The US-China trade war returned to centre stage last week as investors swayed between optimism and caution as mixed, but broadly positive reports turned the markets bullish. Reports earlier in the week suggested that China was demanding more concessions in rolling back existing tariffs as a condition for the first phase deal. There was more uncertainty as the US suggested midweek that a deal might be delayed until December but on Thursday markets turned positive again as China stated that the US had agreed to roll back existing tariffs as part of the first phase deal. As a result Crude Oil and stocks were boosted, while Gold decreased in value.
The General Election campaign officially began in the UK with investors keeping a close eye on opinion polls. The governing Conservatives have a firm 12% lead over the Labour party, although some opinion polls show that this lead is narrowing The election will take place on December 12th and investors will be hoping for a clear result which doesn’t prolong the uncertainty on Brexit.
The Middle East was another source of focus last week with both Iran and Iraq in the headlines and affecting Crude and Gold prices. While Iran continues its nuclear program in Iraq large numbers of protests continued with some blocking the key Nassiriya oil refinery and disrupting oil supplies.
Crude Prices were again pressured by poor inventories data this week, but finished higher over trade optimism.
Stock prices recorded all time highs again this week as trade sentiment supported the markets and better than expected US economic data, continued to calm fears of a US economic slowdown.
The prices of Natural Gas, Crude Oi, Palladium, Silver Platinum, and Gold saw the greatest volatility last week.
Natural Gas was the most volatile last week at 14.25%, and edged lower over the week by 0.64%, as the weather forecasts showed slightly milder weather was expected dampening prices somewhat.
Crude oil also experienced very high oscillations, showing volatility of 13.34%. The commodity’s price slipped slightly by 0.21% and prices were most volatile on Wednesday as fears over global demand continued amid nervousness over US – China first phase trade talks progress.
Palladium saw great volatility, recording 10.06% volatility but falling by 3.04% over the week with a strengthening dollar putting pressure on precious metals last week.
Silver was also highly volatile last week recording volatility of 12.68% and fell lower by 6.31%. Silver saw greatest volatility on Tuesday.
Platinum prices oscillated this week recording 11.46% volatility and declined by 3.04% over the week. The precious metal experienced most volatility on Thursday.
Gold prices continued oscillating by 6.68% last week and traded downwards by 3.51% over the week with the precious metal seeing most volatility on Thursday, in a volatile week that saw trade optimism turn slightly sour at the very end of the week.