Covid-19 dominated the second half of the financial year. From all-time highs being struck in February in markets, to a rapid 30-40% low weeks later.
Central Banks and Governments globally acted swiftly and firmly, creating a cushion and base,which saw significant positive performance in most markets for the quarter, but still leaving many markets negative for the 12 months.
Australian stocks ended the FY nearly 8% lower, while US stocks remained positive with a 7.5% gain. The NASDAQ rallied hard as the big tech plays performed well during the pandemic, creating gains in excess of 30% for the 12month period.
Forward outlooks for markets continue to depend on the hunt for a cure to the virus and willingness of governments to maintain big spending programs to supplement constrained economic activity.
Encouragingly for Australia, bottom up Chinese data points show activity in China has recovered to 80-90% of 2019 levels, but discretionary spending remains muted. Lower rates for longer continues to support equity markets and long duration sectors like IT, healthcare and infrastructure like assets. Jobkeeper & Seeker extensions will positively support the Australian market.