Weekly Market Recap – February 7, 2020
In the Markets
The bearish trend experienced by US equity markets in recent weeks was a short lived one, as the major indices soared on positive news. The Dow Jones grew by 3%, the S&P 500 gained 3.2%, and the NASDAQ climbed 4%. Positive sentiment came in many forms, including a more measured view of the coronavirus’s economic fallout. The belief of the virus’s minimal impact developed due to vaccine progress, Chinese economic actions, and positive U.S. economic data.
The U.S. January employment report was again a variable in this aforementioned economic data, with 225,000 non-farm payroll positions estimated in the first month of the new decade. Additionally, the January ISM Manufacturing Index broke a five month streak of contraction, joining the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index which expanded for the second straight month. Jobless claims also fell to a nine-month low.
The positive sentiment did not extend to crude oil, as both WTI and Brent futures fell again. WTI fared better, down just 2.4%, while Brent futures lost 6.34%. Gasoline and heating oil, which usually move in tandem, broke form to post gains on the week. Gasoline advanced 2.36% and heating oil climbed 1.16%. Natural gas also managed a positive performance, up 0.92% on the week.
Precious metals were likewise mixed. Gold and silver fell, down 0.9% and 1.78% respectively, while platinum grew 0.78%. Palladium moved down slightly, losing 0.21%. Copper received a potential boon from positive developments in China and the U.S., gaining 1.43%.
Soybeans, another important commodity in U.S.-China trade, also grew by 1.15%. Corn and wheat joined with 0.59% and 1.04% gains respectively. The future market’s cup of coffee increased in sweetness dramatically, as sugar gained 2.12% but coffee dipped 4.19%. Milk was almost flat, up 0.12%. Lean hogs also finished flat, moving down just 0.04%.
World Cup Trading Championships
Jeffrey Ruff jumped into the top five, staking his claim to first place with a 64.3% net return through Friday’s close. Fabien Fischer climbed into second place with a 45.5% net return. Behrad Gavadji finished in third with a 43.4% net return. Sze King Chong of Singapore was another new face to the 2020 WCTC leaderboard, taking fourth place with a 41.2% net return. Michael Vontobel of Tirutrade AG rounded out the leaderboard with a net return of 36.3%
In the Global Cup, Wayne Wan kept first place with a net return of 156.7% as Jan Smolen climbed into second place with a 101.8% net return. Archie Ma took third place at a net return of 72.4%, followed by Marko Grcic’s 51.7% net return. Stefan Seibert finished right on Marko’s heels, closing Friday with a net return of 50.5%.
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