During April our fund rose 0.1%2, underperforming the Small Ordinaries Index by 1.6% and outperforming the Small Industrials Index by 0.1%. Over the twelve months to April, the fund is up 21.1%2, which is 15.8% above the Small Ordinaries and 10.9% above the Small Industrials.
The US market rose 0.9% in April driven by strong results in the tech sector, with the Nasdaq reaching all-time highs. The domestic market fell 1.7% driven by a 6% fall in bank stocks over fears of increased prudential capital requirements, which may impact dividends. Offsetting this, energy stocks rose 8.5% on higher oil prices, and the Metals and Mining Index rose 1.2%. Smallcap stocks rose 1.7%, driven by an 11% rally in the Small Resources sector on hopes the iron ore price has found support following further interest rate cuts in China.
The domestic economy shows no strong signs of recovery with data released during April showing weaker consumer sentiment, and patchy jobs growth. The RBA kept rates steady in April, however lowered rates in early May, noting that the $A is likely to fall further from current levels. The Federal Budget proved a negative last year, and may well provide tough measures again this year to stem the worsening deficit outlook.