Just over a week ago we experienced low temperatures and monsoon-like weather; fast-forward and the UK experienced the hottest May Bank Holiday on record, with temperatures soaring close to 30C. An Indian Summer is a period of unseasonably warm weather and a reference we feel appropriate to apply to the warming relations between North and South Korea.

Last week, we wrote about North and South Korea who continue to build on their union. Further integration came on Saturday when North Korea moved their clocks forward by 30-minutes to bring them in line with South Korea. Integration also extended on the sporting front, with North and South Korea sending a unified team to the World Table Tennis championships over the weekend. These are small, in the case of Table Tennis, but significant steps, in the case of aligning time zones. Sport has a history of bringing people together and we continue to monitor ongoing negotiations with interest.

Last Tuesday marked the official second longest US economic expansion in history, comprising over 160 years of data and 34 business cycles. If the current momentum continues in to 2019 and passes July, it will mark the longest expansion in US history. Whilst March was a trying month for markets, April was markedly better, with positive earnings data coming from most sectors although technology and financials very much continue to lead the way. Commodities surprised to the upside; wheat was the best performer returning +13%. Brent Crude rose +8.5% and West Texas Intermediate, +5.6% in April, breaching new multi-year highs as the demand/supply dynamics in the oil market approached a more level position.

Brexit negotiations continue to receive push back from the EU regarding the Irish border. The UK’s Brexit Secretary, David Davis, told Parliament that it could take “years” to put practical measures in place to resolve border issues. Despite this, Davis does want “a very substantive” agreement on future relations with the EU by October, leaving him five months to thrash out further detail.

The week ahead is relatively quiet in terms of data releases, however, there will be several addresses from key economic leaders throughout the week.