Thursday, 29 Jul 2021

Market Watch: Global top performers emerge from Covid 19 coronavirus

The mediocre performance of the NZX50 index has been well canvassed in mid-year reports, but what about the rest of the world?

What have the top performers been and where should we look next?

“The two regions that have performed well are Europe … and the US,” Pie Funds chief executive Mike Taylor says.

In the year to July 5, Wall Street’s S&P500 index returned an impressive 17.6 per cent. In Europe, France’s CAC40 wasn’t far behind, up 17.5 per cent.

That compares to Japan’s Nikkei 225, up just 4.9 per cent; the NZX50, down 4.2 per cent;and China’s CSI300, down 3.5 per cent.

One trend that seemed to be emerging was that countries which locked down harder and had more initial success eliminating Covid were seeing markets lag this year, Taylor said.

“Those like Europe, where they had extensive Covid outbreaks, and the United States, are now getting to the point where they are fully re-opened and those markets are performing very well,” he said.

“Perhaps it’s coincidence. But certainly there is quite a difference between those that closed off their economies versus those that are open.”

It was possible the more Covid-hit economies had received relatively more stimulus and continued to do so, he said.

“If you look at the US, there are people who are still getting stimulus cheques at the moment. That runs off in about September this year. So it will be interesting to see how the labour market performs after that.”

While the US had continued to hit records, markets “don’t keep rising forever in a straight line”, Taylor warned.

“A correction is due at some point.”

Covid was still the big variable and the Delta variant was cause for concern, he said.

The best place to look for data right now was the UK, which had seen a rise in cases as a result of the new variant.

So far, though, it had been younger unvaccinated people getting infected and that had meant lower rates of admissions to hospital and lower death rates.

“What that effectively means is that the vaccine does work,” Taylor said.

That suggested that, from a market view at least, Covid should fade as a concern when about 70 to 80 per cent fo the population was vaccinated.

The Market Watch video show is produced in association with Pie Funds.

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