• The FTSE 100 closed 32 points lower on Friday at 7,428.2, compared to a week ago, as results from some blue chip firms disappointed investors. The ten year Gilt yield stood at 1.15%. 
  • US GDP surged in Q1 2019, reaching 3.2% on an annualised basis, which exceeded a consensus forecast of 2.3% and the Q4 2018 figure of 2.2%. 
  • The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, confirmed that the UK will host talks on economic co-operation with China in London in June. 
  • Veteran US investor, Warren Buffett, said that he would be willing to invest in the UK “tomorrow”, irrespective of the outcome of Brexit. 

Chief Economist comments: 

Just a month ago, commentators were discussing the risk of a US recession, yet last week we saw growth rebound. This is not an isolated incident. The most recent Chinese and UK GDP numbers were better-than-expected. In part, central banks have done a good job of reassuring investors that rates will not rise. Also, employment levels remain high around the world, while inflation is low. Consequently, the global economy is finishing April with an air of confidence. Note that Warren Buffett said that it is now becoming difficult to find quality assets to buy in the US. Standby for more dollar investors looking for overseas deals.