Market & Portfolio Update - March 2022
Global share markets gained 3% following strong economic data releases, investors understanding the economic implications of the Russian invasion better, and more clarity around the Federal Reserve’s hiking path over the remainder of 2022. The New Zealand share market gained as well, however, the Australian market was the strongest performer returning over 6% for the month. The Australian market has a higher allocation to commodity producers such as iron ore miners and natural gas, which have performed well as global commodity prices have risen since the war began.
The impacts of the war continue to keep commodity prices elevated, and inflation is rising globally. Here in New Zealand, the Reserve Bank’s job is to maintain price stability and inflation at 2% over the long term. With inflation running considerably higher than that at the moment, we are seeing an increased chance of the RBNZ raising interest rates by 0.5% at their next meeting.
Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve raised its policy rate by 0.25%, with eight further hikes (2.2% in total) expected by the markets for the remainder of 2022. The Fed also discussed plans to reduce its $9 Trillion balance sheet over the coming months.
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In the hustle and bustle of daily life, the concept of mindfulness often finds its place in discussions about mental health and stress reduction. However, its impact on financial wellbeing is a hidden gem worth exploring.
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