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Share Market Update May 17

The share market fell steadily throughout May with the All Ords closing at 5,976 on 1st May, falling just under 3% to 5,811 as of 22nd May. This was generally caused by a combination of geo-political tensions and concerns that Donald Trump will not achieve many of his campaign promises.

The RBA left the official cash rate on hold during May at 1.5%.

The housing market saw more moderate gains in April, with month end figures showing capital city home prices rose 0.1% per quarter and 11.2% per year.

On 26 April, President Trump announced a list of objectives for tax reform. The main objectives included: cutting the federal income tax rate to 15% for corporations, small businesses and partnerships of all sizes; a one-time repatriation tax of 10% on corporate earnings currently offshore, lowering the top individual tax rate from 39.5% to 35%; and the potential for the removal of several high income taxes such as estate taxes and the alternative minimum tax.

In the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May called a surprise snap election for 8 June, well ahead of the scheduled end of her term in 2020 and despite an earlier promise not to call an early election. This should help strengthen and shore up support for her Brexit plan.

Q1 GDP data was released in China with growth of 6.9% pa recorded, slightly ahead of expectations. Improved global demand, domestic infrastructure spending and strength in the property market helped the higher than expected reading.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) upgraded its global economic growth forecasts for the first time in years to growth of 3.5% in 2017 and 3.6% in 2018. This compares to 3.1% in 2016. The upgrades are broad based amongst advanced and developing economies, and through trade and manufacturing.

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