Equity markets continued their strong advance in August led by the US, which became the first major developed market to breach its pre-COVID level. The S&P 500 advanced 7%, however, the booming technology sector propelled the NASDAQ almost 10% higher. The Australian market returned a healthy 3% boosted by a recovery in consumer discretionary stocks and a strong IT sector. The overall market return was dampened, however, by lacklustre returns from the banking and materials sectors, which comprise over a third of our market’s capitalisation. Markets around the world all posted solid gains including Japan 6.6%, Europe 3%, and China 2.6% and the UK 1.1%.