US stocks fluctuated today on the mixed economic backdrop. Biden’s new $1.9tr stimulus proposal is already facing hurdles from congressional opposition, complicating a smooth start to his term. The dollar remained range-bound, and the 10yr US Treasury yield picked up higher to 1.0835%. Meanwhile, China ended the year on a good note, growing by 6.5% y/y in Q4, highlighting the country’s fast recovery due to early containment measures. On the coronavirus front, the EU has set a goal of 70% population to be vaccinated by summer, while the UK is considering relaxing lockdown restrictions in March, as its rate of COVID-19 deaths just became the highest in the world (this is based on a 7-day average of new daily coronavirus deaths per million people).
LME metals have been mixed, with aluminium, zinc and lead lower on the day. Copper prices firmed on the back of positive Chinese economic and industrial data, testing the resistance at $8,050/t to close at $7,971.50/t, the cash to 3-month spread has tightened once again to -$10.50/t. Nickel was bid below $18,250/t and closed lower at $18,056/t. Aluminium traded lower to the $1,970/t support level and closed at $1,972/t. Zinc lost the most ground, testing the key support level of $2,680/t to close at $2,682/t. Lead was weaker today, closing at $1,996.50/t. Iron ore futures remained broadly unchanged, closing at CNY1,061/mt.
Oil futures continue to edge lower on virus fears and a stronger dollar. At the time of writing, WTI and Brent trade at $52.23/bl and $54.91/bl. Precious metals traded higher, with gold and seen at $1,838.65/oz and $25.02/oz respectively.