US equities rebounded today after a few days of a downside trend, driven by strong demand for microchips, which pushed semiconductor makers' stocks higher. Economic data released today confirmed that the labour market of the world's largest economy remains resilient in the high-interest-rate environment. Weekly jobless claims have dropped below expectations to 187k – the lowest level since September 2022. At the same time, continuing claims decreased from 1832k to 1806k, suggesting that the economy is robust enough to withstand elevated interest rates for an extended period. The 10-year Treasury yield edged slightly higher to 4.11%, while the US dollar remained steady just below 103.60.
Despite continued geopolitical tensions at the Red Sea, the positive macroeconomic outlook coming from the US continues to support the dollar at elevated levels. This continued to weigh on the base metals complex today, with aluminium trading comfortably below the $2,200/t level at $2,168/t. Likewise, copper remained at the lower end of yesterday's trading range at $8,278/t. Nickel remained steady, struggling to breach the psychological $16,000/t level. Zinc continued to edge lower, closing at $2,466.50/t.
After the recent losses driven by strengthening Treasury yields, precious metal prices stabilized today. Both gold and silver traded slightly higher at $2012/oz and $22.58/oz, respectively. Oil prices rebounded marginally, with WTI at $73.18/bl and Brent at $78.29/bl.
All price data is from 18.01.2024 as of 17:30