US stocks pared losses today as investors assessed the hurdles the vaccine has to clear before release. Republicans released 12 bills to fund the government through September 2021, in hopes of avoiding a federal shutdown next month. The US reported a new record for daily COVID-19 cases; the number of infections in Europe also continues to rise. The dollar strengthened and the 10yr yield on US Treasuries picked up higher to 0.9442%, the March 2020 highs. In Asia, stocks fell on the back of Chinese vaccine development being halted in Brazil after one of the participants had a significant negative response. Elsewhere, the UK unemployment rate rose to 4.8% in 3m ending September, up from 4.5%.
LME metal prices were well bid today as risk appetite re-emerged. Aluminium prices were firmer, with prices breaking above $1,900/t to close at $1,908/t. Nickel prices tested the $15,910/t resistance level and closed at $15,903/t. Lead saw the biggest gains, trading to $1,865/t, and closing at the day’s high at $1,850/t; cash to 3-month spread tightened marginally to -$18.75/t. Copper prices firmed in the second half of the day, testing $6,950/t to close at $6,932/t. Iron ore prices were down on the day, closing at CNY830/t.
Oil futures gained today with vaccine hopes overshadowing the gloom of rising infections. At the time of writing, WTI and Brent trade at $41.23/bl and $43.39/bl. Precious metals were mostly higher, with gold and silver trading up to $1,882.56/oz and $24.40/oz respectively.