The latest edition of our fortnightly email newsletter was sent to subscribers on the 20th of May. If you would like to be added to the mailing list please click the following link to be taken to the sign up page - The Financial Fortnight That Was Sign Up Page.
The financial topic discussed this fortnight was the importance of getting your asset allocation right. The latest edition also contained the following Market Update:
Since our previous edition, Australian and global sharemarkets have both experienced positive movements. The S&P ASX200 Index has risen 4.04% from the 2nd to the 16th of May. It is now down 5.78% from the same time last year and down 6.45% for the calendar year (2008) so far. The MSCI World - ex Australia, a measure of the global market, has risen 1.18% over the same period. The index is down 7.91% from the same time last year and down 4.22% 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 fallen since the 2nd of May with the S&P ASX 200 A-Reit Index (formerly known as the Property Trust Index) falling by 4.65%. The index is down 31.30% from the same time last year and also down 19.42% 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 0.68% over the same period. It is down 16.56% from the same time last year but up 1.05% for the calendar year so far.
As of 4pm the 16th of May, the value of the Australian dollar has had mixed movements. It has risen against the US Dollar since the 2nd of May being up 1.41% at .9449. It is up 13.47% from the same time last year and up 7.18% for the calendar year so far. Since May 2nd the Aussie has risen 1.98% against the Trade Weighted Index now at 72.2. This puts it up by7.12% since the same time last year and up 5.09% 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. The unemployment rate has risen by 0.1% to 4.2% for April 2008. At the same time the participation rate has risen by 0.25 to 65.4%
The Federal budget for 2008 was also brought down by Treasurer Wayne Swan last Tuesday night with the budget surplus sitting at over $20 billion.