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I have written on many occasions how the ASX 200 has basically been moving sideways for years. Along the way of course the usual crowd excitedly cheer when the market rallies and then almost in an instant, reverse course when the markets fall and start talking gloomily about another financial crisis that might hit the markets soon.
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During the last few months I have not written anything about the Australian stock market since there didn't really seem to be much to write about. As I mentioned at the start of the year, I was not optimistic about the outlook for the S&P/ASX 200 (XJO) range of stocks and I haven't even bothered to make a prediction where the ASX 200 Index might finish in 2018.
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Earlier this year there was quite a bit of excitement amongst many market watchers as the S&P/ASX 200 had settled above 6000 after a rallying from just over 5,500 in October 2017. The mainstream news & finance media were as usual generating click-bait content that conveyed the impression that the market was in the midst of an almost unstoppable rally.
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These past 30 trading days have been really tough to trade because the market is chopping around with huge one day moves back to back. Sometimes, its best to sit, watch and wait for some dust to settle before getting overly involved with new trades which is what we have done.
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Late in 2017 I was prepared for a significant market correction and not only did this not happen but instead the market finished the year strongly. Rather than the S&P/ASX 200 Index falling back towards 5500 it actually pushed and held above 6000 for reasons I'm not sure are based on market fundamentals. So what happens from here?
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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 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.
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The prevailing wisdom is that the Australian stock market is riding higher on the back of the so-called Trump rally, although higher commodities prices have also helped and lifted the fortunes of mining stocks like BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. Of course in reality there are many factors that drive markets higher or lower but for now the trend is certainly upwards.
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The Australian S&P/ASX 200 and S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Indices are both trading well below the highs of late 2007 and have never reached those highs again since the global financial crisis. Clearly the Australian stock market is struggling and may continue to do so for some time yet.
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The last couple of months have both eventful for the Australian stock market. First it was was moved by the Brexit referendum result and then as the 2016 Australian Federal Election saga slowly unfolded the market really didn't do much at all.
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