Market Highlights - A look back at November 2014

Australian EconomyThere were some signs of job growth with both job advertisements and total employment showing improvement1.  However, consumer confidence remains subdued leading into the festive season, along with shrinking services sector activity and a fall in construction.

Global Economy – Continuing strength in the US economy was highlighted with another 200k+ jobs number2, and a solid GDP number for the September quarter. After a year of stimulus Japan seems to be losing steam fast, whilst Europe continues to struggle along on its slow rebalancing act. But the big news for the month was the re-entry of China into the stimulus front, with the People's Bank of China cutting interest rates for the first time since 2012.

Investment Markets – A mixed month for markets, with some continuing on from the October bounce-back and some heading back down. Australia was in the latter group, down almost 4% for the month, whilst China was definitely the strongest performer, up about 12%3.

Outlook – With the festive season almost upon us, the recent sharp moves in markets is likely to take a pause. The recent underperformance of the Australian share market and Australian dollar might provide a reasonable buying opportunity, though deteriorating economic conditions may see the domestic market move sideways for some time yet.

S&P/ASX 200 – 12 months to 30 November 2014

Source: Core Equity Services

Footnotes: 1. Data from Australian Bureau of Statistics; 2. Dept of Labour, USA; 3. Bloomberg data.

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