Quarterly Economic Update – March 2019

  • Strong Quarter for Equities, reversing late 2018 decline
  • Australia posts best quarter in a decade
  • Developed markets (excluding Australia) up around 11% while emerging markets up around 9%
  • Property rose 13% across developed markets
  • Global bonds stronger


Global Markets Summary

The unpredictable nature of global equity markets was highlighted by a stunning bounce back in equities around the world in the first quarter, reversing a poor end to 2018.

Bonds also rallied strongly as markets revised down expectations for global economic growth and in conjunction their expectations of interest rate increases.

In addition the sentiment around a resolution to the US/China trade talks and UK “Brexit” terms became more positive.

Both the US and Australian equity markets registered their best quarterly performance since the global financial crisis. In fact, it was Australia’s best quarter since the 1987 market crash.

Gains in Australia were led by the materials sector – Fortescue Metals being a standout on the back of booming iron ore prices. Strong gains were also posted in the sectors of IT, communication services, energy and real estate. Financials lagged the market amid continued fallout from the Hayne Royal Commission.

In global developed and emerging equity markets the pattern was similar with IT, property and energy among the top performers while healthcare and financials lagged.