The Australian share market continued to make gains in the month of April. The All-Ordinaries index closed the month 3.9% higher at 7,290.7 points. The Australian Dollar gained by 1.6%, with 1 Australian Dollar currently buying 77.2 US cents.
As expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) held the official Cash Rate at 0.10% per annum in April. No change is expected to the Cash Rate when the RBA board meets again on Tuesday.
Global share markets were generally higher in the month of April, with the United States Dow Jones index gaining by 2.7%, the London FTSE gaining by 3.8%, the Japan Nikkei 225 falling by 1.3% and the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index gaining by 1.2% for the month.
As noted in the media during the month, the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Australia is lagging developed nations as shown in the map below.
Source: World Health Organisation
At the time or writing, Australia has administered 7.58 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine per 100 population. Compare this with the United States and the United Kingdom, which have administered 67.46 and 68.70 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine per 100 population respectively.
The slow rollout of the vaccine is in part due to our successes in stopping the spread of COVID-19. However, this may result in the Australian economy lagging other developed nations in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
International tourists and students to Australia still seem a long way off in comparison to northern hemisphere nations (which seem to be on a path to “open borders” in a matter of months).
Unless the vaccination rate improves, Australia will need to endure longer quarantine restrictions and more snap lockdowns – potentially resulting in extended need for government stimulus measures. Thankfully the Federal and State Governments now seem to have developed a plan to ensure that we can expedite the rollout of the vaccine.
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This article is general information only and is not intended to be a recommendation. We strongly recommend you seek advice from your financial adviser as to whether this information is appropriate to your needs, financial situation and investment objectives.