News & Articles: Market Update
Stay up to date with the latest news and happenings with the Lifetime blog. A library of thought-provoking articles to inform and enlighten on all things loans, insurance, investments and planning.
Market & Portfolio Update - October 2023
Global share markets declined 2.6% in local currency terms in October, as they were impacted by rising long-term bond yields. However, the NZ dollar also weakened by a similar amount, providing a significant offset for NZ-based investors.
Market & Portfolio Update - September 2023
Global share markets gave back some of their gains in September, declining 3.7% in local currency terms, but they remain up 12.1% year-to-date.
Market & Portfolio Update - August 2023
Global share markets gave back some of their gains in August, declining 1.8% in local currency terms, but with the NZ dollar weakening against most major currencies, returns were positive for NZ-based investors.
Market & Portfolio Update - July 2023
Most global share markets were positive in July, spurred higher by the energy and financial sectors, which makes for a change from the first half of the year where technology companies drove markets.
Market & Portfolio Update - June 2023
Global share markets had another strong month in June, rising 3.7% in New Zealand dollar terms. Investors were encouraged by a sharp drop in year-on-year inflation in the US of 4.0% - still above target but substantially lower than the 9.1% recorded in June 2022.
Market & Portfolio Update - May 2023
May saw global share markets deliver a flat return in local currency terms. Worries over the US debt ceiling made headlines; however, a deal between Republicans and Democrats was reached shortly after month-end, and the crisis was averted.
Market & Portfolio Update - April 2023
Global share markets had another positive month in April, rising 1.6% in local currency terms, as investors were encouraged by the latest round of company financial results. Of the companies that have reported to date, the majority have exceeded earnings expectations, with particular strength seen in large tech names such as Alphabet and Meta.
Market & Portfolio Update - February 2023
After a strong rally to start the year, global share markets gave back some of their gains in February. Surprisingly strong economic data led investors to expect higher interest rates which weighed on equity valuations. The strength of the US labour market was particularly surprising, as the unemployment rate fell to a 53-year low of 3.4%.
Market & Portfolio Update - January 2023
Global share markets got off to a strong start to the year, rising 6.5% in local currency terms. Investors were encouraged by a sixth consecutive monthly fall in US year-on-year inflation in December. At 6.5%, US inflation is still above target but is down meaningfully from its peak of 9.1% in June.
Market & Portfolio Update - November 2022
Global share markets had another strong month in November, rising 5.6% in local currency terms. Investors were encouraged by lower than expected year-on-year inflation in the US of 7.7%, down from 8.2% in the prior month.
Market & Portfolio Update - October 2022
October provided a much needed reprieve for global share markets, rising 7.2% (in local currency terms). The month saw a number of companies report their latest earnings numbers, which at a broad level, were better than expected.
Market & Portfolio Update - September 2022
September was another volatile month for global financial markets, as central banks reiterated how far they are willing to go to get inflation back to long-term target levels. For example, in the US, this caused interest rates on bonds to rise by around 0.70%, weighing on the returns of bond investments. Share markets were also volatile, as investors came to grips with higher interest rates and slowing economic growth.
Market & Portfolio Update - August 2022
Central bankers from around the world met during August at the annual ‘Jackson Hole Symposium’ in the USA. Central banks, like the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), play an important role in guiding the various economies around the world as they battle inflation, so this event was an opportunity to discuss the challenges they’re facing and reiterate their commitment to getting inflation back under control. This came only one week after the RBNZ updated its own monetary policy, raising the OCR from 2.50% to 3.00%.
Market & Portfolio Update - July 2022
Prices of goods and services have continued to rise, with inflation numbers exceeding expectations around the world. In New Zealand we hit a 30-year high of 7.3%. Since this was released there has been a drop in a wide range of commodity prices, including oil, which has given hope to investors that we may be past the peak of inflation.
Market & Portfolio Update - May 2022
Volatility in global share markets continued in May as investors focused on inflation and rising interest rates. Despite the volatility, global share markets rebounded to end the month flat, with the energy sector leading the way (up 13.5%). The energy sector includes oil producers which benefitted from oil prices rising to $123/barrel. The European Union agreed to a partial ban on Russian oil. The ban is expected to cover 90% of Europe’s Russian oil imports by the end of this year.
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.
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.
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.
Market & Portfolio Update - January 2022
The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures show high inflation in major economies across the globe. They reached 7% in the US for 2021, the highest since 1982, they reached 5.9% in NZ, the highest since 1990, and they reached 5.4% in the UK, the highest since 1992.
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.
Market & Portfolio Update - October 2021
Global share markets rebounded and had their best month of the year – up 5.5% on average. A mix of positive economic data and company announcements continued to give investors confidence in the current cycle.
Market & Portfolio Update - September 2021
Global share markets experienced some volatility during the month, falling modestly for the first time since January. This was in part due to expectations of rising global interest rates over the coming months.
Market & Portfolio Update - August 2021
Global share markets were up over 3% in local currency terms for the month, but with the NZ dollar strengthening against most major currencies, this performance was slightly offset for NZ based investors.
Market & Portfolio Update - July 2021
Global share markets had another good month, with the US market performing well. July saw many US companies report their latest financial results, with around 85% of companies beating the market’s expectations.
Market & Portfolio Update - June 2021
Returns on overseas investments were supported by the New Zealand dollar falling against most major currencies during the month.
