US stocks took a breather today, remaining marginally unchanged, as investors turned to the progress in stimulus talks. At the same time, Powell urged Congress to approve additional stimulus measures, with a focus on unemployment and small business. Elsewhere, the UK has become the first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, which could be distributed as soon as next week. According to ADP data, US companies added fewer jobs in November than expected, up by 307,000 m/m, the smallest increase since July 2020, highlighting the impact of rising COVID-19 cases on hiring decisions. The dollar softened and the 10yr yield on US Treasuries strengthened up to 0.9476%. The pound fell to 0.7492 on the back of no significant progress in Brexit talks. Likewise, yen was lower in the first half of the day after the Biden’s statement that he will not remove tariffs on Chinese goods for now.
Metals on the LME came under heavy selling pressure today, with lead the worst affected. Protracted selling pressure caused prices to find support at $2,030/t and close at $2,058/t. Nickel was next in line as prices struggled above $16,100/t to close $16,000/t. Aluminium managed to find support at $2,032/t and closed at $2,055/t, with the cash to 3-month spread tightened in to -$9.50/t. Copper was marginally lower on the day, but was supported above $7,550/t and closing at $7,673/t. Zinc was weaker as well today closing at $2,474.50/t.
Oil futures rallied on US supply drop and signs of advancing OPEC talks. At the time of writing, WTI and Brent trade at $45.47/bl and $48.30/bl. Precious metals were mixed, with gold edging up to $1,29.41/oz and silver down to $23.97/oz respectively.