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September 2020 quarter review & outlook

Despite a strong start to the quarter, the volatility financial markets experienced in September reversed many of the gains investments made in July and August. Scott Tully, General Manager of Investments, offers insight into investment performance last quarter.

  • How did investments perform over the September quarter?

    While investments performed well in July and August, some of the gains they made were reversed in September. For example, while Australian fixed interest generated a positive return of about 1%, Australian shares fell about 1% due largely to the poor performance of large-cap stocks. Globally, fixed interest delivered a positive return of about 1%. Global shares, when hedged to movements in the Australian Dollar, rose 6.5%. The higher Australian Dollar meant the returns of unhedged global shares returned a lower – but still positive – return of 4%.


    What were the drivers behind market performance?

    Despite a strong start to the quarter, the fall financial markets experienced in September reversed many of the earlier gains. During this time, investors looked beyond Coronavirus to other developments. In Australia, companies announced their full-year results during reporting season, while Australia moved into its first official recession in almost 30 years. Globally, vaccine developments, technological tensions between the US and China, political rhetoric surrounding the US presidential election, and volatility across technology stocks led to fluctuations in share markets.


    Looking ahead

    We anticipate that financial markets could experience periods of volatility over the coming months – particularly as vaccine testing continues, as we approach the end-of-year Brexit deadline and in the lead up to the highly anticipated US presidential election. When markets experience volatility, it’s natural to feel some concern. But experience tells us that markets do eventually recover – and we’ve already begun to see this, with markets increasing by as much as 25% over the last six months.



    How is Colonial First State supporting you?

    Our team is always monitoring changing developments and communicating closely with our skilled investment managers. This means that no matter the state of economics or financial markets, our team is up to date on the risks and opportunities of investing. This enables us to continue making more informed investment decisions, and helps us keep you informed – each step of the way.


    Until the next update, we’d like to thank you for your continued support.

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Unless otherwise specified, this document has been prepared by Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFS Licence 232468 (Colonial First State) based on its understanding of current regulatory requirements and laws as at the date of publication. While all care has been taken in the preparation of this document (using sources believed to be reliable and accurate), to the maximum extent permitted by law, no person including Colonial First State or any member of the Commonwealth Bank group of companies, accepts responsibility for any loss suffered by any person arising from reliance on this information. Colonial First State is the issuer of interests in FirstChoice Personal Super, FirstChoice Wholesale Personal Super, FirstChoice Pension, FirstChoice Wholesale Pension, FirstChoice Employer Super offered from the Colonial First State FirstChoice Superannuation Trust ABN 26 458 298 557. It also issues interests in the Rollover & Superannuation Fund (ROSCO) and Personal Pension Plan (PPP) offered from the Colonial First State Rollover & Superannuation Fund ABN 88 854 638 840. Colonial First State also issues other investment products made available under FirstChoice Investments and FirstChoice Wholesale Investments, other than FirstRate Saver, FirstRate Term Deposits and FirstRate Investment Deposits which are products of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124, AFS Licence 234945 (the Bank). Colonial First State is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bank. The Bank and its subsidiaries do not guarantee the performance of FirstChoice products or the repayment of capital from any investments. This document provides information for the adviser only and is not to be handed on to any investor. It does not take into account any person’s individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before making any recommendations to a client. Clients should read the PDS before making an investment decision and consider talking to a financial adviser. PDSs can be obtained from or by calling us on 13 18 36.


From time to time, Colonial First State enters into alliance partnerships with dedicated and experienced investment specialists. Each alliance represents an agreement for Colonial First State to provide third party distribution services within the Australian Financial Services intermediary market.


Past performance is no indication of future performance.


Stocks and investment options mentioned are for illustrative purposes only and are not recommendations to any person to buy sell or hold these stocks.


Taxation considerations are general and based on present taxation laws and may be subject to change. Clients should seek independent, professional tax advice before making any decision based on this information. Colonial First State is also not a registered tax (financial) adviser under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 and clients should seek tax advice from a registered tax agent or a registered tax (financial) adviser if they intend to rely on this information to satisfy the liabilities or obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under a taxation law.

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