Last week saw an extended weekend for the Memorial Day public holiday where the nation remembers those in its armed forces who died serving their country. Understandably, it was a pretty quiet start to the week on the US political front, however, progress being made with regards to a possible meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un was in focus. One of the North Korean leaders most trusted aides, General Kim Yong-Chol, was on route to the White House to try and reinvigorate efforts to get the two leaders to hold a summit. General Kim is the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit the US in nearly 20 years and it seems both sides are trying to get the canceled June 12th meeting in Singapore reinstated or at least rescheduled. Late Friday, Trump has announced the meeting is 'back on track'.
After the turmoil in Europe, relative calm returned to world markets near the end of the week and all eyes in the US at least shifted to the US Jobs Report. The report, released at 8:30 am EST on Friday, expected Non-Farm Payrolls to have increased by around 189k in May, however the headline number was well above at 223K. Despite the NFP being the headline print, the market is more focused on the wage growth number with earnings increasing by 0.3% on a monthly basis and 2.7% as the annualized figure which was expected. The numbers are giving market participants the signal a June rate hike from the Fed is now even more possible.
Away from data, the Trump administration has enacted its threat to impose steel and aluminum tariffs overnight with Canada, Mexico, and the EU being hit with 25% import duty on steel and 10% on aluminum. Commodity currencies dipped on the news.
Asian equities finished lower to close out the week however European bourses are in positive territory this as positive news regarding the Italian coalition emerged. Gold and oil are both lower to end the week and start the month, with gold currently at 1295.10 down 4.93 and WTI crude at 66.50 dollars per barrel done 54 cents US.