When workers trudged back into the office on January 4 it was like nothing had changed. The incredible Covid-19-defying markets were at 7600 points and a short time later Chant West was declaring an exceptional year for superannuation funds with the returns in 2021 for growth funds at 13.4 per cent.
The return from the ASX 200 over the past year is now 0.8 per cent.
The pain came from inflation, a worker shortage and supply chain failure and the market suddenly got the jitters. That meant there was a bond sell off and bonds rule the market.
This morning the ASX 200 entered correction territory when it fell by almost 200 points. It recovered some of that in the afternoon, but it was a bad day with about $50 billion wiped off at the low point.
A correction is the euphemism given when the market falls by 10 per cent or more from a recent peak, as if it is a mild aberration. Over the long term it might prove to be, but at the moment a lot of investors would be hurting.
By early afternoon the ASX 200 was at 6755 which is 790 points from its high in August. It finished the day at 6838, down 1.77 per cent. A year ago, it was at 6602.
If you were heavily invested in technology things were really bad today. It was down 5 per cent because the tech sector is where a lot of big gambles are played and when things get tight people take back their money.
Brisbane-based Megaport, part of the Bevan Slater family of tech stocks, was down 13 per cent, while Brisbane battery materials company Novonix was down 7 per cent.
The consumer discretionary stocks also took a hiding with the index down 4 per cent.
The US markets have faced a similar fate and the Nasdaq has also entered correction territory which for Brisbane company Tritium is a case of bad timing. It listed on the Nasdaq earlier this month and has been on a slide ever since.