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The financial topic discussed this fortnight was the importance of scientific research. The latest edition also contained the following Market Update:
Since our previous edition, Australian and global sharemarkets have experienced mixed movements over the past fortnight. The S&P ASX200 Index has fallen 3.38% from the 4th to the 18th of April. It is now down 12.94% from the same time last year and down 14.36% for the calendar year (2008) so far. The MSCI World - ex Australia, a measure of the global market, has risen 1.29% over the same period. The index is down 9.47% from the same time last year and down 7.52% for the calendar year so far.
Emerging markets have also experienced positive movement with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index rising 2.38% since the 4th of April. It is up 14.95% from the same time last year but down 6.68% for the calendar year so far.
Property trusts have lost some of the upward momentum since the 4th of April with the S&P ASX 200 A-Reit Index (formerly known as the Property Trust Index) falling by 4.35%. The index is down 32.25% from the same time last year and also down 20.99% for the calendar year so far.. The S&P/Citigroup Global Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Index, a measure of the global property market, has fallen 0.40% over the same period. It is down 19.74% from the same time last year but now only down 0.48% for the calendar year so far.
As of 4pm the 18th of April, the value of the Australian dollar had risen since the 4th of April with the Aussie dollar up 2.93% against the US Dollar at .9384. It is up 12.21% from the same time last year and up 6.64% for the calendar year so far. Since April 4th the Aussie has risen 2.47% against the Trade Weighted Index now at 70.5. This puts it up by 4.14% since the same time last year and up 2.62% for the calendar year so far. (The Trade Weighted Index measures The Australian dollar against a basket of foreign currencies.)
Since our last edition the Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the latest employment data with the unemployment rate rising to 4.1% in March. Participation rates have remained stable at 65.2% with employment growing by 14,800 over the month. The ABS has also released that Australia's population has risen to 21,097,100 by the end of September 2007, an increase of 1.5% over the year.