Global markets largely closed June in positive territory, capping gains on the best first half for global equities since 1997. Investors grew optimistic of some progress being made in the meeting at the G20 Summit in Osaka, between President Trump and China Premier Xi Jinping. The Summit delivered some good news as the two nations agreed to get trade negotiations moving again. With talks back on track, it will be interesting to see how much progress is made in the coming weeks.
In the UK, the main blue-chip index, the FTSE 100, was in line with global markets as investors anticipated the bilateral meet. The index advanced +3.69% in the month to end on 7,425.63. The mid cap index, the FTSE 250 followed suit, gaining 2.59%. The mood was similarly lifted on European markets, as the Euro Stoxx advanced 5.89% in the month.
In the US, the final revision of first quarter GDP growth saw the US economy grow at a solid rate of 3.1%, although business investments and consumer spending grew at a slower pace than previous estimates. The Dow Jones and NASDAQ closed the month up 7.19% and 7.42% respectively.
On the foreign exchanges, sterling closed the month at $1.27 against the US dollar. The euro closed at €1.11 against sterling and at $1.13 against the US dollar.
Brent crude gained 4.38% in the month, to close at $64.39 a barrel. Fears about weaker global demand, as a result of the trade spat, added to the challenges faced by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC look likely to extend oil supply cuts, as Iraq joined Russia and Saudi Arabia in endorsing a policy aimed at supporting the price of crude amid a weakening global economy. The weaker dollar and uncertainty over trade, saw gold recover at the end of the month, after dipping below $1,400 per ounce on 27 June. Gold closed the month up 7.97% on $1,409.25.