- In December global equity markets continued to make new highs as investors factored in stronger economic growth and higher corporate earnings in the United States following the US election in November.
- Oil prices rose 8.7% to US$53.75 per barrel (WTI) following the agreement by OPEC and several non-OPEC oil producing countries to cut production in 2017.
- The US ISM manufacturing index rose to the highest levels in two years.
- The US Federal Reserve increased its Federal Funds rate from 0.50% to 0.75% and indicated that it expects to raise interest rates a further three times in 2017.
- Chinese economic activity indicators were stronger than expected.
- Australia’s economy has been somewhat mixed with the unemployment rate rising from 5.6% to 5.7% and the government revised its economic forecasts to show marginally larger budget deficits over the next few years.
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