Market & Portfolio Update - February 2022
Global share markets fell modestly in February (3%), with uncertainty regarding Ukraine tensions weighing on the market in the lead up to the invasion. While New Zealand and Australian share markets posted positive returns, being further from the conflict and experiencing the latest financial reporting season. Overall, the financial results have been positive, contributing to the 0.7% and 2% returns for the New Zealand and Australian sharemarkets.
The conflict has put upward pressure on oil prices, with the international benchmark Brent Crude rising above USD 100 for the first time since 2014. Russia is a major oil exporter, supplying around 25% of Europe’s oil. Oil and gas have not been included in sanctions to date, and it is still in the interests of Russia’s economy to continue exporting to Europe. However, as we know, this situation is dynamic, and oil prices could rise further if caught up in the conflict.
In New Zealand, the Reserve Bank hiked the Official Cash Rate 0.25% as expected – taking the rate to 1%. The Reserve Bank’s updated forecasts now show the OCR reaching 2.6% by the middle of next year. However, this is subject to how the Ukraine invasion develops.
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