US stocks opened lower as markets braced for the jobs report release tomorrow, which is set to take place during the Easter break; if the figure comes outside of the estimates, this could trigger a sharp reaction on Tuesday, when markets return. Change in nonfarm payrolls is forecast to come at 230,000, which would put it on par with December figures. Meanwhile, US initial jobless claims pointed to continued strength in the labour market, at 228,000 in the week ending April 1st. This comes in a slight contrast to yesterday’s ADP data, and we do not expect to see a protracted impact on unemployment measures until job openings and jobless claims move in unison to suggest otherwise. Next week will be opening into a number of data releases, with US CPI out on Wednesday, which is forecast to ease further into 5.2% y/y, down from 6.0%. The dollar tested the 102 level, while the 10yr US Treasury yield dropped below 3.30%.
Metals struggled to gain momentum ahead of the four-day break; we remain cautious about the market opening following the Easter holidays, given the protracted historical moves on the LME in previous years; the labour market report could add some volatility from the macro side. Aluminium fluctuated around $2,350/t, closing slightly below at $2,333.50/t. Copper remained unchanged at $8,800/t. Lead fell below the support of $2,100/t, the level not breached since mid-March, which we expect to encourage some downstream buying for longer-term orders; the metal settled at $2,095.50/t. Zinc closed lower at $2,779/t.
Oil futures remained elevated above $80/bl. Gold and silver weakened following the safe-haven rally in recent days; both metals now trade at $2,011/oz and $24.90/oz, respectively.
All price data is from 06.04.2023 as of 17:30