Good afternoon everyone. In case you missed it, here’s what happened in the markets this week. Today’s summary will be light compared to what you’re used to. And the Blues Stanley Cup victory is 100% to blame.
Three major themes this week were tensions in the Middle East that disrupted oil markets, China’s push to allow extradition from Hong Kong, and growing concern over “deep fake” videos.
Let’s start with oil. Two oil tankers were attacked yesterday in the Gulf of Oman. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement after the fact saying Iran was responsible. This comes on the heels of a similar attack, also attributed to Iran, which happened to two Saudi Arabia tankers last month. As Gulf states supply much of the worlds oil and gas, any disruption in this area can lead to price instability. However, as oil production in the U.S. is at a record high, this could potential cushion any blows to the oil market related to tension in the MIddle East.
Protestors in Hong Kong are preparing for another mass rally this week. This is in direct response to a bill which would allow those accused of crimes in Hong Kong to be extradited to China. As Hong Kong is the worlds gateway to China this has left many worried over what the future holds for China’s ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy. For more on the potential implications of this CNBC has an article on the topic here.
And last but not least…artificial intelligence has now developed to the point that videos can be created of people saying or doing things that they have never said or done. The problem is that no one can seem to agree on how to handle this. Should it be the FBI? The Department of Homeland Security? The media? For now, Facebook has decided to allow these videos, including ones of CEO Mark Zuckerberg to remain on its platform. To be fair, anyone who’s ever watched Forest Gump should’ve seen this coming.
Have a great weekend everyone. We’ll see you next week!
*These are the general views of Stanton Burns and they should not be construed as investment or financial advice for any individual. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Stanton Burns does not maintain positions in any securities mentioned as of the writing of this article. Past performance is historical and does not guarantee future results.