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Daily Base Metals Report

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US stocks continue to rise as investors assess the corporate earnings results. The dollar weakened down to 91.161. The US 10yr yield strengthened up to 1.1254% as the Treasury maintained its plan for the issuance of long-dated securities at the debt auction next week, while officials awaiting a push for a new coronavirus relief package from the government. US company payrolls increased by 174,000 as companies added more jobs in January, with service providers seeing an unexpected pickup. Meanwhile, the UK surpassed 10m of vaccinations, as it keeps on track to vaccinate 15m of vulnerable by mid-February.

Another day of mixed results on the LME market. Zinc prices edged higher today, breaking above $2,610/t before closing lower at $2,615/t. Copper was well-bid above $7,740/t for the second half of the day and closed just off the day’s high at $7,842.50/t, as there were signs of tightening supply; the spreads continued to strengthen into backwardation, with the cash to 3-month spread now at $10.00/t. Aluminium was mostly range-bound and tested the resistance level at $1,980/t before closing at $1,973.50/t. Nickel traded lower to the $17,550/t support level and closed on the back foot at $17,645/t. Tin was weaker today, closing at $22,940/t.

Oil futures jumped today after OPEC+ promised to clear oil surplus created by the virus. At the time of writing, WTI and Brent trade at $56.15/bl and $58.77/bl. Precious metals were mostly stronger, only with gold down to $1,834.36/oz; silver was marginally higher, edging up to $26.91/oz.

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COVID cases are rising across the globe as the delta variant spreads, this is causing some nervousness in financial markets, especially with the higher inflation rhetoric. Commodity prices have fallen since the Fed changed their tune inflation, the dollar has stabilised which has also been a headwind to prices. The summer months are traditionally quieter for metals demand which could prompt metals to consolidate. If the delta variant continues to spread, we may see higher levels of stimulus for longer. As things stand stimulus levels are set to be tapered and this could be brought forward if inflation remains high. We expect markets to remain volatile but on lower volume through the summer months.