US stocks fluctuated today, and S&P broke record highs for the third consecutive trading day. Stocks in China edged higher on progress in China-US trade talks. US consumer confidence dropped to the 2014 low in August as both labour and business conditions worsened. The dollar softened, and the yield on 10y Treasuries picked up to 0.6916%. In the UK, the government is dismissing calls to extend the coronavirus support programme as it shifts its focus towards reopening of the economy.
Metals on LME were all up on trade optimism between China and the US. Zinc gained the most ground, supported by mine disruptions in Bolivia, closing just shy of $2,490t at $2,482/t. Aluminium was supported above $1,770/t, closing above at $1,775.50/t. Copper prices were marginally stronger, closing just off the day’s high at $6,529/t. SHFE copper was down on the day, closing at CNY51,280/mt. Lead was well bid and closed below the resistance level of $2,010/t at $1,993.50/t. Nickel was on the front foot, closing higher on the day at $14,976/t. Nickel cash to 3month spread continued to tighten to -$35.00/t.
Oil futures rose again today as fears around the storms in the US intensified. At the time of writing, WTI and Brent trade at $43.25/bl and $45.95/bl respectively. Precious metals steadied, with gold and silver edging down to $1,921.21/oz and $26.38/oz.