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Risk remains king in June

Published July 2020

Amid concerns on rising geopolitical tensions and a spike in COVID-19 cases in the US, the ANZ Chief Investment Office review some recent major market movers

Equity markets pushed higher in June despite minor hiccups that slowed down the rally in mid-month. The strong performance at the close of the first half of 2020 came amid growing concerns on geopolitical tensions and worries about rising virus infections in a few key states in the US.

Global shares scored healthy gains of 2.3% as the S&P 500 Index in the US recorded its largest quarterly gain in more than 10 years, albeit following a record sell-off in Q1 and thanks largely to the unprecedented monetary and fiscal packages deployed globally. 

Here at home, the S&P/ASX 300 mirrored the global uptrend and recorded gains of 2.4% for the month. Similarly, the Australian dollar delivered an impressive performance as it climbed 3.5% higher against the US dollar.

In commodity markets, gold prices reached US$1,800 per ounce for the first time since 2011. This move in the price of the yellow metal, which is known as a safe-haven, reflects ongoing concerns among investors.

The fixed income market continued to make gains. Australian fixed income rose 0.3% following the lead of global fixed income markets at 0.5% (hedged) for the month.

Globally, central banks – from the US Federal Reserve to the Bank of England (BOE) – have indicated their continuing support for economic recovery. This means fiscal stimulus and bond buying programs should continue for longer.

As we close the first half of 2020 and enter the second half, we are starting to see improving economic data, including improving retail spending across the US and UK, which could boost investor sentiment. Year-on-year numbers are still below their peak, however the velocity and depth of the bounce back to date, appears positive. 

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