Friday, 9th March: It’s fascinating what can change over the course of a single day. On Wednesday, I wrote of the potential import tariffs on steel and aluminium, the key word here being potential, and when I return on Friday, I find out that it has become a reality, and is set to begin in the next 15 days. The lucky two who are exempt from the tariff, albeit temporarily exempt, are Canada and Mexico. As previously mentioned, the tariff consists of a 25% penalty on steel imports, and 10% penalty on aluminium imports. Although his initial plans were to have no exceptions on the tariff, the exemption of Canada and Mexico has given others the courage to demand exemption too, including the EU Trade Commission and Japan.
After causing havoc across the globe with the import tariff, Trump decided to balance things out by agreeing to a meeting to improve relations with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, which will also be the first meeting between the two leaders and will hopefully allow them to put their bitter past, and nuclear weapons, behind them.
Meetings between Trump and Kim aren’t the only high profile relationships being given attention this week, as Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia continues his ‘tour’ of London, including Fridays with British defence minister Gavin Williamson to discuss the exchange of up to 48 Typhoon fighter jets made by BAE systems. As a result, the group were trading 2.14% higher in the afternoon at 602p and were amongst the top 10 gainers on the blue-chip index.
At the bottom was WPP, still suffering from the poor results which were released at the beginning of March for the full year of 2017 and caused a decline of more than 8.0%. Today, they were down more than 2% at £12.05, and 18% away from their price mid-February.
The FTSE 100 managed to hold onto its gains for the full week, and ended 2.18% higher than Fridays close and 0.30% higher on the day at 7224.51.