Investors trod cautiously in the face of mounting uncertainties, awaiting more clarity with regard to forthcoming UK’s election and FBI director James Comey’s testimony to the Senate this week. No doubt Comey’s testimony put Trump in an unfavorable light, but it still fell short of building a case of obstruction of justice.
Meanwhile, the UK election exit poll on 8 June indicated a sharp drop in support for the ruling Conservative Party, which could lead to a hung parliament should the Conservatives fail to secure a majority.
The Dow broke historical new high at 21,206.29 on 2 June but lost the momentum to advance further. Over the fortnight the Wall Street bellwether eked out narrow gains of 0.5 percent to close at 21,182.53. Correspondingly, S&P500 and Nasdaq finished 0.8 and 1.9 percent higher, to close at 2,433.79 and 6,321.76 respectively.
Oil prices went on a rollercoaster ride amid an escalation of Qatar’s diplomatic rift with its Arab neighbors, as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed diplomatic ties with Qatar who is alleged to have been backing terrorism and meddling in their internal affairs. Oil tumbled a further five percent on 7 June following data released by the EIA showing an unexpected inventory build.
Over in Asia, we saw feeble attempts by the major indices to push beyond key resistances. Nikkei broke the 20,000 level gaining 1.7 percent to close at 20,013.26. Likewise, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index concluded the fortnight posting a modest gain of 1.5 percent after clearing the 26,000 mark climbing to 26,030.29. Meanwhile, Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.6 percent to finish at 3,158.40.
During the last two weeks, Straits Times Index fluctuated within a narrow range between 3,200 and 3,255. The local benchmark ended the fortnight growing 1.1 percent to close at 3,254.19.
Looking forward, Fed’s FOMC meeting on 13 and 14 June as well as its outcomes would be a well-monitored event drawing