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Isaac Robinson

Share Market Update April 2024

Written by Isaac Robinson

The upward trend in the US markets that began in November 2023 appears to finally be coming to an end, with the SP500 falling nearly 3% over the past month. The main story over the past month was the rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, as Iran launched missiles at Israel in what was it’s first direct attack on Israeli territory from its own soil. Israel decided to respond “clearly and forcefully”, as they returned fire with missiles of their own. In addition, strong economic data around retail sales increased investors’ worries that the Federal Reserve would delay the cutting of interest rates.

In Australia, the market was also impacted by the situation in the Middle East, falling 1.25% over the past month. The Australian Bureau of Statistics also released data showing inflation in the March quarter was 1%, higher than the expected 0.8% and the previous quarter’s 0.6%. This led to investor concern over the future path of interest rates.

It was a similar story in Europe, with the STOXX 600 falling 1.70% on news from the Middle East. There was also some negative data released in the UK showing that inflation had fallen by less than expected, and wage growth had slowed. However, the European Central Bank reiterated that June was the likely date for rate cuts to begin, and that the three to four rate cuts that the markets were expecting were in line with the bank’s economic outlook.

While the situation in the Middle East weighed on most other markets globally, the SSE Composite Index rose 0.71% as China’s GDP growth was higher than consensus estimates. However, this positive news comes amid a number of negative data releases indicating that industrial production and retail sales were lower than expected, and property investment fell.

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