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April 16 2021

 

1. How good is AUS…

NAB business conditions are at 25-year record highs, and confidence sitting not far off historical peaks either!

Source: Bloomberg

 

2. Strong jobs…

Reports out this week that portfolio company Seek March job ads were the highest in their history, and up 10% m/m. They are also seeing applications per ad at the lowest levels since 2012, which supports our thesis on dynamic pricing led yield tailwinds into the remainder of the year.

Meanwhile, the Aus March labour force report was strong with employment rising 70k m/m, double the consensus. The unemployment rate also declined -0.2ppts to 5.6%

We are watching to see if record job ads + decade low applicants/job + record-high employment will equal accelerating wages growth…

Source: ABS

 

3. Spot the ESG difference…

We had the biggest launch in the history of ETFs this week, with Blackrock launching the US Carbon Transition Readiness ETF (ticker: LCTU), which lured about $1.25 billion on its first day. It has been interesting to compare the differences in some of the ESG ETFs available. Particularly after the product group attracted a record $31 billion in 2020 (4x 2019).

The 3 lists of top fund holdings below include the S&P500 index ETF, which charges 3bps, another for 15 bps you get to “drive innovation by embedding sustainability risk into our active investment process”, and the third for 30 bps you get “a sea change in global investing”, but which one is which?

The launch also comes after the SEC released a report last week cautioning that some firms are mischaracterising their products as ESG, which may violate securities laws. No companies have been named as yet.

Source: Bloomberg, Bell Potter