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Financial Market Update – January 2023 Wrap Up

17/02/2023

Market Performance

January saw strong gains in markets across the globe. The Australian market rose 6.5% for the month out paced by a 11.7% rise in the Chinese market and 6.6% in the US. The discretionary retail sector was the best performing sector (up 10.1%) in Australia with the resilience of the consumer supporting strong 4th quarter results for major retails Myer, JB HiFi and Super Cheap Auto. Materials rose 8.9% on the back of the removal of Covid restrictions in China, with an expected spending spree like what Developed Markets have seen. The worst performing sectors were Energy and Utilities but these remain the best performing sectors over the last 12 months.

Economic Indicators

The economies of Australia & the US continue to report high inflation, well above the desired range of central banks. Australia reported a 7.9% inflation for December, above consensus forecasts, resulting in expectations of continued rate rises to bring it back under control. There is no Reserve Bank (RBA) meeting in January, but expectations are now for rate rises in February, March and possibly another 2 (at this stage) by the end of the financial year. The US is in a similar situation with rises to date not slowing the consumer enough to bring inflation down toward the desired level.

Interest rate rises will impact the economy. In Australia there is many loans that were previously fixed rolling to variable. This is likely to double the cost of loan repayments which will impact consumer spending. There are also significant price rises in energy which also restrict consumer spending. The issue the RBA faces is determining how much of the rises they have made so far will impact the economy in the future. There is a lag in the impact of rate rises of up to 18 months. While markets expect further rises, it could push the economy over the edge given the amount of debt in the economy. Bringing inflation under control is the only focus, letting inflation run causes more issues than the short-term pain of recession.

If you would like to discuss your fixed or variable mortgage, contact Loreen Dyer ldyer@thehopkinsgroup.com.au

Real Estate Markets

The listed Real Estate market had a strong month rising 8.1%. The reasons for the rise are unclear but most likely bargain hunting after significant price corrections in 2022. The interest in property is consistent with what Brad, Stephen and Natasha are reporting with an increase in enquiries and attendance at open for inspections. The property management team are reporting an increase in rents across most markets with demand from tenants exceeding supply of available properties. Pressure is expected to increase as Chinese students are required to attend classes for their degree to be recognised in China. The overall expectation is that property prices will come down on the back of rising interest rates but lack of supply and strong yields counter this argument.

If you would like to discuss property, you can contact Brad Carlin-Smith (Real Estate Agent) on bcarlinmith@thehopkinsgroup.com.au or Stephen Phillips (Head of New Property) at sphillips@thehopkinsgroup.com.au or the Sarah (Business Development for Property Management) for property management enquiries sholdsworth@thehopkinsgroup.com.au

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