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Market Update April 2017

  • The domestic share market has remained flat across April (at time of writing), sitting at around 5,900.
  • The Reserve Bank of Australia Board left the official cash rate on hold at 1.5% at their April meeting, where it has been since August 2016. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s outlook remains unchanged and most forecasters expect no rate increase until well in to 2018. Australia’s labour market continues to be a weak point for the Australian economy, holding down wages and inflation.
  • The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) announced on 31 March 2017 it was “initiating additional supervisory measures to reinforce sound residential mortgage lending practices in an environment of heightened risks”.
  • In the UK the focus continues to be on Brexit, while in Europe a number of countries are holding presidential/parliamentary elections over the next six months. In France, a Le Pen victory, while unlikely, could severely impact European markets, while a Macron victory may help Europe unite. German elections look less likely to have an impact on asset markets, as both Merkel and Schulze are pro-Europe.
  • Emerging market equities continued to recover their post-election losses, with the MSCI Emerging Market Index up 2.4% in USD terms and 2.8% in AUD terms.

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