Lonsec Market Commentary – April 2019
The S&P/ASX 200 Index returned 2.4% in April, rising above 6,300 points, but appeared to find some resistance in early May as it attempted to push past its previous August 2018 high. Performance was led by the Consumer Staples sector (+7.4%), with gains from A2 Milk Co (+17.2%), whose third quarter update revealed further gains in Chinese market share, and Bega Cheese (+10.7%), which won a dispute with Kraft Heinz over packaging design.
The RBA has maintained its cautious stance on monetary policy, holding the cash rate steady at 1.50% at its May meeting despite the expectation of a cut following a weak inflation reading for the March quarter. However, while the RBA acknowledges that the household sector is struggling, it still expects disposable income to lift on the back of a robust labour market.
The Australian economy enters an election campaign in a relatively vulnerable position, with growth slowing, household debt levels high and considerable uncertainty regarding the outlook for housing and, in turn, consumer spending. Not everything is negative, as evidenced by the low unemployment rate, strong exports, and improving business investment.
(Lonsec April 2019, Issue Date: 09-05-2019)