The Australian stock market had a rollercoaster ride in March, initially dipping on President Trump’s announcement of 25% Tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminium imports. Australia negotiated a carve out, enabling stocks to somewhat recover. However the Banking Royal Commission and a weakness in technology stocks (in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal) left the index 3.8% weaker.
The US Federal Reserve met and lifted the cash rate to 1.75%. The ensuing announcement indicated the rate will lift to 2% in 2018, and 2.5% in 2019. Australia’s cash rate remained at 1.5%, but the interbank BBSW rose from 1.8% to 2%... almost an interest rate rise!
Risk aversion saw the Japanese Yen rally, and the Nikkei weaken. Bonds and property were also winners.