Europe leads global stocks higher as political concerns weigh on US market. Ian Slattery reports.
Global stocks finished the week slightly higher despite increased uncertainty over the US administration’s pro-business agenda, following the dissolution of President Trump’s manufacturing council. The fallout from the response to the Charlottesville protest continued throughout the week, culminating with the news on Friday that Senior Advisor Steve Bannon was to leave the White House. The departure is the fourth from the White House inner circle this summer.
With earnings season essentially wrapped up, the focus once again shifts to economic news. Consumer sentiment in the US beat expectations by hitting its highest level since January, whilst the Conference Board gauge of leading economic indicators rose for the seventh consecutive month in July.
The global index moved higher last week, up 0.2% on the back of a strong performance from eurozone stocks.
Bonds had a negative week with the Merril Lynch over 5 year index returning -0.2%, which means the year-to-date return slips back into negative territory.
Consumer sentiment in the US beat expectations by hitting its highest level since January
Gold slipped also during the week, falling 0.4%. Oil also saw a negative week, returning -0.6% to finish at $48.50. Copper continued to move higher, returning 1%. The industrial metal is now up 17.6% year-to-date.
German 10 year bonds lost value as the yield (which moves inversely to price) moved from 0.38% to 0.41% over the course of the week. The EUR/USD rate closed at $1.18, whilst EUR/GBP was at £0.91.