Weekly Market Recap – July 6th, 2018
In the Markets
On July 6th, the Trump administration’s first round of tariffs against China went into effect. These tariffs, effecting around $50 billion worth of Chinese exports, were issued to combat China’s allegedly unfair trade practices, including forced transfer of American technology and intellectual property. The tariffs cover 1,102 different products, targeting China’s “Made in China 2025” industrial policy. China’s retaliatory tariffs are still on the horizon, which could put pressure on the U.S. to increase their trade actions, as tensions increase between the U.S. and China.
Good news for U.S. markets arrived from the BLS June 2018 job report. 213,000 jobs were added in June, exceeding the 195,000 expected. Despite a positive month, unemployment rose to 4.0%, signifying more workers entering the job market, which bodes well for employee sentiment, as companies continue to fill positions. Wage growth remained slow, quelling concerns regarding increased interest rate hikes as inflation remains low. May and April both had job growth numbers revised up, showing a net gain of 37,000 from what was previously reported.
Volatility ticked up last week as trade tensions and employment reports brought varying news. The dollar weakened, with the dollar index falling 0.61% on September futures. Gold dropped to a new low before rallying to end the week, with net change up 0.1%. Silver fell 0.8% on the week, and platinum was down 1.06%.
WTI Crude oil rallied to start the week, with August futures climbing above $75/bbl, before falling to close the week, posting a loss of 0.47%. Brent Crude dropped 2.62% on the week, as the market awaits Saudi production decisions, with the slowdown of Iranian Oil usage approaching.
Soybeans rallied this week after several weeks of losses, rising 1.65% on the week.
World Cup Trading Championships
The top three ended the week the same way they began; Jan Smolen held first place, gaining 3.5% on the week finishing with a net return of 164.8%. Paul Skarp took the July 4th holiday week off, retaining second place with his net return of 103.84% from last week. Kurt Sakaeda maintained third place, climbing to 88% on Thursday, before finishing the week with a net gain of almost 3% from last week, closing at 75.45%.
The last two spots on the top 5 shuffled between Takumaru Sakakibara, Petra Illona Zecek, and Carlos Eisenberg. Carlos came out on top in those three, finishing in 4th place with a net return of 57.82%. Takumaru was bumped out of the top 5 for July 3rd-5th, but regained 5th place to end the week, closing with a net return of 43.71%.
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