US stocks slipped today on the back of the conflict between the Fed and the White House. Indeed, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is trying to revive stalled stimulus talks with congressional Democrats, the first sign in weeks of possible movement on virus relief. On vaccine news, Gilead Sciences vaccine is now being advised against by the authorities, and Pfizer plans to request an emergency authorisation which could take up to 3 weeks for FDA approval. European stocks headed for the third week of gains and Asian companies’ performance was mixed. The EU has warned the UK that ‘not enough has been compromised’ to overcome obstacles of a smooth Brexit deal.
LME base metals extended gains today, led by lead and copper, which gained 2.48% and 2.42% on the day respectively. Copper prices edged higher to the resistance level of $7,295/t before closing below at $7,277.50/t. SHFE copper was also higher on the day, closing at CNY53,080/mt, breaking contract highs. Nickel was well bid, edging up to the $16,160/t level, to close just below the day's highs at $16,151/t. Lead gained the most ground, testing the resistance just below at $2,040/t and closed at $2,014.50/t; the cash to 3-month spread tightened into -$13.75/t. Zinc and tin prices were both higher today, testing the $2,800/t and $18,885/t, and closing at $2,793.50/t and $18,795/t respectively. Aluminium finished on the back foot, closing at $1,993/t.
Oil futures closed the week on the front foot, driven by continued optimism surrounding vaccine development. At the time of writing, WTI and Brent trade at $41.67/bl and $44.37/bl. Precious metals were mostly higher; gold and silver edged up to $1,872.42/oz and $24.29/oz respectively.