Weekly Market Recap – January 24th, 2020
In the Markets
With U.S. markets closed Monday in memory of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., Equity indices came into the shortened trading week feeling under the weather as a new strain of the coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China spread to Seattle and Chicago, prompting fears of a potential outbreak. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.2%, while the S&P 500 dipped 1% and the NASDAQ lost 0.8%. The Russell 2000 fell farther than the three major indices, down 2.2% on the week.
U.S. equities were not the only asset class displaying bearish symptoms following the coronavirus discovery. Crude oil posted fairly significant losses, marking the third straight week of declines. WTI crude fell 7.43% while Brent futures faired only slightly better, losing 6.41%. Gasoline and heating oil performed similarly to crude, falling 7.64% and 6.73% respectively. Natural gas also posted substantial losses for the second week in a row, falling 5.49% and dipping below the $2.00/MMBtu (million British thermal units.)
Precious metals were a mixed bag. Gold and silver both posted minor gains on the week, up 0.74% and 0.22% respectively. Platinum fell, down 1.64%, while palladium gained 3.18% on the week. Copper dropped 5% in a single week for the first time since March 2019, falling 5.66% in correlation with the coronavirus scare in China, the world’s leading copper consumer.
Soybeans, another commodity which China leads in consumption, also dropped on the week, falling 2.92% while other moves in agricultural were more muted. Corn fell 0.51%, wheat inched up by 0.15% and lean hogs lost 0.66%. Coffee dropped 1.78%, while sugar decreased by 0.42% and milk rose 0.18%.
World Cup Trading Championships
Wayne Wan retook first place in the Global Cup on Friday, closing with a net return of 158.3%. Maxim Schulz claimed second place with a 108.8% net return, followed by Fang Wang’s third-best 89% net return. Jan Smolen remained on the leaderboard, finishing in fourth place with a net return of 87.2%, with Archie Ma rounding out the top five with a 77.7% net return.
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