Sean Burgess | PraxisIFM Asset Manager and Co-Founder Emirates HR
S&P 500 CLOSES AT ALL-TIME HIGH

The first record finish in 145-days, driven by energy stocks that received a welcome boost from a surge in oil prices. The general market was supported by comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell that the central bank will gradually normalize monetary policy, rather than aggressively hike rates. Following
Powell’s comments, the US dollar fell 25 basis points against a basket of major peers.

UK GOVERNMENT RELEASE ‘NO-DEAL’ BREXIT PLANS

As a contingency in the event that the March 2019 deadline passes without an EU-exit deal being agreed. The release sent the pound lower and held back UK stocks. The plans offer guidance to UK businesses on possible additional paperwork requirements, warnings of medicines shortages for NHS patients and potentially higher credit card charges when Britons visit EU countries.

JAPANESE STOCKS POST FIRST GAIN IN A MONTH

With the Nikkei 225 rising 1.5 percent, on the back of a proposed record-breaking defense budget. The Defense Ministry will ask the government for a ¥5.3 trillion ($65 billion) budget for the 2019 fiscal year to buy missile systems that will protect against possible North Korean aggression, as well allow Japan to act against China’s escalating activities in the South China Sea.

CHINA’S YUAN FALLS FOR 11-CONSECUTIVE WEEK

Extending its record losing streak, as a reconciliatory meeting between US and Chinese trade officials ended without an agreement and both countries imposed previously announced tariffs. On Thursday, during the trade meeting, the US introduced a 25 percent tariff on motorcycles and machinery whilst China introduced similarly sized tariffs on US coal and trucks.

OIL RECORDS FIRST WEEKLY GAIN SINCE JUNE

With benchmark prices rising over 5 percent for the week, as investors digested a bullish US inventory report and Iranian supply disruptions. After Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Iranian nuclear agreement and reintroduced sanctions, Iran’s production has fallen by as much as 600,000 barrels a
day. WTI and Brent crude closed the week at $68.72 and $75.82 a barrel, respectively.

In other financial news:
  • Brazil’s real falls below $0.25 to the dollar, the weakest level since 2016, as polls for October’s election show rising support for the imprisoned former president.
  • Saudi Aramco IPO plans put on hold, as advisers to the listing were disbanded, although ministers in the kingdom refuse to officially confirm the cancellation.
  • Tesla’s board votes to keep company public, after it transpired that CEO Elon Musk did not have a funding deal with the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund.

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