Market & Portfolio Update – January 2016

  • With the exception of very defensively oriented portfolios, most portfolios with some exposure to shares were down a bit for the month (by between 1% and 2.5%). Notably though, gains on the fixed interest portion of portfolios provided a good diversifier and helped to offset some of the 5% share market falls.
  • The Chinese share market was the worst performer, down more than 20% as investors expressed concerns about softer economic growth data and indicators, particularly from the US (see below for more commentary). The NZ share market was one of the better relative performers, down just 2.5%, reflecting stronger overall economic conditions.
  • The New Zealand Dollar fell by around 5% against most major currencies, which also helped to offset the impact on overall returns from the decline in the overseas shares in the portfolios.
  • Interest rates around the world were generally lower, partly in response to the share market volatility, but also because of continuing falls in the price of oil. The low oil price is keeping both headline inflation and inflation expectations down.

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