The latest edition of our fortnightly email newsletter has been sent to subscribers. 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 use of fixed interest in portfolios. The latest edition also contained the following Market Update:
Since our previous edition, Australian and global sharemarkets have continued to experience downward movement. The S&P ASX200 Index has fallen 5.32% from the 22nd of February to the 7th March. It is down 9.64% from the same time last year and down 16.97% for the calendar year (2008) so far. The S&P Global 1200, a measure of the global market, has fallen 2.64% over the same period. The index is down 2.90% from the same time last year and down 10.95% for the calendar year so far.
Emerging markets have also experienced negative movement with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index falling 3.22% since the 22nd of February. It is up 21.15% from the same time last year but down 10.96% for the calendar year so far.
Property trusts have not been immune from negative movements since the 22nd of February with the S&P ASX 200 Property Trust Index falling by 9.00%. The index is down 35.10% from the same time last year and also down 25.59% for the calendar year so far. The S&P/Citigroup Global Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Index, a measure of the global property market, on the other hand has fallen 4.00% over the same period. It is down 24.86% from the same time last year and down 9.60% for the calendar year so far.
As of 4pm the 7th March, the value of the Australian dollar had risen since the 22nd February with the Aussie dollar up 0.93% against the US Dollar at .9289. It is up 19.50% from the same time last year and up 5.37% for the calendar year so far. Since February 22nd the Aussie has fallen 0.57% against the Trade Weighted Index now at 70.3. This puts it up by 10.19% since the same time last year and up 2.33% 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 board of the Reserve bank of Australia lifted the official target for its cash rate to 7.25%. The change was made in order to 'contain and reduce inflation over the medium term'.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has also released the latest national accounts data with Australia's economy growing 0.6% in the December quarter 2007 leaving the annualised rate at 3.9%.