A quick chart that examines the index percentage return of the ASX 200 versus the S&P 500, priced in US Dollars, from the 2009 GFC lows. As you can see the ASX 200, thanks to a sharp recovery in the AUDUSD between 2009-2011, actually outperformed the S&P 500 until the early parts of 2012. From there to May 2013 the two indices basically tracked each other before suddenly diverging with the S&P 500 continuing to move higher while the ASX 200 lingered at levels first hit in early 2011. Cast your mind back to May 2013 and a significant monetary policy development occurred – the Fed first hinted that they were looking to taper asset purchases, commonly know as QE. That moment saw the USD become a far more desirable destination for foreign and US-originated capital, heaping pressure on markets such as the AUD-denominated ASX 200. While there are other factors that explain the divergent performance, monetary policy settings, hence currency rate movements, have largely dictated affairs since the taper tantrum occurred in May last year.


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