As we approach the end of March, and with that the end of the first quarter of 2021, it was a positive week overall for developed markets, rectifying the small losses from the week prior. US equities suffered a slight dip mid-week, seeing a loss of 1.4% in the run up to Thursday, however, these losses were recovered and some on Friday to finish the week up 1.5%. This was a similar story in Europe as the FTSE 100 finished the week up 0.5% and European equities up a similar figure. China, along with most of emerging markets, finished the week down although this has been a continuous theme throughout March.
All eyes have been on the Suez Canal in Egypt as a cargo ship ran aground last Tuesday, blocking a vital path for vessels between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. As the vessel is still stuck, the 12% of global trade and one million barrels of oil that typically cross the Canal would have to take the alternative route around Africa, adding two weeks to travel times, equating to nearly $10 billion worth of cargo being held up each day. This did see the price of oil drop 6.2% on Tuesday although has since recovered with Brent Crude up to nearly $65 per barrel on Friday.