US stocks strengthened today with S&P 500 Index approaching all-time high of 4796.56 recorded in January 2022. While Fed officials pushed back on early monetary policy easing, the markets continue to price in a 25bps interest rate cut as early as March 2024. US GDP data for the third quarter due on Thursday is expected unchanged from the previous quarter at 5.2% QoQ. The dollar hovered around the 102 level, while the 10yr US Treasury yield edged slightly higher and stood at 3.95%. Elsewhere, Eurozone and UK inflation figures due on Tuesday and Wednesday will paint a better of the European consumer market. While the single currency area managed to bring inflation down to 2.4%, price pressures remain sticky in the UK with the expectations of a 4.3% YoY reading this week.
A lacklustre day of trading activity across the base metals today, as dovish sentiment diminished across all asset classes. The only exception is aluminium, which continued its rally, jumping higher for the fourth straight day above $2,250/t, falling back within the Q3 trading range of $2,200/-2,300/t. This is despite on-warrant stocks on the LME gaining as much as 64,350mt on the day. Copper was unchanged, fluctuating around $8,500/t. Zinc strengthened once again as stocks continued to diminish on the exchange, closing at $2,539/t. Lead was unchanged at $2,058/t. Nickel remained range-bound at $16,502/t.
Precious metals remained mostly flat today with gold and silver at $2,022.94/oz. and $23.77/oz., respectively. The announcements from BP and Equinor regarding the reduction in shipments through the Red Sea due to security issues drove oil prices higher. WTI jumped to $73.26/bl., while Brent appreciated to $78.60/bl.
All price data is from 18.12.2023 as of 17:30