“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” were the famous words spoken in 1969 by Neil Armstrong before setting foot on the Moon as the first human in history. Contrary to popular belief, although Neil Armstrong was indeed the first human ever to walk on the Moon he was not the first human to go into space. On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made history when he became the first man to fly into outer space and to orbit the earth itself. Travelling at a speed of around 27,400 kilometres per hour and reaching a maximum height of 327 kilometres, he completed one full orbit of the Earth and landed safely back on the ground some 108 minutes later. This was an historic moment: a human being had been shot into the stars and, more importantly, returned home unharmed. This historic feat was again commemorated last Thursday (April 12th) when the world celebrated “the International Day of Human Space Flight”.
Global markets also tried to shoot for the stars last trading week with Chinese President Xi Jinping taking the stage at the Boao Forum for Asia, an annual summit that's been dubbed the "Asian Davos," referring to the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos Switzerland, where international business and political leaders gather and discuss global politics, economics and social issues. At the Boao forum Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed plans to further open up the Chinese economy & promised to "significantly lower" import tariffs on products including cars, as well as improve the investment environment for foreign companies, in a speech widely seen as conciliatory amid rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Although economists believed the speech was nothing surprising and did not add anything new, it did pave the way at the beginning of this trading week for renewed gains in the global equity markets. Increased concerns about rising military & political tensions in the Middle East again created some volatility in both European & US equity markets the rest of the trading week.
Last trading week, the Ageas share increased by 2.9% to EUR 43.68 outperforming both the Eurostoxx 50 (+1.2%) and the SXIP 600 Insurance index (+2.4%).