Weekly Market Recap – February 8th, 2019
In the Markets
While U.S. equities started the week with gains, continuing their January run, international news put downward pressure on the major indices. Weakness in growth was visible across Europe, with the EU commission lowering its GDP growth forecast to 1.3% from 1.9%. The Bank of England made a similar decision, dropping its GDP growth outlook from 1.7% to 1.2%, as the UK approaches a March 29th decision point regarding the finality of Brexit. At that point the UK’s membership in the EU will expire.
U.S. China trade discussions also met a potential set back, with NEC (National Economic Council) Director Larry Kudlow referring to a sizable distance remaining. This was combined with the fact that President Trump confirmed that a meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping was unlikely to occur before the March 1st deadline, when tariff rates will return to 25%. On the week, the S&P 500 finished flat, while the NASDAQ and Dow Jones both saw modest gains, up 0.5% and 0.2% respectively.
Crude oil futures fell, although the decline was felt much more in WTI futures than in Brent. WTI crude dropped 4.6% on the week, while Brent crude fell 1.13%. Crude products did not follow the path of the underlying raw material, as gasoline gained 0.66%, and heating oil only lost 0.22%. Correspondingly, the Gasoline Crack Spread gained 63.4%, while the Heating Oil Crack Spread rose 9.42%. Natural Gas again dropped, down 5.52% on the week.
The response to the first WASDE (World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates) report for 2019 was muted, with the forecasted commodities all only dropping around 1%. Soybeans fell 0.35%, while corn lost 1.06%, and wheat fell 1.34%. Softs behaved similarly, with sugar down 0.87%, and cotton falling 1.48%.
Iron futures rallied this week, gaining 8.99%, while copper was up 1.35%. Precious metals saw losses, with gold down 0.27%, silver losing 0.77%, and platinum dropping 2.93%.
World Cup Trading Championships
A new leader took poll position this week, as Eduardo Ramos unseated Marko Grcic, finishing with a 58% net return. Marko held onto 2nd, finishing just behind Eduardo at a net return of 53%. Fabian Fischer returned to the top 5, closing the week in 3rd place with a net return of 36.4%. Princely Mathew’s 33.1% net return was enough to keep him in 4th place, as Tze Chun Fung rounded out the top 5 with a net return of 28%.
Trading futures and forex involves significant risk of loss and is not suitable for everyone. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. World Cup Championship (WCC ) accounts do not necessarily represent all the trading accounts controlled by a given competitor. WCC competitors may control accounts that produce results substantially different than the results achieved in their WCC accounts. WCC entrants may trade more than one account in the competition.