Market Commentary for the Week: 19 (7- 11 May2018)

With few exceptions, major global equity markets posted solid gains this week. Constructive talks between the U.S. and China and the U.S. and North Korea provided a boost to broader market sentiment. U.S. stocks ended mostly higher Friday, with the Dow posting its longest win streak since late last year. Although comments by President Donald Trump proposing sweep changes to health-care policy briefly pushed the main benchmarks to intraday losses before rebounding.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4%, to 24,831.17, marking its seventh straight positive session.



The S&P 500 rose 0.2%, to 2,727.72, with gains in health-care stocks, up 1.5%, and telecommunications, rising by 2.1%, producing the best returns of the broad-market benchmark’s 11 sectors. Financials shares were particularly strong, seemingly helped by an increase in longer-term bond yields early in the week, which offer the prospect for higher bank lending margins. 



The Nasdaq Composite Index meanwhile, lagged behind, finishing at break-even levels for the session, down less than 0.1%, at 7,402.88, and ending its multiday run-up of five consecutive advances, that representing its best string of victories since February.



For the week, the Dow rose 2.3%, the S&P 500 advanced 2.4% and the Nasdaq climbed 2.7%.

Crude oil prices jumped to their highest level since late 2014. This comes after U.S. President Donald Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal. Oil prices on Friday pulled back from 3 ½-year highs, but marked a second weekly climb in a row, driven by uncertainty over how much oil the global market will lose following the U.S. decision to reimpose sanctions on OPEC member Iran. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, June WTI crude oil fell 66 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $70.70 a barrel, after closing at $71.36 Thursday The contract logged a roughly 1.4% weekly climb.



Gold prices settled lower on Friday, but finished higher than a week ago as a benchmark dollar index weakened. June gold  fell 0.1%, to settle at $1,320.70 an ounce—marking the highest finish for a most-active contract since April 27. Futures saw a roughly 0.5% rise for the week, which marked the first weekly climb in about a month.



Bitcoin on Friday broke below a short-term support line at $9,000, extending selloff in the previous session that took all major currencies into the red for the week. The price of bitcoin had spent the best part of the week consolidating after nearing the $10,000 mark late last week. A single bitcoin last traded at $8,593.01, down 5.5% since Thursday’s levels. Bitcoin futures closed the week on a sour note. The Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s May contract closed down 5.2% at $8,620 and the CME Group Inc. May contract finished the week at $8,625, down 5.1%.



Altcoins extended losses throughout Friday. Ether has lost 7%, trading at $684.99.