A clear trend in first half FY21 results season was that companies with higher revenue and profit growth expectations generally underperformed following their result. This included sectors such as Consumer Discretionary, Healthcare, Building and Construction and Technology. The market is currently looking through short term strength in profits and considering if the current valuation levels are sustainable in the medium term. The converse was true of companies with lower growth expectations and companies in the Banking, Telecommunications and Resources sectors outperformed post reporting. The market is currently looking through short term weakness in earnings if companies have the ability to recover with economic growth returning, aided by the roll out of vaccinations and continuing government stimulus. Rising bond yields remained a feature with the US 10 year yield rising more (in percentage terms) since January 2021 than it did during the whole of 2018 when the Federal Reserve was actually increasing rates.
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While the response to climate change risk by regulators, financial institutions and publicly listed companies is welcome, it currently is not enough to ensure a safe climate. This submission provides a comprehensive assessment of the current risks relating to Australia's key export sectors.
It is estimated that 100 pairs of hands touch your clothes before they arrive in your wardrobe. That’s 100 people at risk of modern slavery, poor working conditions, and exploitation. Ethical Partners has recently signed the Investor Statement in Support of the maintenance and expansion of the Bangladesh Accord.
During March 2021 the Fund returned 3.07% versus the S&P/ASX 300 Accumulation Index of 2.30%, outperforming the market by 0.77%. An overweight position in consumer staples and an underweight position in materials contributed to relative performance while an overweight position in financials and an underweight position in consumer discretionary detracted from relative performance. The Fund is +20% over the last six months.
Globally, 15% of the population are persons with disabilities. The labor force participation rate globally for people with disabilities sits at 32.8% compared to 77.1% for those without disabilities. We believe it is imperative that investors use their shareholder voice to raise the awareness of this important diversity issue and help companies to improve their inclusion.