Market & Portfolio Update - May 2021
Global share markets moved slightly higher during the month, driven by continued job growth in the United States, and business sentiment surveys remaining elevated.
May saw commodity prices continue their rise, with the price of oil reaching US$70 a barrel, its highest level since late 2018. Rising oil prices are usually a sign of good levels of demand from consumers, supporting economic growth.
The Australian share market was one of the better performing markets being made up of more ‘cyclical’ style sectors such as banks which tend to outperform during the recovery phase of an economic cycle. The New Zealand share market lagged in comparison, a result of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare’s financial results coming in behind market expectations (but still delivering an 82% rise in annual earnings thanks to strong demand during Covid-19).
While the Reserve Bank of NZ kept the Official Cash Rate (OCR) unchanged at 0.25% in May’s policy announcement, they took markets off guard a little by showing an expectation for the OCR to start increasing during the second half of next year. This would be an earlier rise than expected from most central banks around the world, again a sign of New Zealand’s relatively strong economic recovery so far.
Market & Portfolio Update - April 2022
Global share markets continued their choppy start to 2022 during April.For New Zealand based investors, a fall in the NZ dollar played an important role in helping offset the volatility global share markets experienced. The NZ dollar fell against most major currencies supporting the returns of unhedged overseas assets (assets that are free to move with exchange rates). As a result, ‘unhedged’ overseas investments fell by only 1.8% for NZ based investors.
The KiwiSaver Gender Divide – Why are women saving less and what can be done to combat this?
Recent data shows that, on average, women have 20% less in their KiwiSavers than men. The gap being at its largest between men and women in their 40s and 50s. There are a few factors that come into play causing this divide and although it will take years to achieve equality, there are ways in which we can be proactive to help close the gap. As of August 2021, the gender pay gap is at 9.1% in New Zealand, a decrease of about 0.4% from 2020’s stats.