As markets emulated a roller coaster over the course of the week, major news came from Saudi Arabia late Friday. The Saudi Foreign Ministry announced Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist critical of some of the young Crown Prince’s actions, was killed inside the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul during an escalated fist fight. International tension had picked up throughout the week surrounding Khashoggi’s disappearance as key figures have pulled out of the investment summit known as, “Davos in the Desert.” Chinese economic growth slowed in the third quarter to 6.5%, and a Brexit deal is “90% done” according to chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier – but a contentious point regarding the Irish border remains unanswered.
The U.S. large company stock index managed to nudge higher despite equities across the globe continuing their descent this week. Estimated catastrophe losses due to the seasons weather events were released by AIG on Thursday at greater than $1.5 billion and bank stocks were benefited by an increase in the long end of the Treasury yield curve. Federal Reserve minutes were also released this week which had a hawkish tone. Interest rate normalization has been the goal of the FOMC, but discussions ensued that a more restrictive policy might be needed to keep inflation near the 2% target.
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