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Accumulator: pound shields investors from nuclear fallout

The standoff between the US and North Korea dominated markets this week, but UK investors escaped the worst.

 
Accumulator: pound shields investors from nuclear fallout

Look at this week's Accumulator data table, and you wouldn't have guessed a standoff between two nuclear powers was the news that dominated markets.

Escalating tensions between the US and North Korea rattled investors this week, with the FTSE 100 sliding 222 points, or 3%, over the last three sessions.

But today's sell-off isn't captured by our Accumulator table, which highlights performance over the week to Thursday. That period also includes last Friday's rally, on better-than-expected US jobs data.

Timing issues aside, the pound's fall over the last week has also been a factor. Sterling's decline against the dollar helped to shield investors from losses in the US over the five days to yesterday, despite the S&P 500's biggest fall in three months yesterday.

The pound lost even more ground to the Japanese yen, a traditional safe haven currency at times of stress, transforming losses into gains for UK investors in the country's stocks.

The flight to safety can be seen in the surge in precious metals prices, with gold up 2.7% and silver rallying 4% over the week.

Bonds meanwhile beat shares, with fixed income in all the major markets rallying.

You can access The Accumulator table here.

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