The latest edition of our fortnightly email newsletter was sent to subscribers on the 17th of June. This edition looked at income distributions from managed funds, provided a summary of the movements in markets over the past fortnight and looked at Warren Buffett's bet with a Fund of Hedge Funds manager. 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 latest edition also contained the following Market Update:
Since our previous edition, Australian and global sharemarkets along with listed property have all experienced negative movements. The S&P ASX200 Index has fallen 4.89% from the 30th May to the 13th of June. It is now down 12.98% from the same time last year and down 15.17% for the calendar year (2008) so far. The MSCI World - ex Australia, a measure of the global market, has fallen 3.43% over the same period. The index is down 12.67% from the same time last year and down 9.17% for the calendar year so far.
Emerging markets have also experienced negative movement with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index falling 6.43% since the 30th of May. It is up 7.11% from the same time last year but down 9.85% for the calendar year so far.
Property trusts have also fallen since the 30th of May with the S&P ASX 200 A-Reit Index (formerly known as the Property Trust Index) falling by 6.52%. The index is down 38.36% from the same time last year and also down 28.59% 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 4.16% over the same period. It is down 20.47% from the same time last year and down 6.24% for the calendar year so far.
As of 4pm the 13th of June, the value of the Australian dollar has fallen against major benchmarks for the fortnight. It has fallen against the US Dollar since the 30th of May by 1.64% at .9402. It is up 11.77% from the same time last year and up 6.65% for the calendar year so far. Since May30th the Aussie has also fallen 0.69% against the Trade Weighted Index now at 72.3. This puts it up by5.39% since the same time last year and up 5.24% 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 RBA board has decided to keep official interest rtes at 7.25%. In the brief statement released with the announcement of the decision the RBA suggested that they believe inflation is likely to remain relatively high but it should decline over time provided demand evolves as expected. Therefore the current stance on monetary policy remains appropriate for the time being.
Statistics coming out of the Australian Bureau of Statistics over the past fortnight have seen the official unemployment rate remaining steady at 4.3% as of the end of May. However, the participation rate fell to 65.2% and employment fell by 19,700 jobs. The ABS has also released their latest estimation of Australia's population suggesting it has grown to 21,181,000, a rise of 1.7% for 2007. Finally, they have also released the latest economic growth figures up to the end of the March quarter with the economy growing by 0.6% in the March quarter and a total of 3.6% through the year ending 31st March 2008.