US stocks slumped as the virus gloom offset positive corporate earnings and hopes for an additional stimulus bill. US business activity accelerated in January, as IHS flash composite index increased to 58, the second-highest level since 2015, with manufacturing driving the growth. Likewise, in Europe, the supplier delivery times index finished the month on a record high, with manufacturers experiencing a rise in input costs. The dollar strengthened, and the 10yr US Treasury yield softened down to 1.0838%. The pound was lower on the day after Boris Johnson’s statement that the lockdown could be extended into the summer while the spread of the infections in the country begins to slow.
Activity on the LME was mixed today with zinc and lead closing higher. Nickel was subject to selling pressure in the second half of the day, falling below the support level of $18,000/t and closing higher at $18,269/t. Tin prices were softer, closing at $21,960/t. Copper gave back its recent gains, closing on the back foot at $7,997.50/t; cash to 3-month spread widened into -$8.00/t. Aluminium edged lower today to test $1,975/t, closing higher at $1,994.50/t. Lead prices were higher on the day, closing at $2,046.50/t. Iron ore has lost ground today, closing at CNY1,054.5/mt.
Oil futures slipped, with WTI and Brent edging down to $52.53/bl and $55.56/bl. Precious metals were down, with gold and silver trading down to $1,855.77/oz and $25.49/oz respectively.