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What a dream run the markets have had over recent months - but unfortunately for the time being the easy paper profits are over. At the top of each market rally, confusion sets in - mixed feelings creep in to the market''''''''s psyche and equity sectors react in varying ways to the news around them.
The predictable 0.25% interest rate creep announced last Wednesday hit a number of sectors, notably the Banks, Retail, Building Materials and Infrastructure. The sulking response was surprising given that the expectations were so overwhelming for an increase – the only surprise was maybe that it was a month early.
The markets moved higher – “move” being something of a slightly dull term. The markets showed that maybe from here it is going to be something of a crawl to the top wherever that might be, but increasingly the experts are saying that is not far away. Who knows? Although the number of pundits who claim the market is overvalued is now gaining in number. And this is confirmed technically as many markets start off the day with energy only to fade as the day closes – a sure sign of caution and indecision.
The Nikkei 225, the Japanese stock market key index, has risen almost 40% since its low of 2003 compared with the Australian market which has risen over 20% - a somewhat more cautious increase. The Nikkei started its run up over a month later - in April when it sat at its all time low of 7670 – compared to a high of almost 40,000 in the late 80’s!
For a while there it looked like “all our Christmases had come at once” with many thinking making money this way is just too easy. Apart from the fact I have laboured the point about retracements over the last several weeks there is in fact seasonality to retracements in many markets.