Weekly Market Recap – May 31st, 2019

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Weekly Market Recap – May 31st, 2019

In the Markets

The S&P 500 capped off a 6.6% loss in May dropping 2.6% on the week amidst further trade tensions. The week was marred with escalation between the U.S. and China. Chinese state run newspaper People’s Daily warned that China, whose companies mine more than 70% of the world’s total production of rare-earth ore, could limit exports of rare earth minerals to the U.S. China also reported drafting a list of “unreliable” foreign companies that harm its firms, which some investors read as a retaliatory threat to the U.S. actions against Huawei.

The big trade surprise of the week, however, was a 5% tariff on all imports from Mexico announced by President Trump on Friday. The tariff is set to begin on June 10th, with an incremental increase over the summer until it reaches 25% in October. Joining the S&P 500’s decline, the Dow Jones fell 3% on the week, and the NASDAQ dropped 2.4%.

Crude oil continued its freefall despite Middle East tensions, including a U.S. led coalition airstrike of three Syrian oil tankers enforcing the embargo on the Assad regime. WTI crude futures fell 8.75%. Brent futures showed promise, up 2.07% at Tuesday’s close, before finishing the week down a net of 6.11%. Oil products joined crude’s decline, with gasoline futures dropping 6.85% and heating oil falling 6.57%. Natural Gas joined the rest of the energy sector, falling 5.54%.

Gold began the week down 0.51% through Tuesday, but rallied up 1.73% on the week as equities and crude oil showed weakness. Silver moved ever so slightly, up just 0.24%, while platinum fell below the $800 mark. Losing 1.58% on the week, platinum futures finished at $792.8/ t oz. With trade tensions building, copper fell another 2.48% on the week.

Agricultural commodities ended the week as one of the few sectors displaying strength. Beijing reported placing U.S. soybean purchases on hold in May, sending the crop up 5.93% on the week. Corn followed suit up 5.63%. Wheat did not keep pace, but still managed a 2.96% gain, joined by sugar’s 3.77% increase. Coffee posted a staggering double-digit gain of 12.11% on the week.

World Cup Trading Championships

Durai Ramasamy again finished atop the leaderboard, climbing to a net return of 298.3%. Four time World Cup Trading Champion Kurt Sakaeda vaulted into second place this week, posting a net return of 161.9%. Sadanand Kalasabail made an appearance on the top 5 as well, finishing Friday with a net return of 105.3%. Holger Groechel held onto 4th place with a 83.4% net return, followed by defending champion Petra Ilona Zacek and her net return of 79%.


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