January loss – After an 11.5% gain in 2021, the ASX 200 has started 2022 with a month to forget. The close of January saw the ASX with its largest loss since the pandemic struck, a whopping 6.3% loss for the month, wiping more than half of 2021’s gains.
AUD below US70c – The Australian dollar finished January below US70c, its weakest level in 18 months. The AUD finished the week 2.7% down, its largest weekly close since August. Bringing the total fall against USD to 2.8% this year. February is a new month however and has seen the AUD rally back up to US71.3c as of Thursday morning.
RBA Policy Meeting – All eyes were on the RBA’s monthly policy meeting Tuesday as investors looked for hints on when a rate rise could be expected. The RBA Forecasted unemployment to fall below 4% for the first time since the 70’s were announced, but denied it would follow other central banks and rise interest rates several times this year. RBA chief Phillip Lowe tipped a rate rise for next year.
Meta Falls – More than 50 analysts had buy or neutral recommendations on Meta (formerly Facebook), before its price crashed 27% on Thursday. Equivalent to more than US$230 billion/ AUD$322 billion in value lost. The crash is off the back of forecasted lower first quarter revenue than expected. The one day hit alone has a market value of more than 460 of the S&P 500’s members. Other major tech companies Amazon lost 4.16%, Twitter 7.7%, Pinterest fell 9.33% and Snap 16.46%.
Earnings Season – Profits on ASX companies are now on track to pass pre COVID levels. Forecasts of the ASX 200 for this financial year are currently 10% higher than December 2019. If analysts are right, this will mark the culmination of a V-shaped recovery which has seen the benchmarks collective earnings grow from $96 billion to $125 billion.
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