Equity markets continued their strong momentum into the start of the new calendar year with most markets advancing in the early part of the month on the expectation of the vaccine roll-out and the promise of further fiscal and monetary stimulus, particularly in the US. However, early gains reversed as unprecedented retail-led speculative activity in a handful of heavily shorted US companies unnerved investors, stoking fears of asset bubbles which perpetuated a brief sell-off across most equity markets.
The domestic small cap market gave up early gains to close January near flat, with the S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries Accumulation Index -0.3% and the S&P/ASX Small Industrials Accumulation Index +0.2%. The OC Premium Small Companies Fund and OC Dynamic Equity Fund also gave up their early gains to finish the month down -1.2% and -0.9% respectively.
The domestic micro-cap index (the S&P/ASX Emerging Companies Accumulation Index) sky-rocketed early in the month and was at one stage up over 11% intra-month, before moderating to finish up +3.9%. The OC Micro-Cap Fund returned a more modest but still credible +2.7% for the month of January.
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