US stocks rallied once again, with S&P 500 breaching record highs after the Democrats won two seats in Georgia and took control of the Senate, easing the concerns around more federal spending this year. In the meantime, Joe Biden was formally recognised as the next president of the US, after the proceedings were earlier suspended when a mob of Donald Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol. In economic news, ISM's service index rose to 57.2 in December, above market expectations, as business activity accelerated. Meanwhile, US initial jobless claims fell marginally to 787,000 in the week ending January 2nd, highlighting the concerns surrounding the labour market. The dollar strengthened, and the 10yr US Treasury yield continued to edge higher, breaching March 2020 highs of 1.0812%.
Sentiment on the LME was mixed again today; nickel was the big mover, breaching 1-year highs on a positive economic backdrop. Nickel prices were well supported above $17,800/t to close at $18,109/t, the cash to 3-month spread widened out to -$55.00/t. Copper strengthened in the second half of the day to test the $8,180/t level and closed at on the front foot at $8,179/t. Zinc consolidated today after yesterday's gains; the market closed at $2,888/t. Lead prices were weaker, as a lack of appetite for prices caused a test of support at $2,030/t to close at $2,035/t. Ali closed at $2,036.50/t after selling off to test the $2,013/t level.
Oil futures were marginally higher on the day as the continued rise of COVID-19 infections battles the outlook for tighter supply. At the time of writing, WTI and Brent trade at $50.81/bl and $54.46/bl. Gold and silver were marginally weaker on the day, edging down to $1,912.30/oz and $27.08/oz respectively.