US stocks experienced another day of positive growth today on the back of hopes of stimulus aid once Biden announces his plans later today. Yesterday, Trump became the first US president to be impeached twice in one term; however, a trial is still in the hands of the Senate. US jobless claims rose by most since March, up to 965,000 in the week ending January 9th, pointing to a continued labour market pain from lockdown restrictions. Meanwhile, the US mortgage rates picked up to a two-month high, the biggest jump since March on the back of growing Treasury yields. The dollar weakened out to 90.235, and the 10yr US Treasury yield picked up higher to 1.0968%. Asian stocks edged higher after the US decided against banning investment opportunities into Chinese companies. On the virus front, China recorded its first-ever COVID-19 related death since April as the number of cases started to grow.
Activity on the LME was mixed today, with copper and nickel closing higher. Lead was subject to strong selling pressure in the second half of the day, falling below the key support level of $2,035/t and closing at $2,030/t; cash to 3-month spread widened into -$17.35/t. Aluminium prices were softer, closing at $2,005.50/t. Zinc gave back its recent gains, closing on the back foot at $2,757/t. Nickel broke resistance $18,200/t and closed higher at $18,281/t. Copper edged higher to test $8,075/t, on the back of China hitting trade surplus record in December, before closing lower at $8,048.50/t. Tin prices were marginally unchanged, closing at $21,007/t.
Oil futures fluctuated as OPEC signalled it is on track to deplete its oil inventories. At the time of writing, WTI and Brent trade at $52.86/bl and $55.73/bl. Precious metals were mixed, with gold declining down to $1,847.80/oz and silver up to $25.68/oz respectively.