Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 6th of September 2017.

On the last day of August, the third round of Brexit negotiations in Brussels ended in “no decisive progress” according to Europe’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier. Upbeat Chinese and US economic news provided some light relief, while geopolitical tensions over North Korea persisted.

UK stocks ended the month in positive territory. The blue chip FTSE100 peaked on August 8th at 7,542.73, before drifting off to finish the month at 7,430.62, for a modest gain of 0.8%, advancing 58.62 points.

The wider FTSE250 closed just 22.45 points up (0.11%) at 19,803.59, tailing off a little from its peak of 19,988.50 on August 7th. The junior AIM market surpassed this, lifting 2.74% in August to end at 1,010.91.

In the US, the Dow Jones gained 61.23 points, up 0.28% in the month, closing at 21,952.35; whilst the Nasdaq saw a 1.27% improvement to close the month at 6,428.66.

On the continent, the Eurostoxx50 fell 0.81% at month end to finish on 3,421.47. The Japanese Nikkei225 lost 1.40% in August closing at 19,646.24. Asian markets have been jolted by North Korean missile testing over Japan. Theresa May has recently concluded a three-day visit to Japan to discuss trade and security, in a bid to convince Japan that London and Tokyo are perfect partners for the post-Brexit world.

On the foreign exchanges, sterling slipped against the US dollar, losing 3 cents to $1.29. The euro closed at €1.08 against sterling and closed at $1.19 against the dollar.

The gold price rallied in August, notching up a rise of 4.09% to close the month at $1,321.21 a Troy ounce. Oil prices slid lower as ongoing disruptions from tropical storm Harvey kept refineries from buying crude, weighing on demand but prompting fears over fuel shortages. The commodity closed the month at $52.35 a barrel.