Each month we release a Market Wrap that is compiled by our Chief Investment Office (CIO). With various comments on the market each month, please contact your adviser if you have any questions!

A mixed bag

  • After January’s bounce, February was a little quieter but still ended in positive territory, with global shares up by 3.4% and 5.6% in hedged and unhedged terms respectively.
  • US shares similarly were up 3%, a more modest rise than January’s 7.9% rally, which was driven by a better-than-expected US reporting season.
  • The full effects of the long US government shutdown are yet to be seen, but US GDP growth slowed significantly in the December 2018 quarter, to 2.6% following 3.4% growth in the September quarter.
  • Australian shares performed well – twice as well as US shares, in fact – up 6% for the month.
  • The RBA is currently forecasting growth of around 3% for the Australian economy in 2019, supported by increased business investment and public infrastructure spending.
  • In the eurozone, hopes for avoiding widespread recession seem to be pinned on a strong Asian recovery, while the Brexit issue continues to cloud the UK economy.
  • China-US trade relations have thawed somewhat, with Trump announcing that tariff increases on Chinese goods would be delayed, raising hopes that a trade agreement will be reached soon.
  • The Australian dollar slipped slightly against all the major currencies, down to US71c and €0.62 at the end of the month.

Major asset class performance (%)

Asset classes
1 month12 months5 years (p.a)
Australian shares
Global shares (hedged)
Global shares (unhedged) 5.610.111.7
Global emerging markets
Global small companies
Global listed property
Australian fixed income
International fixed income

Source: JP Morgan & ANZ Wealth, 28 February 2019. Indices: Australian shares: S&P/ASX 300 Accumulation | Global shares (hedged/unhedged): MSCI World ex Australia Net | Global emerging markets: MSCI Emerging Markets Net in AUD (unhedged) | Global small companies (unhedged): MSCI World ex Aust Small Cap | Global listed property: FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Developed Rental Index ex Australia (hedged) | Cash: Bloomberg Bank Bill | Australian fixed income: Bloomberg AusBond Composite 0+ Yr Index | International fixed income: Barclays Global Aggregate Bond Index (hedged). Please note: Past performance is not indicative of future performance.


Exchange RatesAt close 28/02% change
1 month
% change
12 months
AUD/USD 0.71-2.5-8.6
AUD/euro 0.62-1.8-2.0
AUD/yen 79.0-0.2-4.6
Trade weighted index 60.5-1.5-4.6

Source: Bloomberg & ANZ Wealth, 28 February 2019.All foreign exchange rates are rounded to two decimal places where appropriate. Please note: Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

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