Global markets were mixed during the week as investors remained cautious in the face of uncertainty over Syria, escalating fears of a new weapons test by North Korea and tightening polls in the French presidential election.Investors were concerned about tensions between the United States and Russia after US President Donald Trump suggested there could be no peace in Syria while Moscow-backed President Bashar al-Assad remains in power. Similarly, tension has escalated in the Korean Peninsula following a warning from North Korea of a nuclear attack on the US.
The US dollar and Treasury yields tumbled on Thursday on the US President Donald Trumps comments favouring lower interest rates. The US markets were down 0.3% for the week gone by.
Asian stocks put in a mixed performance amid a raft of regional economic data. The stock market in China and Japan was down by 0.3% and 1.3% respectively for the week gone by.
The stock market in France suffered the heaviest losses of the major Eurozone markets, as opinion polls showed left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon who had previously not been seen as a serious contender gaining ground ahead of the first round of voting in the presidential election on April 23. Frances CAC 40 was down by 1.1% for the week gone by.
Oil prices rose on Wednesday, putting crude futures on track for their longest streak of gains since August 2016. Saudi Arabia was reported to be lobbying OPEC and other producers to extend a production cut beyond the first half of 2017. Crude was up 1.3% for the week gone by.