After rising by almost 3 per cent in July, the S&P/ASX 200 index moved 0.73 per cent lower during the month of August, according to data released by S&P Dow Jones Indices.
The firm’s latest Australia and New Zealand Index Dashboard, which measures index performance based on total return in local currency, also showed that Australian mid-caps and small-caps lagged their blue chip counterparts over the month.
The S&P/ASX MidCap 50 was down 1.30 per cent and the S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries was down 1.31 per cent. But the S&P/ASX Emerging Companies was the worst-performing Australian equity index in the latest dashboard with a fall of 4.17 per cent.
In contrast, the S&P/ASX 20 fared slightly better, dropping 0.33 per cent. The S&P/ASX 50 (-0.61 per cent) and the S&P/ASX 100 (-0.70 per cent) also narrowly outperformed the benchmark S&P/ASX 200, while the S&P/ASX 300 (-0.76 per cent) fell marginally behind.
Among the S&P/ASX 200 sectors, consumer discretionary was the best performer with a rise of 5.74 per cent. Only two other sectors, namely real estate (1.60 per cent) and energy (0.54 per cent), ended the month in the black.
Utilities ranked as the worst-performing sector, closing out August down 3.9 per cent.
Consumer staples (-3.21 per cent), information technology (-2.07 per cent), industrials (-2.03 per cent), materials (-1.97 per cent), health care (-1.01 per cent), financials (-0.80 per cent), and communication services (-0.77 per cent) were all lower.
S&P Dow Jones Indices noted that New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Portfolio “significantly trailed” its counterpart in Australia, falling 4.09 per cent for the month, with small caps tracked by the S&P/NZG Emerging Opportunities (-4.37 per cent) performing even worse.
With two-thirds of the year now past, the S&P/ASX 200 was reported to have risen by 6.74 per cent so far in 2023, well ahead of the S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries (3.54 per cent) but slightly behind the S&P/ASX MidCap 50 (7.81 per cent).
In terms of the S&P/ASX 200 sectors, information technology is the standout performer year-to-date with a return of 33.87 per cent.
Double digit returns were also recorded for consumer discretionary (19.74 per cent), communication services (13.06 per cent), energy (12.43 per cent), and industrials (11.03 per cent).
The next best performers in the year so far were real estate (9.58 per cent), utilities (7.35 per cent), materials (4.43 per cent), financials (4.40 per cent), and consumer staples (3.01 per cent), while health care (-2.16 per cent) was the only sector in the red for 2023.
Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.