Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index had a strong month returning 6.9% led by Information Technology (+13.2%), Energy (+9.8%), and Materials (+8.9%). All sectors finished up during the month.
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates to 0.50% as they look to tackle the highest level of inflation in 40 years.
The war in Ukraine continued to aggravate stock market volatility and put pressure on energy supply and prices.
The RBA kept the cash rate on hold at 0.1% and reiterated unpredictability over the pick-up in Australia’s inflation on the back of recent developments in global energy markets and ongoing supply-side problems.
Global Covid-19 cases continue to rise with numbers surpassing 485 million cases and 11 billion vaccine doses administered as at the end of March. A new Omicron sub variant emerged, causing a spike in infections across Europe and China.
The Federal Reserve lifted interest rates from 0.25% to 0.50% in March – the first rise in three years – as they look to tackle the highest level of inflation in years and leveraging off a strong US economy.
As widely expected, the European Central Bank kept interest rates at 0%, however it surprisingly sped up its asset purchase schedule for the upcoming months.
China’s CPI grew by 0.6% over February, 30bps higher than expectations whilst the annual rate was flat at 0.9%, as anticipated.
The Bank of Japan left its key short-term interest rate unchanged at -0.1% and the 10-year bond yields around 0% during its March meeting.
Measures aimed at reducing strain on household budgets were announced in the Federal Budget, including a temporary cut in fuel excise and targeted rebates.
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The information in this Market Update is current as at 11/4/2022 and is prepared by Lonsec Research Pty Ltd ABN 11 151 658 561 AFSL 421445 on behalf of IOOF Holdings Ltd and its subsidiaries. Any advice in this Market Update has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making any decisions based on the content of this document, the reader must consider whether it is personally appropriate in light of his or her financial circumstances or should seek independent financial advice on its appropriateness. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Before acquiring a financial product, you should obtain and read the corresponding Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and consider the contents of the PDS before making a decision about whether to acquire the product.
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