Too hot, too cold or, just right? It is suggested that this fairy tale has two moral issues, firstly, the sense of entitlement as Goldilocks freely samples the bears’ home and contents and secondly, question of what is ‘just right’.
What a month, markets rallying again capping off the strongest quarter for the ASX in over 20 years. The technology focused Nasdaq reached all-time highs and the S&P 500 had the best quarter since 1938. The month continued the ‘changing of the guard’ trend, with the old-fashioned, capital intensive sectors, like property, energy and utilities, under-performing as e-commerce, consumer and IT focused companies came to the fore. The market has come a long way since the depths of the COVID-19 crisis, yet with escalating COVID-19 cases in the US and Victoria, there is a growing feeling that valuations may be overdone.
The days of thinking wholly in terms of traditional asset classes when it comes to portfolio construction may have been numbered for some time; in Australia, the Future Fund’s statement of investment policies, when it started its investing life in July 2007, was perhaps the first sign that there could be a new way of thinking, with the usual categories of equities and debt securities subordinated to a distinction between “tangible” assets (defined as property, infrastructure and utilities, in listed or unlisted form); “alternative” assets, considered to include a range of risk premiums (for example, commodities and futures and insurance-based strategies); and skill-based absolute-return investments, or “intangible” assets.
The ASX 200 (ASX:XJO) closed above 6,000 points for the third straight day, despite falling 0.7% for the session. Technology was the only positive sector with the major miners the biggest detractors, BHP Group Ltd (ASX:BHP) and Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX:RIO) down 1.7% and 1.0% respectively, amid signs of a rebound in Brazilian exports reported by Vale S.A (BVMF:VALE3).
It was another strong finish for the ASX 200 on Friday, adding 0.4% and finishing the week up 2.6% on the back of rally in both the healthcare and communications sectors. CSL Ltd (ASX:CSL), up 2.7%, and Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX:TLS), 4.0%, were the standouts. The market continues to improve despite the worsening COVID-19 case numbers in Victoria and the US which seem likely to result in a second round of shutdown measures.