2020: 6 months of investment ‘whiplash’

quarterly asset class returns

One of the worst quarters for global stock markets in years was followed by one of the best in the June quarter.

Investors looked past the initial shock triggered by the coronavirus and associated shutdowns.

The Australian market posted its best quarterly return in 11 years, cutting its losses for the calendar year from as much as 30% to about 10.5%.

For the financial year, it was down about 7.5%, although this came after 7 years in a row of constant positive gains.

The US S&P 500’s gain of just over 20% was its best quarter since 1998 and its ninth best quarter since records began in 1926.

Having been down about 30% for the year in March, it was only 4% lower as of 30 June.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq index hit record highs.