Weekly Market Recap – June 1st, 2018
In the Markets
The highest-ranking North Korean official to visit the United States in 18 years touched down in Washington, D.C. last week. Kim Yong Chol, regarded as Kim Jong-un’s right-hand man, met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday before delivering a letter from Kim Jong Un to President Trump in a much anticipated meeting on Friday. Following the meeting, it appears the June 12th summit in Singapore is back on, although in an impromptu press conference after Friday’s letter exchange, President Trump acknowledged that the Singapore summit would be one of several meetings needed to reach common ground with North Korea.
Italy remained a top story last week, as fears surrounding government stability led to a sell-off in the nation’s debt securities. A potential Italian exit from the European Union remains a central factor in the European economy, as well as the global economy.
In a move that shook markets this week, the Trump administration announced that aluminum and steel tariffs would be levied against the Europen Union, Mexico, and Canada. These were the same tariffs announced several months back, where exemptions had been given to European allies and NAFTA members: however, following a lack of desired progress in trade talks, President Trump chose to remove those exemptions. This call was met with strong push back, especially regarding the legal basis for the tariffs; the legal grounds used by the Trump administration was centered on national security concerns, causing U.S. allies to balk at the idea that such security concerns would be pointed at them. Many affected nations, including Canada, have threatened counter tariffs against the U.S. leading to the G7 summit.
U.S. markets received a boon as the May employment report showed unemployment falling to 3.8%, with a slight increase in wage growth.
WTI Crude Oil continued its fall last week, dropping over 3% to $65.81/bbl on July Futures. Brent Crude climbed slightly, however, causing the WTI Brent spread to eclipse $10/bbl. Geopolitical concerns in the Middle East and Venezuela, as well as OPEC’s decisions on increasing production, will have direct effects on the future trajectory of crude.
The U.S. dollar continued its bullish rise last week, with Dollar Index futures spiking to just under 95 on Wednesday. It fell to end the week, however, closing at 94.169.
In a highly volatile week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the week down 0.5%, while the S&P 500 rose 0.5%, and the NASDAQ climbed 1.6%.
World Cup Trading Championships
Jan Smolen, who took the lead for the first time last week, saw his lead grow to almost 95% on Thursday, before finishing the week at 85%, which stand as the two greatest leads Smolen has held since taking over first place on May 21st. He finished the week at a net return of 166.46%.
Paul Skarp held onto second place, finishing the week with a net return of 81.18%. Wayne Wan, who had a bit back and forth fight with Jonathan Brum da Silva as they competed for the third place, finished on top with a net return of 64.24% as he attempts to close in on the top two traders. Brum da Silva finished at 51.72%.
The fifth place position saw the return of 3 time World Cup Trading Champion Kurt Sakaeda, who had been on hiatus from the top 5 since March 13th. Sakaeda took over Takumaru Sakakibara on Thursday, and finished the week at a net return of 44.11%.
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.