Economy and Indices – March 2020
The ASX Top 200 fell -8.57% over the month of February.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) started to impact markets in late January and took the markets down further throughout February, despite a strong reporting season in Australia. While there were no places to hide on the ASX, there was a clear distinction between the top and bottom performing sectors this month.
Lagging Sectors this month
Information Technology shares which includes Xero (XRO) Afterpay Touch (APT), Computershare (CPU) and Wisetech Global (WTC), together fell -20.37% for the month.
The second largest faller were Energy -19%, and Material (miners) – 15%.
Leading Sectors This month
The strongest, relatively speaking, were Health Care -6.2%, Utilities -6.6% and Financials tied with property (AREITs) -7.5%.
These four ‘leading’ sectors are generally considered defensive shares (except the financials) and often fall less when the markets falls. However, the flip-side is that they often don’t rise as much when the markets are running up.