Market & Portfolio Update – February 2016
Share markets still ended the month down around 1.5%, despite an encouraging rebound during the second half of February. Fixed interest markets again acted as a good diversifier within the multi-sector portfolios and helped to partially offset the share market losses, resulting in gains for conservative portfolios and relatively small declines for portfolios with more exposure to shares.
The New Zealand share market was one of the few markets to post a positive gain for the month (along with the UK), continuing a trend which has been in place for around two years now (see article below for some commentary relating to this).
The New Zealand Dollar also gained around 1% on a weighted basis, but this disguised a 2% gain against the US Dollar and a 5% FALL against the Japanese Yen, despite the Japanese government announcing negative interest rates late last month to further stimulate their economy.
New Zealand shares have continued their strong performance relative to global share markets during February. This is in large part due to the signs of strength the New Zealand economy showed late in 2015.
Despite the fall in dairy prices, a number of economic indicators continue to remain positive, including the confidence of both consumers and businesses. One key driver of this confidence is the record number of foreigners coming to New Zealand, both as tourists and to live permanently.
A large proportion of the growth in the number of visitors is made up of Chinese, with New Zealand being an ongoing beneficiary of the increasingly wealthy Chinese middle-class population and their desire to travel.
The number of foreigners coming to New Zealand provides a significant tailwind for the economy, as the money brought to our shores by foreigners is spent across New Zealand businesses, and permanent arrivals contribute to economic activity.
provided courtesy of Grosvenor Financial Services Group