Market & Portfolio Update - November 2021
News of the new Omicron variant broke late in the month, resulting in modest volatility in global share markets. Markets don’t tend to like uncertainty, and it is still early in terms of understanding the Omicron variant. Much more data is required, but initial suggestions are that it is more transmissible but potentially less severe than the Delta variant. Vaccine makers are also optimistic that existing vaccines will provide some protection, and Omicron specific vaccines can be developed reasonably quickly if required.
For New Zealand based investors, the volatility global share markets experienced was offset by the NZ dollar falling. The NZ dollar depreciated against most major currencies, supporting the returns of unhedged overseas assets (assets that are free to move with exchange rates). The result was a positive 3.2% return for unhedged overseas investments.
Fixed interest portfolios provided the diversification we expect during a period of equity market volatility. Both Global and New Zealand fixed interest portfolios returned almost 1%.
In New Zealand, the Reserve Bank hiked the Official Cash Rate 0.25% as expected – taking the rate to 0.75%. Their updated forecasts now show the OCR reaching 2.5% by mid-2023.
Reflecting on 2021
Kiwis won’t forget 2021, the year of sudden change to the way we live in New Zealand following the outbreak of Covid and the lengthy lockdowns that followed for some, but not others.
Top tips to stay social when distant, this festive season.
This is the time of year for family, friends and food - but what can you do to feel close and connect to your loved ones when they’re overseas, locked down or isolating? Here’s a few tips on staying social when distant.