The top performing stocks in this index were PILBARA MINERALS LIMITED and WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED, up 13.18% and 6.16% respectively.

Over the last 12 months, Pilbara Minerals has increased its share price by 20.05% and Whitehaven Coal Limited has increased its share price by a staggering 221.36%

In last weeks newsletter I mentioned that Australia still generates more than 60% of its energy requirements from Coal fired power.

What about the big banks

The big four banks are forecast to rake in record combined profits of more than $33 billion this financial year, even as investors remain wary about the risk of rising bad debts caused by a weakening economy.

Australia’s four largest lenders last year notched up their highest combined profits since 2018, as higher interest rates gave margins a boost in the second half. Analysts expect the trend will continue into this year, driving earnings higher. The best performer over the last 12 months has been Westpac, followed by CBA. ANZ and Macquarie are the poor performers in the recent past.

The World is getting older; China’s population declined for the first time in decades

37.5% of Japan’s population is projected to be 65+ by 2050. Currently, it has the second-oldest population in the world (behind Monaco). Other countries are also watching their populations age rapidly. China will also have 30.1% of its population over 65 by 2050, but the big surprise is India. By 2050 they will have only 15% of their population over the age of 65. China and Japan will have a squeeze on their health care and pensions well into their future.

Population decline doesn’t stop China’s share market from a strong rebound

Mining giant BHP believes the reopening of China’s economy following the end of its long-running zero-COVID policy will prop up demand for some of Australia’s largest commodity exports even as many other nations across the world suffer slowdowns this year.
China’s equity benchmark is closing in on a bull market as foreign investors rush to buy local shares on bets that the nation’s economic reopening and supportive policies will accelerate the markets bound in the short term.

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