An extension to the government’s apprenticeship wage subsidy program for another 12 months has been announced.
Over the month of February, the economic data that was released showed mixed results and share markets were volatile. However, optimism over medium-term growth and the global economic recovery continues to outweigh short-term concerns. Falling COVID-19 cases and vaccine deployment has reduced restrictions and economies are expected to reopen soon.
Over the month of January, economic data signalled a short term hit due to pandemic-related restrictions. This overshadowed a strong fourth quarter experienced by China. The continued global roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines in various countries continues to underpin the expected rebound of markets in 2021. The smooth transition of Brexit and the beginning of Biden’s…
Over the month of December, markets broadly achieved positive returns as vaccine roll-outs and another fiscal stimulus package in the US offset bad news on the virus front. Restrictions tightened in many countries as new COVID-19 cases across the developed world surged, as a new more infectious COVID-19 strain began to spread globally. However, vaccination programs have given markets hope that economies will fully reopen over the next year.
While COVID-19 cases continued to soar in the US, UK and Continental Europe over November, markets shrugged off short-term developments and soared on the back of positive vaccine news and the US presidential election results. Domestic and developed overseas share markets achieved strong positive returns for the month, with outperformance in sectors that are expected to benefit from a removal in restrictions next year, such as energy.
Overseas shares posted negative returns in October 2020 as fears of a slowdown in the recovery materialised with onerous restrictions being re-imposed amid resurgence in COVID-19 cases. Overseas shares fell back into negative territory returning -3.2%, in hedged terms, over October. Global economic data for Q3 is showing a rebound from a similar sized economic collapse but forward looking data is already indicating another slowdown ahead, especially in Europe and the United Kingdom (UK) as further cases have brought back restrictions.
For the month of August, growth assets performed well as investor momentum remained strong. Economic data continued to be encouraging with another strong set of US nonfarm payrolls. As the world continues to open up, retail sales for the US, UK and Eurozone are now back at pre-COVID-19 levels, following the worst quarterly GDP declines on record for most countries. Purchasing manager indices remain in expansionary territory. Australian small caps was the strongest performing equity market, returning 7.2% over August whilst overseas hedged investors realised greater relative gains from the continued appreciation of the Australian Dollar.