Market Commentary – May 2019

Market Commentary – May 2019

Asset Class Performance – global equities power on

Global equities were the best performing of our seven major asset classes* in April, while Australian equities also posted good returns. Supporting stocks was a better than feared US earnings reporting season, persistent low inflation and continued gradual improvement in the global economic outlook. Higher bond yields, however, constrained fixed-income returns and contributed to a pull-back in listed property after several months of strong performance. Gold eased due to the still firm $US and renewed “risk-on” sentiment.

Across the seven benchmark asset classes, Australian listed property (A-REITs) retained the strongest return momentum rank**, followed by global and then Australian equities. Cash retained the worst return momentum rank, followed by gold.

Global Equity Themes – technology, property and quality

Higher bond yields helped global financials post relatively strong performance in April along with the persistent strong performer of recent months – technology.

More generally, as evident in the performance ranking table below, good growth and low interest rates continued to favour both the cyclically sensitive technology area and yield-sensitive sectors such as property and utilities. US stocks and the tech-heavy NASDAQ-100 in particular have been the strongest performers on a regional basis, while technology and property have shone among global sectors. Among factors, quality and growth have been the strongest performers.

Australian Equity Themes – resources and property

As evident globally, technology and property have been the strongest Australian sector performers in recent months.

Market Fundamental Outlook

With global inflation likely to remain contained, global equity markets could continue to grind higher due to modest earnings growth and still favourable valuations, especially given low global bond yields.

At 17 times earnings, the US S&P 500 price-to-forward earnings ratio at end-April was towards the top end of its range of recent years, although below the high of 18 seen earlier last year. With US 10-year bond yields at 2.5%, the US equity-to-bond yield gap at end-April is 3.4%, or only a little below its longer-run average 3.7%, and still above last year’s lows of 2.8%.

Current earnings expectations imply 12-month growth in US forward earnings of around 10%. Allowing for modest further downgrades, my base case is for 12-month US earnings growth of 5%.

One key risk is an acceleration in US wage inflation given the apparent tightness of the US labour market, though recent wage reports have remained reassuringly benign. Another risk to reappear is US-China trade tensions. Indeed, President Trump’s latest decision to raise tariffs on Chinese imports poses at least a short-term risk to markets if this dispute is not resolved soon.

All this suggests a growing level of caution around equities may be warranted this year, with increasing focus on defensive thematics such as quality, and areas of the market such as health care and property/utilities. In Australia, subject to the trade wars, a still generally improving outlook for China should favour the resources sector, while the RBA’s easing bias favours yield-sensitive sectors such as property and infrastructure.

*Asset Benchmarks Cash: UBS Bank Bill Index; Australian Equities: S&P/ASX 200 Index; Australia Bonds: Bloomberg Composite Bond Index; Australian Property: S&P/ASX 200 A-REITs; International Equities: MSCI All-Country World Index, unhedged $A terms; Gold, Spot gold price per tonne in $US.
** 6/12 month momentum rank based on equally-weighted average of 6 & 12 month return performance.
***Outright trend is up if the relevant NAV return index is above its 12-month moving average and the slope of the moving average is positive. Relative trend is based on the ratio of the relevant return index to its broader Australian or global benchmark index.

This article was produced by David Bassanese from BetaShares, you can read the full article here.

If you would like to know more, talk to Michael Sik at FinPeak Advisers on 0404 446 766 or 02 8003 6865.


Important information and disclaimer


The information provided in this document is general information only and does not constitute personal advice. It has been prepared without taking into account any of your individual objectives, financial solutions or needs. Before acting on this information you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statements and seek personal advice from a qualified financial adviser. From time to time we may send you informative updates and details of the range of services we can provide. If you no longer want to receive this information please contact our office to opt out.


FinPeak Advisers ABN 20 412 206 738 is a Corporate Authorised Representative No. 1249766 of Aura Wealth Pty Ltd ABN 34 122 486 935 AFSL No. 458254

No Comments

Post A Comment