Markets Monthly for August 2019: Bonds have more fun in volatile August

  • Risk aversion and volatility escalated in August as slowing global growth, elevated trade tensions, Brexit risks, and wider geopolitical tensions weighed on risk sentiment.
  • While global equities posted sharp falls at the start of the month, August was generally better for global bond investors, with lower yields and flatter curves. US 30-year Treasury yields hit record lows, with some European yields falling further into negative territory.
  • New Zealand yields traded around record lows after the RBNZ cut the official cash rate by 50bps in August and the NZD fell close to 3% on a trade-weighted basis in August, with larger falls against the USD, JPY and GBP.

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Chris Tennent-Brown

ASB Wealth Senior Economist

Chris has worked as an economist for ASB and Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney since 2005. His work has involved monitoring and forecasting trends in the New Zealand economy, with a focus on drawing implications for financial markets and investments. Chris is passionate about savings issues, and much of his current work is focussed on broadening peoples understanding of investments. Chris obtained a Bachelor of Commerce at Auckland University, majoring in Economics, and prior to joining ASB worked in the funds management industry for Bankers Trust and BT Funds Management. With over 20 years' experience in finance, Chris has also spent several years farming, and was a New Zealand representative cyclist. When not at work, Chris likes to travel, cycle, and spend time with his family and numerous pets.

Nick Tuffley

ASB Chief Economist

Since starting out in 1997 as an economist, it's fair to say Nick has seen a few hair-raising moments over the years, including the Asian Financial Crisis and the Global Financial Crisis.

One of Nick's strengths is his ability to communicate complex ideas in a readily understandable and entertaining way.  He thrives on helping people understand the economic environment to help enrich the quality of their business or personal life. He’s proud to lead a team that has won two Forecast Accuracy Awards from Consensus Economics, and has a strong track record with their Official Cash Rate and dairy price forecasts. 

Nick grew up in Christchurch and graduated with a Master of Commerce degree from the University of Canterbury.  He learned his economic ropes at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand before a long stint as a Senior Economist at Westpac, and joined ASB as Chief Economist in 2007.

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