Weekly Market Recap – March 29th, 2019

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Weekly Market Recap – March 29th, 2019

In the Markets

With the first quarter of 2019 in the books, the S&P 500 has posted its strongest quarterly performance in a decade. The S&P 500 finished the week up 1.2% on its way to a 13% gain on the quarter, just 3% off of its all-time high. The two other major U.S. indices also gained on the week, with the Dow Jones up 1.7% and the NASDAQ up 1.1%.

The latest GDP data showed the U.S. economy growing at a 2.2% pace in the fourth quarter, marking a 2.9% gain for 2018. On the flip side, ten-year interest rates continued to decline last week, dropping as low as 2.37%, the lowest level since December 2017 as investors continue to worry about an inverted yield curve. The yield curve only inverted briefly, but the relationship between short and long term interest rates continues to be viewed as an indicator of economic health.

Friday, March 29th was the deadline for a Brexit decision, as the UK Parliament voted to decline Prime Minister May’s deal, moving the deadline to April. The pound fell in relation to the USD as the British approach a potential hard Brexit with a transition plan out of the EU still lacking.

Crude oil made gains on the week, as WTI rose 1.86% and Brent futures climbed 2.03%. Oil products, however, did not match crude, with Heating Oil barely moving, up 0.38%, and Gasoline dropping 1.57%. Natural Gas plummeted again, marking a fourth straight week of losses with a 3.31% drop.

Precious metals dropped on the week, with the exception of Platinum, which managed a gain of 0.64%. Gold and silver, on the other hand, both dropped, down 1.47% and 1.93% respectively. Copper rebounded with a strong 6.5% gain on the week, as optimism begins to surround the U.S. and China.

Agricultural commodities displayed weakness, as corn fell steeply, down 5.75% on the week. Wheat and soybeans also fell, down 1.18% and 2.24% respectively. After substantial gains over the past few weeks due to swine flu outbreaks decimating Chinese hog populations, lean hog futures pulled back by 1.21% as other nations implement measures to protect against a similar outbreak.

World Cup Trading Championships

With the first quarter of the 2019 Championships wrapping up, Eduardo Ramos has retained the lead for another week, closing Friday at a net return of 119.8%. Andrei Balanescu regained second place, finishing with a net return of 73.1%. Fabien Fischer finished in third place with a net return of 63.6%. Jonathan Brum da Silva maintained a position in the top 5, finishing in fourth with a net return of 59.7%. The leaderboard was rounded out by Lukas Schreiber with a net return of 48.5%.

 

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