Financial markets were mixed in July as a sell-off in the US dollar and promising earnings reports from US technology giants fueled investor enthusiasm, however new COVID-19 outbreaks across the world undermined faith in the economic recovery. The Australian dollar surged to US 72c by month-end as bearish sentiment drove the US dollar to multi-year lows. International shares also rose strongly in July but gains for unhedged investors were offset by a rise in the Australian dollar. As in June, emerging markets also enjoyed robust gains as a sell-off in the US dollar eased financial conditions in developing countries and investors bought into Chinese technology companies that are likely to benefit from changes to commerce during the global pandemic. Government bonds largely traded sideways as central banks around the world maintained ultra-low interest rates, although yields fell (and prices therefore rose) in international bonds in large part because new viral outbreaks dampened faith in the economic recovery from COVID-19. Small gains in listed infrastructure and global listed property were offset for unhedged investors by the rising Australian dollar.
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