ASX down 13% for year, and counting
THE sharemarket is on track to deliver its second-worst annual performance in almost two decades after the crisis in Europe, slowdown in the US and rising dollar hammered many of the country's largest stocks.
THE sharemarket is on track to deliver its second-worst annual performance in almost two decades after the crisis in Europe, slowdown in the US and rising dollar hammered many of the country's largest stocks.The benchmark S&P/ASX200 has lost 13.2 per cent in value, or $159 billion, since the beginning of the year, only performing worse in the midst of the global financial crisis in 2008.Leading the market down were Qantas (down 40.3 per cent since January 1), financial services outfit Macquarie Group (down 37.5 per cent), iron ore producer Fortescue Metals (down 30.6 per cent) and QBE Insurance (down 25.8 per cent).BHP Billiton has fallen 22.8 per cent this year and the major four banks have all lost ground. ANZ was the worst performer (down 14. 8 per cent). NAB was the best of the banks (down 1.2 per cent).The market closed yesterday at 4119.8, up 0.4 per cent.The poor performance in equities fed through to many superannuation funds and balanced funds are set to provide members with little return this year."All of the assumptions that people were making at the start of the year, and which fed through to their portfolios, have all proved to be wrong," Tim Rocks, an equity strategist at Merrill Lynch, said.He said investors 11 months ago thought domestic conditions would improve, the US would recover from aInsideBalanced funds out of whack PAGE 5Market report PAGE 10