InvestNow News – 3rd April – Harbour – COVID-19: Building the bridge across the void

31st March – Andrew Bascand

Key Points

  • Extraordinary global fiscal and monetary policies are starting to build a bridge across the void
  • Markets are beginning to look beyond COVID-19 case trends, and towards solving the pandemic with tests, a new standard of care and vaccinations
  • Quality companies, with strong balance sheets, are performing well
  • This is a time to stay at home and be kind, it is also a time to pay close attention to discipline in investment decisions

In the first 30 days of March, the New Zealand equity market has fallen 14%, and the ASX200 has fallen 19%. While the NZ equity market has fallen less than many other markets, this is still an extraordinary reaction to the uncertain environment.

COVID-19 has become a pandemic and has spread far further and more rapidly than expected a few weeks ago. Many countries have followed the earlier examples set in Asia and instituted stay at home policies to enforce physical distancing of their populations. Like China, in February, this has seen economies step into a partial void of activity, especially in the tourism, education and retail sectors. At the same time, the near cessation of cases in China and the flattening of COVID-19 curves in much of Asia has, in many cases, positively surprised.

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