The month of July generally saw positive returns across asset classes, as growth assets continue to gain. Emerging Markets were the strongest performing market in equities, with the MSCI EM Index (UH) returning 4.6% over the month. On the domestic front, Australian small caps outperformed large caps and overseas hedged investors realised greater gains from the appreciation of the Australian dollar.
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Growth assets continued to recover over June, but at a slower and more volatile pace than in May. Markets were encouraged by the gradual reopening across the developed world and by economic activity indicators, such as non-farm payrolls, but the optimism was tempered by evidence of the pandemic regaining pace in the US and some large emerging market countries such as India and Brazil.
Following the strong rebound in risk assets over April, the recovery continued into the month of May. Markets were encouraged by the slowdown in new COVID-19 cases and the gradual relaxation of lockdown restrictions across a number of US states, European countries and the United Kingdom.