Global stock markets are slowly recovering from the trade-war tensions that dominated the past couple of weeks. In the U.S., the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones index rallied to finish the week up +1.65% and +1.59%, respectively. Meanwhile, volatility fell just over -18% for the week (as measured by the VIX index). This is despite some worries on Friday, when it was revealed that U.S., British, and French joint forces had launched air strikes in Syria. This did not hamper European markets too much either; the Euro Stoxx 50 index nudged +0.97% higher while the Dutch AEX index finished the week up +1.51%. Overall, the MSCI World ETF ended the week +0.42% higher reflecting the broader global economic recovery.
At the beginning of last week, all eyes were on Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg as he met with members of U.S. Congress for a two-day hearing regarding the collection of user data. Despite tough questions scrutinizing how the social media platform collects and uses information about its over two billion users, the hearings went relatively smoothly. Although Mr. Zuckerberg was at times hesitant to give concrete answers immediately, investors were reassured and the company’s stock price finished the week over 4 percent higher. This week also saw the release of minutes from Jerome Powell’s first meeting as Chairman of the Federal Reserve that took place in March. Fears of a U.S.-China trade war did not hamper a bullish outlook on economic growth; core inflation for March grew at its fastest pace in a year and it was agreed that rate rises would need to be steeper over the coming years than previously expected.
Europe, meanwhile, saw a less eventful week. The offices of Ziggo Sport and Fox Sports were raided by anti-trust officials on behalf of the European Commission, which believes the two media providers are guilty of colluding in the sale of rights to sports content. Both providers are in cooperation with the investigation, which is still underway. Additionally, French and British air forces were involved in the strategic bombing of targets suspected of being connected to the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria. These bombings were in response to the chlorine and sarin gas attacks that killed at least 70 people in the Syrian city of Duma earlier this month.
Most Investment Groups benefitted from this week’s recovery, with only five reporting a loss for the week. CMG Investments rose eight places thanks to their positions in Basic Fit, Intel, and Lam Research Corporation. Porto d’Oro, meanwhile, also had a good week after receiving strong returns on their investments in gold and the Dutch semiconductor company ASML. Primus remains on top, followed closely by Rising Investments, while Conquistadores Capital is still stuck at the end of the pack. Let’s hope this recovery continues!
Written by Justin Thouin