% against the US dollar over the month to its lowest level since 2009 due to negative risk sentiment and increased concerns about the impact of the coronavirus in Australia’s export earnings.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this material is current as at date of publication unless otherwise specified and is provided by ClearView Financial Advice Pty Ltd ABN 89 133 593 012, AFS Licence No. 331367 (ClearView) and Matrix Planning Solutions Limited ABN 45 087 470 200, AFS Licence No. 238 256 (Matrix). Any advice contained in this material is general advice only and has been prepared without taking account of any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any such information, a person should consider its appropriateness, having regard to their objectives, financial situation and needs. In preparing this material, ClearView and Matrix have relied on publicly available information and sources believed to be reliable. Except as otherwise stated, the information has not been independently verified by ClearView or Matrix. While due care and attention has been exercised in the preparation of the material, ClearView and Matrix give no representation, warranty (express or implied) as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information. The information in this document is also not intended to be a complete statement or summary of the industry, markets, securities or developments referred to in the material. Any opinions expressed in this material, including as to future matters, may be subject to change. Opinions as to future matters are predictive in nature and may be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties and may differ materially from results ultimately achieved. Past performance is not an indicator of future

Market Review January 2020

Monthly Market Review – January 2020

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Recent Market Update Key Points

While the last three days has seen equity markets around the world retreat from their previous highs, the returns for anyone who has been exposed to these markets over the last 12 months is still overwhelmingly positive.

The best defense for this kind of market volatility is to maintain a long term view and a well-
diversified portfolio that holds a range of investments including:

  • Currency unhedged international equity portfolios which benefit from weakness in the Australian dollar
  • Funds with an ability to short sell equities and hence benefit from falling share prices
  • Exposures to commodities such as gold
  • Defensive allocations to cash and fixed income

The graphs below highlight the five-year returns for the S&P 500 index in the United States and the S&P 200 index of Australian equities as well as regional returns over the last 12 months.



How the different asset classes have fared:
(As at 31 January 2020)

1 Bloomberg AusBond Bank 0+Y TR AUD, 2 Bloomberg AusBond Composite 0+Y TR AUD, 3 Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate TR Hdg AUD, 4 S&P/ASX All Ordinaries TR, 5 Vanguard International Shares Index, 6 Vanguard Intl Shares Index Hdg AUD TR, 7 Vanguard Emerging Markets Shares Index, 8 FTSE Developed Core Infrastructure 50/50 NR AUD, 9 S&P/ASX 300 AREIT TR, 10 FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global REITs NR AUD

Australian shares rallied sharply in January, while international share markets (hedged) were broadly unchanged. Australian and international bond yields fell, and the Australian dollar depreciated against the US dollar.

Cash and Fixed Income

Australian and international bond yields steadily fell in January (bond prices rose). Bonds yields initially fell modestly following an escalation in tensions between the US and Iran early in the month, before extending lower after the outbreak of the coronavirus as investors flocked to safe-haven assets (pushing bond prices up and bond yields down).

The release of generally stronger-than-expected Australian economic data appeared to have little impact on bond yields over the month. Retail sales rebounded in November (boosted by Black Friday sales which likely pulled sales forward from December) and employment data was stronger-than-expected (driven by part-time jobs) which resulted in a slight fall in the unemployment rate. Inflation was also a touch higher than expectations but still well below the RBA’s 2-3% target. With economic data generally better than expected, the market pared back expectations of a rate cut by the RBA at its February meeting to only a 10-20% chance. House prices strengthened further in December, led by strong gains in Sydney and Melbourne. Housing loan approvals also continued to increase, while housing credit growth remained subdued. The devastating bushfires in Australia over the summer are expected to negatively impact growth in the short-term due to significant disruption in the affected areas and the impact on tourism. However, there will likely be a positive impact from rebuilding in the medium-term.

The US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank kept monetary policy unchanged in January.

Australian Shares

The Australian share market rallied by 4.7% in January, more than reversing its December losses, led by gains in the healthcare and information technology sectors. The share market rose strongly in the first half of the month, although there was little news behind the move, other than signs that global growth appeared to be stabilising and the signing of the ‘phase one’ trade deal between the US and China. However, Australian shares pared gains later in the month following the outbreak of the coronavirus. Since China accounts for nearly one-third of Australia’s exports, there will be a negative impact on Australian economic growth due to a temporary disruption to tourism, education and commodities exports.

International Shares

International share markets (hedged) finished the month slightly lower, with early gains eroded later in the month following the outbreak of the coronavirus. However, unhedged international shares performed strongly as the Australian dollar fell over the month. Asian shares were hit particularly hard later in the month due to the coronavirus. Coronavirus has already impacted the level of economic activity in China and will likely result in significantly lower economic activity for the region in the March and June quarters (due to lower retail spending, travel and closed or not fully operational businesses).

The US reporting season started in January, with around 45% of companies reporting Q419 results over the month. Most companies that reported earnings surprised to the upside.

The Australian Dollar

The Australian dollar depreciated by around 4% against the US dollar over the month, more than reversing its appreciation in December. The Australian dollar was weighed down by negative risk sentiment due to the coronavirus, lower iron ore prices (due to concerns about the impact of the coronavirus on Chinese demand for iron ore) and a widening in the differential between Australian and US interest rates.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this material is current as at date of publication unless otherwise specified and is provided by ClearView Financial Advice Pty Ltd ABN 89 133 593 012, AFS Licence No. 331367 (ClearView) and Matrix Planning Solutions Limited ABN 45 087 470 200, AFS Licence No. 238 256 (Matrix). Any advice contained in this material is general advice only and has been prepared without taking account of any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any such information, a person should consider its appropriateness, having regard to their objectives, financial situation and needs. In preparing this material, ClearView and Matrix have relied on publicly available information and sources believed to be reliable. Except as otherwise stated, the information has not been independently verified by ClearView or Matrix. While due care and attention has been exercised in the preparation of the material, ClearView and Matrix give no representation, warranty (express or implied) as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information. The information in this document is also not intended to be a complete statement or summary of the industry, markets, securities or developments referred to in the material. Any opinions expressed in this material, including as to future matters, may be subject to change. Opinions as to future matters are predictive in nature and may be affected by inaccurate assumptions or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties and may differ materially from results ultimately achieved. Past performance is not an indicator of future

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