May saw the end of May…..following the European elections, Theresa May resigned as Prime Minister and over the next few weeks, the Conservative party will be choosing their new leader and Prime Minister.

With the Brexit deadline moved to the end of October, this will be the main priority for the new leader.

Despite this, global stock markets were mainly impacted this month by the on-going trade war rhetoric between the United States and China.

The FTSE 100 Index closed May at 7,161.71, which was 3.5% lower than the April closing level.

In the US, the Dow Jones 30 suffered a bigger fall of 6.7%, ending May at 24,815.04.

In terms of currency, £ Sterling ended May at 1.26 US Dollars.  This was 3.1% lower than the closing figure at the end of April.

It was a similar story against the Euro as £ Sterling ended May at 1.13 Euros, which was 2.8% lower than the April closing figure.

Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH), was 2.0% in April 2019 (this is April’s data which is reported in May).  This was up from 1.8% in the previous month.  The 12-month rate for the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate which excludes owner occupied housing costs and council tax was 2.1% in April 2019, again up from 1.9% in March 2019.

The Bank of England maintained interest rates at 0.75% in May.  The last change was an increase in August last year.  This means long-suffering deposit savers are likely to continue to lose money in real terms when you consider the rate of savings interest compared to the rate of inflation.

With external influences remaining uncertain, it is likely to remain a volatile period for investors.  So, it is increasingly important to invest in a well diversified investment proposition.