Stocks fluctuated as disappointing employment data came from the US and reports about fresh outbreaks in the US and China continued to daunt on the markers. US initial jobless claims totalled 1.51m last week, showing only a gradual improvement in the labour market, exemplified by the smallest weekly drop since early April. Treasuries extended their decline, and the dollar has strengthened. The UK bonds and the pound extended their losses on the back of the slowing speed of quantitative easing programme expansion.
Metal prices on the LME were all stronger today, apart from aluminium and tin that were marginally weaker. Lead was firmer and took out resistance at $1,800/t to close at $1,810/t. Nickel remained range-bound, closing at $12,894/t. Copper continued to be well bid, however, failed above $5,860/t and closed at $5,805/t. Aluminium prices were slightly weaker and managed to close just off the day’s low at $1606.5/t. The cash to 3-month aluminium spread tightened back to -$20.00/t. Tin prices failed above the key resistance level at $17,000/t and closed at $16,885/t.
Oil futures gained ground, erasing earlier losses ahead of the OPEC committee meeting. Saudi Aramco started cutting hundreds of jobs as it looks to reduce costs amid oil market turmoil. At the time of writing, WTI and Brent are at $38.67/bl and $41.39/bl respectively. Gold and silver depreciated to 1723.34/oz and $17.39/oz respectively.