US stocks sold off as the new variant of COVID-19 was found in the UK, and a wave of lockdown restrictions have soured investor sentiment. US political leaders agreed on a $900bn pandemic relief bill, with checks expected as soon as next week. The dollar strengthened and the 10yr US Treasury yield weakened down to 0.9313%. The pound slumped the most since March amid the virus resurgence as well as stall in Brexit negotiations with the EU. The former could significantly strain UK supply chains with Europe.
Metals prices were all weaker today as rising lockdown restrictions pose risks for another economic contraction. Copper prices sold off to test appetite at $7,820/t, falling from its 7-year high, but support at that level triggered a close at $7,846.50/t. Lead saw the strongest selling today, down 4.09%, closing at the day’s lows at $1,959.50/t; cash to 3-month spread widened out -$19.85/t. Aluminium remained under pressure during the first half of today, closing at $2,020.50/t. Nickel tested the $17,100/t level to close at $17,267/t.
Oil futures slid today, with WTI and Brent down to $47.09/bl and $50.14/bl. Precious metals were mixed, with gold down to $1,881.30/oz and silver up to $26.22/oz respectively.