US stocks were seen higher today as corporate results continued to drive the markets. Meanwhile, the US stimulus check is likely to be passed soon, as the process would bypass the Republican votes, even after a White House meeting with GOP senators yesterday seemed productive. The dollar edged up to 91.185 - December levels - and the 10yr US Treasury yield strengthened up to 1.0997%. On the virus front, the UK strain sparked concerns as there appears to be another mutation that is more resistant to vaccines. In the US, the number of vaccinations surpassed the number of COVID-19 cases, as 26.5m people have already received one or both doses of the vaccine. Elsewhere, the euro-area shrank by 0.7% q/q in Q4, less than expected, and Hong Kong retail sales fell by 13.2% y/y in December after renewed virus restrictions.
LME metals have been mixed, only with aluminium and zinc higher on the day. Copper prices edged lower today, down to a 6-week low ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays, breaking below $7,800/t to close at $7,777/t. Copper cash to 3-month spread has tightened into $7.50/t. Nickel was supported at $17,700/t and closed just above the day’s lows at $17,697/t. Lead was weaker today, closing at $2,015.50/t. Zinc was mostly range-bound and tested the resistance level at $2,580/t before closing at $2,569.50/t. Aluminium traded higher to the $1,980/t resistance level but closed on the back foot below at $1,960/t.
Oil futures jumped to a 1-year high on the back of declining global stockpiles. At the time of writing, WTI and Brent trade at $54.85/bl and $57.62/bl. Silver corrected sharply today after the retail demand cooled substantially, with spot prices seen at $26.65/bl. Gold is trading at $1,838.70/oz.