Trading room at Zurich Life Investments Ireland
All eyes will be on the UK ahead of the General Election this week. In the meantime, UK equities hit record highs, writes Ian Slattery.
Global equities extended their gains last week, the FTSE 100 and Dax both set milestone benchmark levels but US stocks were the headline news as all three major US indices posted all-time record highs.
US President Donald Trump may have made the headlines in Europe by pulling out of the Paris climate change agreement but there was good news in the markets as Europe continued to show economic growth as the eurozone manufacturing purchasing managers' index firmed to 57.0 from 56.7 in April, the highest in six years.
Oil prices continued to fall despite last week's announcement by OPEC to cut production. Oil markets look set to become even more volatile as a group of Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia severed ties with Qatar, accusing it of fuelling terrorism.
The global index rose 0.4% last week, with the US and Japan leading the way. Gold made gains once again, and is now over 11% this year. Silver also had a positive week posting a 1.2% return bringing it over 10% for the year to date. As mentioned previously oil had another bad week as Brent Crude dipped by 1.1% as it managed to stay afloat at just over $50 a barrel.
The price of the US 10-year bond rose as yields fell to 2.16% from 2.25% a week previous. The equivalent German yield also fell to 0.27% from 0.33% last week.
The week ahead
Tuesday 6th June: In Australia, The Reserve Bank of Australia is due to meet today to make a decision on interest rates. It is widely expected that the cash rate will remain at its historic low level of 1.5%.
Thursday 8th June: On Thursday, all eyes will be on the UK as we await the General Election results. Polls have Theresa May ahead with Labour Party's Jeremey Corbyn closing ground.
Thursday 8th June: The General Council of the ECB will meet on Thursday to make a decision on monetary policy. Despite mixed signals coming from the ECB lately it is believed Mario Draghi will keep policies the same for the time being.