US stocks fluctuated. Data from the world’s biggest economy showed last week that the 30-year mortgage rate dropped to its lowest since June. Market expectations of interest rate cuts and decreased borrowing costs in 2024 impacted consumers’ confidence, with the Conference Board Consumer Confidence index increasing in December by much more than expected, from 101.0 to 110.7. Elsewhere, the UK CPI reading surprised the markets with softer-than-expected inflation at 3.9% YoY in November, driven by transportation and food. The positive data led the markets to believe monetary policy easing would start in the first half of 2024, with forward swaps pricing in a 25bps cut by May. The pound depreciated against the dollar, with the GBPUSD pair at 1.267. The dollar remained mostly flat and stood at 102.22, while the US 10-year Treasury yield hovered around the 3.91% level.
A lacklustre day of trading was seen across the LME exchange. Aluminium softness was more protracted as the metal continued to erase the previous days’ gains, falling below the support level of $2,250/t to $2,241/t. Copper remained elevated but once again struggled above the $8,600/t resistance level to close at $8,582.50/t. Elsewhere moves were marginal; lead and nickel remained rangebound, while zinc’s upside paused as the lack of appetite above $2,600/t prompted a close at $2,573/t.
Gold depreciated and stood at $2032.47/oz., while silver jumped higher and stood at $24.28/oz. Both WTI and Brent rose today, trading at $74.67/bl and $79.88/bl, respectively.
All price data is from 20.12.2023 as of 17:30