Full Year Portfolio Update - Q4 2019
Global equity markets continued their uninterrupted rise in June. Market optimism was supported by the US Federal Reserve and other central banks’ (including Australia’s RBA) willingness to ease monetary policy aggressively to stimulate economic demand. Equity markets were further encouraged by a truce in the US-China trade war at the G20 meeting, with President Trump offering some concession to China by resuming trade with Huawei on its consumer products, whilst simultaneously maintaining restrictions on its “strategic” products relating to 5G. However, despite this outcome removing the immediate tail-risk of higher tariffs, there appears to be little indication that a more comprehensive trade deal can be struck in the foreseeable future.
The market price earnings ratio (PER) for June 2019 increased to over 17 times, materially higher than its long-term average and December 2018 lows of 14 times. While equity markets remain in an ebullient mood, net earnings revisions remain negative for the Australian share market. The strong preference for equity markets to garner their support from central bank easing rather than the direction & health of corporate earnings is a timely reminder that investors should be increasingly cautious of the investment fundamentals underpinning future returns.
The Blended Australian Equity Portfolio finished the month of June up 3.03% compared to the ASX Accumulation Index up 3.70%. Positive attribution for the Blended Australian Equity Portfolio was driven by News Corporation (NWS), Cleanaway Waste Management (CWY), and Brambles (BXB). Whereas, Event Hospitality & Entertainment (EVT), Healius (HLS) and Caltex (CTX) weighed negatively on attribution.
The Australian Income Portfolio finished the month of June up 2.79% compared to the ASX Accumulation Index up 3.70%. Positive attribution for the Australian Income Portfolio was driven by Brambles (BXB), Cleanaway Waste Management (CWY), and ASX. Whereas, Event Hospitality & Entertainment (EVT), Healius (HLS) and Caltex (CTX) weighed negatively on attribution.