Markets update: Oil markets in focus following US and Iran tensions

Markets | Mon 6 Jan | Author – Business & Finance
euro stocks markets

Investors are cautiously optimistic amid geopolitical concerns, Ian Slattery reports. 

ian slattery zurich

Ian Slattery

Normal service resumes across markets this week as tensions between the US and Iran remain high. The main focus for markets following the airstrike has been oil and it could be that crude is in for a very bumpy ride in coming weeks. 

Spain’s Pedro Sanchez didn’t quite get enough to votes to win the first parliamentary vote on forming a government but remains on track to get over the line in the second vote due on Tuesday, ending a long period of political stagnation for the country. In the UK, two more prominent candidates throw their hats in the ring for the Labour Party leadership. 

Also worth keeping an eye on is the growing budget battle in Portugal and the ousting of Croatia’s president.

European bond sales will get back to business in this first full week of the new year against a backdrop of the US-Iran tensions which may help to keep the asset class popular as a haven play. 

Equities

All major equity markets moved up slightly last week with the global index up 0.8% in Euro terms. Hong Kong was the strongest market delivering returns of 1.2% in local terms and 1.5% in euro terms.

Fixed Income & FX

The US 10-year yield finished at 1.78% last week. The German equivalent finished at -0.29%. The Irish 10 year bond yield finished at 0.05%. The Euro/US Dollar exchange rate finished at 1.12, whilst Euro/GBP was at 0.85.

Commodities 

Oil finished the week at $64 per barrel, gold finished the week at $1,577 per troy ounce and copper increased to $6,104 per tonne.

The week ahead

Tuesday 7th January: 

Second Spanish electoral vote to be held.

Wednesday 8th January: 

Eurozone Business Confidence data published. 

Friday 10th January: 

US non-farm payrolls data released.

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