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The financial topic discussed this fortnight was making the most of superannuation The latest edition also contained the following Market Update:
Since our previous edition, Australian and global sharemarkets have both experienced positive movements over the past fortnight. The S&P ASX200 Index has risen 4.99% from the 18th to the 2nd of May. It is now down 8.61% from the same time last year and down 10.09% for the calendar year (2008) so far. The MSCI World - ex Australia, a measure of the global market, has risen 2.35% over the same period. The index is down 5.34% from the same time last year and down 8.16% for the calendar year so far.
Emerging markets have also experienced positive movement with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index rising 2.78% since the 18th of April. It is up 18.44% from the same time last year but down 4.09% for the calendar year so far.
Property trusts have also risen since the 18th of April with the S&P ASX 200 A-Reit Index (formerly known as the Property Trust Index) rising by 6.95%. The index is down 27.08% from the same time last year and also down 15.49% 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 risen 2.24% over the same period. It is down 17.52% from the same time last year but now up 1.74% for the calendar year so far.
As of 4pm the 2nd of May, the value of the Australian dollar has had mixed movements. It has fallen against the US Dollar since the 18th of April being down 0.70% at .9318. It is up 12.99% from the same time last year and up 5.69% for the calendar year so far. Since April 18th the Aussie has risen 0.43% against the Trade Weighted Index now at 70.8. This puts it up by5.83% since the same time last year and up 3.06% 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 consumer price index data. The March quarter of 2008 has seen prices rise 1.3% with this taking the annual inflation rate to 4.2%. The board of the Reserve Bank of Australia met today and has decided to keep official interest rates steady at 7.25%.