September 2017 Overview

Key drivers of performance during the month included:

  • The global economy showed further signs of improvement, buoying risk assets such as equities.

  • The US Federal Reserve continued on its path towards a normalisation of monetary policy.

This environment proved to be favourable for portfolios with relatively larger amounts of global listed equities.


Key factors impacting financial market performance during the month were:

Equity Markets

  • Global equity markets posted strong returns.

  • In a month where geopolitical uncertainty abated, equity markets were bolstered by the economic environment which remained broadly supportive for risk assets such as equities.

  • Economic data releases pointed to a recovery in growth globally, particularly in the US and Asia. This, along with a renewed hope that Donald Trump would be able to pass the more business friendly aspects of his reform agenda, saw equity markets push ahead on expectations that these factors would result in an improvement in corporate earnings.

  • Against this backdrop the US Federal Reserve announced that they would begin the process of winding back unconventional monetary policy measures, while also raising the prospect that interest rates could be raised again by the end of the year.

Debt Markets

  • Global government bond markets produced negative returns.

  • In a month where the economic landscape showed signs of further improvement, interest rates rose globally amidst an increase in market expectations of future inflation.

  • Corporate bonds outperformed government bonds as the risk premium that investors demand for bearing the additional risk contracted meaningfully.

Currency

  • Currency market volatility fell over the month.

  • The US Dollar continued its strong run amidst expectations of further monetary policy normalisation, while the Australian dollar was mixed.

  • Emerging market currencies slumped as iron ore prices fell.