AIB shares launched

Between AIB's long awaited floatation and the proposed acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon, positivity continued to reverberate across the markets, writes Ian Slattery.

Trading room at Zurich Life Investments Ireland

Equities hit new all-time highs on Monday but moved lower throughout the week, as some investor confidence evaporated. Oil weighed on markets as doubts surrounding the efficacy of output cuts persisted. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) benchmark entered a bear market (defined as a 20% fall from its high), and it remains to be seen whether concerns will fully spill over into other markets.

Confidence remains within certain sectors of the market as the proposed acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon continued to have positive reverberations throughout the Technology sector. The US Conference Board of leading indicators also rose in May, for a fifth consecutive month.

In domestic news, the long awaited flotation of AIB took place with an issue price of €4.40 per share, netting close to €3 billion for the Irish exchequer. The sale was the biggest in Europe this year and the 25% stake values the firm at €12 billion, with the government continuing to own just over 70% of the bailed out bank.

The global index eked out a small gain last week, rising by 0.1%. Oil fell once more, down close to 4% over the course of the week. Gold was up by 0.25%, whilst Copper saw a more positive move, returning 2.2%. US 10 year Treasuries were relatively flat, with the yield moving to 2.14%, from 2.15% a week ago.

The week ahead

Monday 26th June: US durable goods orders data goes to print, where a contraction of 0.5% is expected, from a 0.8% fall a month earlier.

Wednesday 28th & Thursday 29th June: The UK Parliament will vote on the Queen's Speech, which is liable to be the first real test of the potential Conservative and DUP coalition.

Thursday 29th June: The final estimate for US Q1 GDP figure is released, and the consensus expect a growth figure of 1.2% (month-on-month) to be confirmed.

About: Zurich Investments

The team at Zurich Investments is a long established and highly experienced team of investment managers who manage approximately €21.6bn in investments of which pension assets amount to €9.6bn. Find out more about Zurich Life's funds and investments here.

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