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S&P/ASX200 - 10 Years Of Much Ado About Nothing

By Greg AtkinsonStock MarketsSep 22, 2017 20:33
au.investing.com/analysis/australian-spasx200-10-years-of-much-ado-about-nothing-200196536
S&P/ASX200 - 10 Years Of Much Ado About Nothing
By Greg Atkinson   |  Sep 22, 2017 20:33
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Ten years ago the Australian stock market was at an all time high with the S&P/ASX 200 Index at around 6,500. Just a few months later however the the global financial crisis played havoc with the markets and the ASX 200 slumped to around 3000. But even during those darkest days I did not imagine that a decade later the Australian stock market would still be below 6000. Yes the mainstream finance media might excitedly churn out eye-catching headlines every time there is a minor rally or correction, but the sobering reality is that during most of the past 10 years the Australian stock market has done very little.

Although the performance of the ASX 200 Index over the past 10 years has been fairly dismal, the one bright spot is that the dividend yield from many ASX 200 listed companies has provided a steady flow of income during a period when holding cash in the bank has become increasingly less attractive. Having stated that though, the 10 year chart for the ASX 200 is nothing to get excited about.

S&P/ASX 200 Index (XJO) 10 Year Chart

S&P/ASX 200 Index Chart 2007-2017
S&P/ASX 200 Index Chart 2007-2017

As of today the ASX 200 is just below 5800 and this is approximately 13% below the high of around 6,700 reached in October 2007. Of course in the months ahead a 10 year comparison is going to improve as it will reflect the ASX 200 rapidly falling towards 4000 in 2008. However I doubt most investors have a shares portfolio made up exclusively from stocks purchased as the market bottomed-out. (although I’m sure plenty of people will claim to have done so)

If we now look at a few blue-chip companies included in the ASX 200 we can see that although a stock such as Qantas (AX:QAN) has posted healthy gains during the last few years, overall its share price is trading below its 10 year high.

ASX 200, Commonwealth Bank, Qantas & BHP Biliton 10 Year Chart

XJO, CBA, QAN, BHP 10 Year Chart
XJO, CBA, QAN, BHP 10 Year Chart

On the chart above only Commonwealth Bank Of Australia (AX:CBA) shares are trading higher level than they were 10 years ago. although the CBA share price is lower than the multi-year high it reached in early 2015. Qantas shares, despite a good run recently, are down around 8% and not surprisingly the end of the commodities boom (or hysteria) has helped send BHP (AX:BHP) shares down around 37% from the level they were trading at 10 years ago.

Where these stock prices will be in 10 years time is anyone’s guess. My guess would is that Qantas and CBA might have already peaked but BHP may be higher. That might sound little pessimistic but it reflects my view that the Australian economy has also peaked for this cycle and in the years ahead maintaining economic growth is going to get a lot harder. I also believe that economic growth in China has probably already peaked as well and that Chinese GDP is going to slip back to 5% within the next decade.

In terms of international comparisons I imagine most investors would not be surprised that the United States stock market has out performed the Australia stock market. But Japan’s Nikkei 225 has also outperformed the ASX 200 over the last 10 years – so if your looking for an example of a “Lost Decade” then you don’t need to look any further than the Australian stock market.

ASX 200, Nikkei 225 & DJIA 10 Year Chart

DJIA. Nikkei 225 and ASX 200 10 Year Chart
DJIA. Nikkei 225 and ASX 200 10 Year Chart

The Nikkei 225 may only be up around 20% over the last 10 years but its outperformed the ASX by around 33%. Though if you read most mainstream media articles about the Japanese economy you’d probably think the country was on its economic knees. It’s also worth noting that it’s generally Japanese companies buying up Australian assets and companies and not the other way around. As for the Dow Jones, it’s up around a respectable 60% and much of that gain has been posted in the last year and a half.
Normally I focus on the ASX 200 (XJO) as this index is not only made up of the largest Australian companies but also most of these have direct exposure to overseas markets. In terms of looking at a stock market index that is more focused on the domestic economy then I believe the ASX Small Ordinaries (XSO) is good for that purpose.

ASX 200 versus ASX Small Ordinaries Index 10 Year Chart

ASX 200 & ASX Small Ordinaries 10 Year Chart
ASX 200 & ASX Small Ordinaries 10 Year Chart

On the chart above the movement of the ASX 200 Index is shown by the yellow line and the Small Ordinaries Index by the dark thin line. Clearly smaller listed stocks have fared much worse than their larger ASX 200 cousins and by a considerable margin. Compared to 10 years ago the XSO is down around 37% and is also below a high in 2010 and another (lower) high in 2016. Like the ASX 200, the XSO has also been basically moving sideways for most of 2017.

Looking ahead I expect the ASX 200 to fall back towards 5500 and finish the year lower than where it is now as per my Australian Stock Market Outlook & Forecast for 2017. To be clearer, I am expecting the next major movement for the ASX 200 to be down and when I say major I mean a movement of around 10% or more. As for the ASX 200 reaching the high of a decade ago, maybe that will happen next year – but at the moment I reckon we may have to wait a little longer.

This article was written by Greg Atkinson. He can be followed on twitter via GregAtkinson_jp

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S&P/ASX200 - 10 Years Of Much Ado About Nothing

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