The FTSE index hasn’t missed a beat in the Monday session, after posting gains on Friday. In the North American trade, the FTSE is trading at 7,528, up 0.92% on the day. It’s a light data session, with no British events. On Tuesday, the U.K. releases public sector net borrowing.
The Brexit conundrum continues to grab the headlines, but this hasn’t had any effect on the FTSE, which continues to head upwards. The blue-chip index soared 8.0% in the first quarter and hasn’t missed a beat in April, gaining 3.2%. Despite the turmoil surrounding Brexit and the lingering uncertainty over Britain’s imminent departure from the EU, investor confidence remains high. The British economy has generally performed well, although there are constant concerns that a no-deal Brexit could send the British economy reeling.
Crude oil prices jumped to a 5-month high after the Trump administration announced that it would terminate sanction waivers given to some importers of Iranian oil, as of May 1. This move is intended to further tighten sanctions against Iran and cripple Iranian oil exports. The move has been bitterly criticized by Iran, which has upped the ante by threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, a critical gateway for seaborne oil shipments. The rising geopolitical temperature could further boost oil prices, which are up 50% since December. Higher oil prices could weigh on economic growth and send stock markets lower.