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.
Market & Portfolio Update - April 2021
Global share markets continued their march higher during April, rising 4% in local currency terms. Economic data has brushed off the horrid Covid situation in India and continues to surprise to the upside. Labour markets are rebounding quickly compared to other cycles and business confidence surveys sit comfortably in expansionary mode.
Market & Portfolio Update - March 2021
The March market update reflects a theme of ongoing strength in global sharemarkets, but weakness in assets whose value is mainly driven by changes in long-term interest rates.
Market & Portfolio Update - February 2021
World share markets rose a little further during February, continuing the gains they have seen as confidence in a gradual ‘re-opening’ grows. The vaccine roll-out was one of the contributing factors. At the end of February, around 3% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Israel is leading the way with 92% of their population inoculated and the initial results are promising.
Market & Portfolio Update - January 2021
January continued the eventfulness of 2020 with the US presidency and Senate elections being finalised, continued social unrest in the US, new strains of Covid-19 and the roll-out of vaccines around the world. The result for share markets was a slight easing in performance for the month. Arguably, a much-needed breather after strong returns in the second half of 2020.
Market & Portfolio Update - November 2020
Global markets performed very strongly during November. The first catalyst markets liked was the result of the US election. Although we haven’t seen the ‘blue wave’ result the polls were suggesting, it is looking like the US presidency and Senate will be divided.
Market & Portfolio Update - October 2020
New Zealand shares were up over October with electricity generators bouncing back after the Government suggested more support around the Tiwai Aluminium Smelter, which consumes 30% of electricity in NZ.
Market & Portfolio Update - August 2020
Global share markets rose nearly 5% in August as investors continue to digest news about ongoing vaccine developments and look for returns in a low interest rate environment.
Market & Portfolio Update - July 2020
Global share markets continued to rise following the volatility we saw during March, up a further 3% in July.
Market & Portfolio Update - June 2020
Although remaining choppy, global share markets have continued to bounce back from the March COVID-19 sell-off. Investors have continued to focus on the re-opening of economies and the amount of stimulus that governments and central banks have been providing.
Market & Portfolio Update - May 2020
Share markets across the world continued to recover solidly during May, looking ahead to a gradual loosening of restrictions, and have now recovered much of the March sell-off.
Market & Portfolio Update - March 2020
March saw the Coronavirus have a more tangible effect at home, with the move to lockdown in New Zealand taking it from a global event to something with a very clear impact on our day-to-day lives. Meanwhile, share markets around the world continued to be volatile, with the US S&P 500 index staging a dramatic partial 18% recovery in three days towards the end of the month.
Market & Portfolio Update - January 2020
The first month of 2020 saw volatility return to global markets, first with the attack by the US on Iran, followed by the recent health scare of the coronavirus. While global markets predominantly ended where they started in local terms, a falling NZ dollar, increased the value of unhedged overseas assets for NZ investors.
Market & Portfolio Update – November 2019
The month of November saw positive results from global share markets, as the United States and China look set to make progress on resolving some of their trade disputes after the last 18 months. Additionally, business confidence improved in both countries, suggesting improvement in the global economy.
Market & Portfolio Update – October 2019
October provided only modest changes in value for most diversified portfolios. While portfolios gained from allocations to global shares, lower returns on local shares and fixed interest investments kept performance relatively static after solid gains in the year so far.
Market & Portfolio Update – September 2019
September was a positive month for most share markets across the world, bouncing back from some softness in August.
Market & Portfolio Update – August 2019
After good gains so far this year, diversified portfolios produced a relatively flat return for August, but looking below the surface there was a bit more going on.
Market & Portfolio Update – July 2019
Portfolio returns were solid again in July, led by global share markets rising 3%.
Market & Portfolio Update - June 2019
Global share markets had a strong positive performance in June, rebounding from May’s weakness, but in a somewhat volatile fashion.
Market & Portfolio Update - May 2019
Most portfolios gave back a small portion of this year’s strong gains during May
Market & Portfolio Update - April 2019
April saw global share markets continue the strong performance that we have seen so far this year.
Market & Portfolio Update - March 2019
Global share markets had another positive month and have had one of the fastest starts to the year since the 1990’s
Market & Portfolio Update - February 2019
Global share markets continued to rebound in February and have now recovered almost all of the decline we saw in the last three months of 2018.
Market & Portfolio Update - November 2018
Global share markets rose slightly in November (up 1%), although returns for NZ investors were offset by a 5% rise in the New Zealand Dollar.
Market & Portfolio Update - October 2018
Share markets continued their 2017 ascension during October, with a moderate 3% gain boosted further by the New Zealand Dollar falling 5%.
Market & Portfolio Update - September 2018
Share markets rose further in September, shrugging off the unresolved NZ election and war of words between the United States and North Korea.
Market & Portfolio Update - August 2018
August was a relatively quiet month for share markets, but with currency movements boosting fund returns.
Market & Portfolio Update - July 2018
Share markets again rose moderately for the month, which saw investment fund returns resume their gradual upward path.
Market & Portfolio Update - June 2018
June was a fairly quiet month for world share markets, with most investment funds relatively flat – although this capped off a solid overall first half of the year.
Market & Portfolio Update - May 2018
Global share markets added another 1% in May, amidst a background of solid economic growth spiced up with news of political instability in Italy.