Political developments dominated market headlines during the week including the U.K. Parliament vote and former FBI Director, James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Days before Brexit negotiations are due to start, the ruling Conservative Party lost its parliamentary majority casting a new shadow of uncertainty around the situation. Comey’s testimony passed with light influence on markets or overall surprises, but the continued political distractions on the domestic administration are not likely to speed up their proposals on health care, tax and infrastructure spending.
Domestic stocks were set to finish again at record highs until a meaningful selloff in technology occurred pushing the broad index into negative territory. Other influences out of the U.S. came from its dramatic surprise in weekly crude inventories sending oil futures sharply down adding to uncertainty that the OPEC oligopoly can reform global supply and demand. The British Pound fell to an eight month low following election results which gave a boost to export centric companies in the area and an overall increase in its stock index. Central banks will be watched closely next week with a meeting in the U.S. expected to raise rates and other meetings held in Japan, U.K. and Switzerland to name a few.
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