Market Analysis – April 2020
At the end of April, several major global markets closed the month in positive territory. On the last trading day of the month, Europe’s largest markets lost most of the healthy gains accrued the previous day, as cautious statements from economists and central banks weighed on sentiment.
The FTSE 100 surged back above the 6,000 mark on Wednesday 29 April, buoyed by positive results from a trial of antiviral drug remdesivir, but after a tumultuous day of trading on the last day of the month, the index closed on 5,901.21, a monthly gain of 4.04%. On 30 April, energy price stocks slid as oil major Royal Dutch Shell cut its dividend for the first time since the end of the Second World War. The FTSE 250 gained 8.96% in the month to close on 16,454.46 and the AIM index closed the month up 18.77%. On European markets, the Euro Stoxx gained 5.06% in the month and in Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 6.75%.
In the US, on the last day of the month, the Dow Jones faltered on the opening bell after the latest US jobless claims reading of 3.83 million, took the level to above 30 million since the beginning of the outbreak. The index closed April up 11.08%, with the NASDAQ Composite up 15.45% as Tesla and Facebook helped boost the index.
On the foreign exchanges, sterling closed the month at $1.25 against the US dollar. The euro closed at €1.15 against sterling and at $1.09 against the US dollar. Gold is currently trading at around $1,688 a troy ounce, a gain of 7.17% on the month. In the third week of April, oil prices dropped into negative territory for the first time as traders started paying to have barrels taken off their hands due to the total collapse in demand caused by the pandemic. The oil price has recovered a little since its recent low, with Brent Crude currently trading at around $26 per barrel, a gain of 0.49% on the month.
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