Monday, 9th April: After European close on Friday, US markets took a tumble as heightened tension over potential trade wars and a weaker than expected jobs number sent indices more than 2% lower. The rhetoric of Trump’s trade plans haven’t escalated over the weekend, resulting in Asia trading higher before European markets followed suit for the first full week of the quarter. Returns were muted over the course of the morning before the FTSE turned lower over lunch as Evraz plummeted to the bottom of the index (-14.45%). The London-listed Russian steelmaker canon-balled as the US, not happy with just falling out with China, announced plans of sanctions against some Russian companies and business elites on Friday. Polymetal, one of the largest precious metals in the region suffered from the same fate (-18.37%). In all the US have imposed sanctions on seven Russian oligarchs with ties to President Vladimir Putin and 12 companies they own or control. A further 17 senior Russian government officials are also affected. Russian indices fell heavily while the Russian rouble suffered its biggest one-day fall for over 2 years; USD/RUB +3.42%.
Latest house price data from the UK’s biggest mortgage lender has shown house prices to be rising at a better than expected rise of 2.7% in the first 3 months of 2018. In monthly terms, house prices have risen by 1.5% to £227,871, the fastest rise since August 2017.
The blue chip index had a turnaround in fortunes after the US open and clawed back to close the day +0.15%. Major indices across Europe closed relatively flat while both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 are making gains, reversing Friday’s losses at the time of writing. As trade tensions between the US and China seem ease for the time being, attention has turned to rising tensions in the Middle-East, with oil prices rising over the course of the day. Brent Oil, +1.59% at the time of writing, has risen despite further rising oil production in the US.