US stocks declined today as positive economic performance raised inflation worries once again. US retail sales surged in January, increasing by 5.3% m/m, as stimulus checks encouraged spending. US manufacturing output rose by more than forecast in January, the fourth straight monthly incline as factories continue to recover from the pandemic disruptions. Meanwhile, US homebuilder confidence fell to a four-month low as house prices and construction costs continue to rise. The dollar strengthened and the 10yr US yield briefly climbed as high as 1.33%, the highest in almost a year.
Activity on the LME was mixed today with only aluminium and tin closing higher. Zinc was subject to strong selling pressure, testing the support level of $2,791/t and closing at $2,816/t. Copper prices were softer in the second half of the day, closing lower at $8,390/t. Nickel gave back this week’s gains, closing on the back foot at $18,760/t; cash to 3-month spread tightened into -$40.00/t. Aluminium tested resistance at $2,117/t before closing lower at $2,115/t. Tin prices remained range-bound, closing slightly higher on the day at $24,570/t.
Oil futures pared gains after Saudi promising to boost output. At the time of writing, WTI and Brent trade at $60.36/bl and $63.79/bl. Precious metals were mixed; silver continued to climb, up to $27.26/oz, with gold down on the day to $1,776.30/oz.