Weekly Market Recap – June 15th, 2018
In the Markets
The week ended with a substantial development in the U.S. China trade conflict, as the long rumored tariff skirmish materialized into reality with the Trump administration announcing a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports. China was quick to respond, stating that they will enforce equivalent tariffs against the U.S., followed by President Trump claiming that the U.S. would levy additional tariffs on top of those going into effect July 6th in response to any retaliatory measures taken by China.
As tensions between China and the U.S. escalated, the Singapore summit between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un seemed to calm relations between Washington and Pyongyang. While this was only the first of the many meetings that will be required to reach any sort of accord, denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, Washington’s top priority in the region, was on the table.
The Fed made its second rate increase of 2018, increasing interest rates by 25 bases points, and announced intentions to make 2 more rate increases this year.
Across the Atlantic, the European Central Bank announced that it would continue its quantitative easing (QE) program through December. QE was originally set to end in September, but the ECB will continue the purchasing of government and private debt, though at a decreased rate in the final quarter, moving from 30 billion euros of debt a month to 15 billion euros.
Commodities showed broad pullbacks this week as substantial economic and geopolitical developments rocked North America, Europe, and Asia. Precious metals all fell, with gold down 1.86%, silver down 1.56%, and platinum down 1.98%.
WTI Crude fell 1.03%, while Brent Crude dove 4.28% on the week. Oil products didn’t fare any better, with Gasoline down 4.35% and Heating Oil falling 3.57%. Energy didn’t face a total loss this week, as Natural Gas climbed 4.57%.
Grains posted losses across the board, with soybeans, a top U.S. export to China, down 6.58%, Corn down 4.37%, and CBOT Wheat down 3.96%.
With the ECB’s QE decision leading the euro down, the dollar index strengthened this week, up 1.44%.
The S&P 500 finished dead even on the week, while the NASDAQ rose 1.3%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.9%.
World Cup Trading Championships
Jan Smolen held onto his lead, finishing the week with a net return of 173%. Jan also was announced as the latest member of the World Cup Advisor Team. Second place was a point of contention between Paul Skarp and Wayne Wan this week, but Skarp managed to reclaim second place with a net return of 112.4%, while Wan remained in third with a net return of 64.82%. Kurt Sakaeda returned to the top 5, finishing just a few points behind Wayne Wan in 4th place with a net return of 62.91%. Takumaru Sakakibara rounded out the top 5 with a net return of 50.42%.
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.