The fall in global and local interest rates has continued over August and fixed interest investors have continued to ratchet down expectations as to where interest rates may finally settle. Downward pressure in interest rates has not been confined to those countries with positive rates. Despite the seemingly unsustainable nature negative yields became even more negative over the month.


We have previously discussed the important role monetary policy plays to support sharemarkets and stimulate economies and recent events certainly reinforce this.


Interest rates continued to decline as central banks see subdued economic activity and stubbornly low inflation as a concern for the global economy.


We have written previously about our expectations of increased volatility in markets during 2019. In May we saw some quite pronounced share market moves as a result of news locally and offshore.


In a reasonably-well telegraphed move, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) lowered the Official Cash Rate (OCR) by 25 basis points to 1.5% in May. In explaining the decision, the RBNZ cited uncertainty in respect of the global economic outlook and further slowing in domestic growth from the second half of 2018.

MONTHLY VIEW - March 2019

Share markets were up during the month of March, rising domestically and in the US and Europe, but flat in Australia. Central banks around the world turned dovish (signalling that interest rates are more likely to fall than rise) in response to the prospect of slower global growth and subdued inflation.

MONTHLY VIEW - February 2019

Over February, share markets pressed on from a strong start to the year, recovering from a difficult 2018. The prospect of lower interest rates and improving US-China trade sentiment mitigated some of the key concerns investors had last year.

MONTHLY VIEW - January 2019

After a torrid December, January provided some relief for investors on summer holiday.

MONTHLY VIEW - December 2018

Sharemarkets had a mixed month in November, with NZ and US indices posting modest gains, while Australian and UK indices fell. US long-term interest rates eased, oil prices plummeted over 20%, while continuing trade tensions and Brexit concerns plagued financial markets through most of the month.

MONTHLY VIEW - November 2018

Stock markets ended October on a positive note, however, that was not enough to stop the month from being one of the worst for equities since the global financial crisis. Markets were weighed down by investors’ jitters over rising interest rates, the slowing Chinese economy and uncertainty about global trade tensions.