Quarterly Market Update31 March 2024

Steve Garth and Sam Hunt provide an update on investment markets over the last quarter.

Quarterly Market Update 31 March 2024

Climbing to the Peak

There’s something almost mesmerising about the ongoing rally in global equity markets. Rather than a spectacular race to the peak, this quarter has seen a more slow and steady climb. By the end of March both the S&P/ASX 200 Index in Australia and the S&P 500 Index in the US are reaching new record highs every other day. With interest rates about to start coming down, is there anything to stop the markets climbing higher and higher? 

After the exuberance of the “pivot party” in the last eight weeks of 2023 – when central banks all but confirmed that interest rises were over, and the next moves would be downward – many thought that there could be a retraction in early 2024. But markets have shaken off expectations that interest rate cuts are not coming as quickly as they had priced in at the end of last year and have been steadily climbing throughout the quarter approaching their peaks.

Australia’s share market has been touching it’s all time high throughout March, building on the same momentum that has pushed many major global equity benchmarks to fresh records on expectations of a world-wide rate cutting cycle. In the March quarter the S&P/ASX 200 index is up 5.3%, and that’s after the gain of 12.1% between November the 1st and December the 31st last year.

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