So here we are in August, and whilst it has been a relatively quiet start to the week for markets, we can now look back to see that in July, the S&P 500 had its best month since 2020, up 9.1% over the period.
Sticking with the US, whilst on a tour of Asia, Nancy Pelosi (speaker of the US House of Representatives) landed in Taiwan. This is despite multiple warnings from China as Taiwan is an independently governed, self-declared democracy. But as the Chinese government has claimed Taiwan as part of its territory, this trip has since been condemned by China who have started military drills in the surrounding waters.
Elsewhere, following successful negotiations in Turkey in recent weeks promising grain to be safely shipped from Ukraine, a grain ship has safely left the port of Odesa. This has been welcomed globally, given that the blockade that has been in place at ports has caused concern over a global food crisis – the release of these shipments is likely to ease some of the pressures behind inflation.
BP plans to pay billions of pounds to shareholders, after releasing its Q2 results this week, showing the largest profit since 2008. The energy giant, which sits as one of the largest companies in the FTSE 100 by market capitalisation, reported £6.9 billion in profit in the second quarter. The company has now increased its dividend pay-out by 10%. The oil major is one of many western oil companies that have seen strong profits.
Later today we have an OPEC+ meeting, where the group will discuss output, and later in the week, the Bank of England will set interest rates.
Hannah Owen, Portfolio Specialist.