Oil prices plunge

Risk appetite increased in April, with markets taking heart from a flood of stimulus measures and the announcement of plans to re-open many economies. Stocks bounced back, helping the risk-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars to outperform their FX peers.

Yet, safe havens like the Japanese yen and gold shined as well, suggesting that some investors don’t have much faith in this rally and are still ‘playing defense’. The dollar went nowhere, surrendering some early gains to close almost flat after the Fed went ‘all in’ with its crisis response, promising to buy even junk bonds. The main loser was the euro, which suffered as the EU’s stimulus package was too small and too late, disappointing investors. Finally, oil prices traded negative for the first time ever amidst an oversupply of epic proportions.

April set a challenging trading environment for the Fund where decreased liquidity, high trading costs and unsustainable price movements set the typical scene. This was the outcome of a wait-to-see attitude in the market where Covid-19 is still in everyone’s mind. Low trading volumes in the market reflected that other market participants also decided to cut down on their positions, as was the case at IXI, in order to moderate the Fund’s exposure risk and minimise trading costs.

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