Equity markets were firmly on the front foot today in Europe and the U.S. indices, which are quickly approaching all-time highs. Energy and Industry stocks have done particularly well. Tensions between the U.S. and China remain elevated, as Donald Trump looks to ban Tik Tok and Wechat. China's recent retaliation to America's actions suggests an attempt to cool tensions. In the U.K., jobs data is worsening as we saw a decline in employment by 220,000 during Q2. The Office for National Statistics suggests that July is down 730,000 compared from March.
Sentiment on the LME was mixed again today, lead was the big mover as primary output fell due to maintenance at smelters. Lead prices were well supported below $1,900/t to close at $1,960.5/t, the cash to 3-month spread has not tightened. Zinc bid below $2,400/t and closed at on the front foot at $2,410/t. Copper consolidated today after yesterday's gains, the market closed at $6,386/t. Nickel prices were also stronger, after appetite for prices below $14,090/t to close at $14,350/t. Ali closed at $1,786/t after selling off to test appetite at $1,750/t.
Precious metals declined today, as we saw gold, and silver ETFs fall sharply. Silver is down 8.5% at the time of writing and trades at $26.65, as gold is down 4.16% trading at $1,942/t. Brent and WTI prices have consolidated today, trading at $45.02/bl and $42.09/bl, respectively.