Market update - April 2012
The Australian share market continued its strong start to the year in April, with the ASX300 Accumulation Index posting a solid return of 1.3% for the month. Nonetheless, news over the month was by no means universally positive. While US equities were also up again, the pulse of economic data that has encouraged markets of late weakened somewhat.
In Europe impending general elections in France and Spain, together with further jitters around Spanish debt, saw European markets down markedly with the Eurostoxx falling a heavy 6.9%.
Offshore markets took a pause from recent gains and were mostly negative, however the US (S&P500 –0.7%) and Asia ex-Japan (MSCI USD Index –0.1%) were little changed. In the Eurozone the Euro Stoxx 50 was down –6.9%, as markets were buffeted by renewed concerns over growth and sovereign debt, while in Japan the Nikkei 225 dropped –5.6% as a stronger yen triggered profit-taking from the sharp first quarter rally.
Despite weaker inflation data and a stronger expectation that the RBA will cut rates, the Australian dollar held up well, rallying by 0.8% against both the US dollar and the Euro.
Fund Manager Commentary
For a more detailed analysis of the domestic and global market performance in April 2012 read BTIM's latest Fund Manager Commentary