US stocks continued to decline, falling for the longest period since December on the back of moderate corporate earnings. The European stocks advanced, while the euro strengthened after better-than-expected Germany’s manufacturing PMI performance in February. HIS Markit US price gauge reached the 2009 highs in February, adding to the concerns of accelerating inflation. The US existing-home sales rose unexpectedly in January, up to a three-month high of 0.6% m/m, as low borrowing rates spurred buying demand. The dollar weakened, and 10yr US Treasury yield picked to a 1-year high of 1.3414%. Elsewhere, UK retail sales continued to decline, falling more than twice as fast as expected in January. The pound surged past $1.40 – the 2018 level, as rapid vaccine rollout drives market confidence.
Metals markets were mostly higher on Friday, with only aluminium down on the day. Zinc struggled to gain a footing in the first half of the day but closed higher on the day at $2,881/t. Tin prices gained the most, with the market testing $26,360/t to close at $26,215/t. Copper was next in line, increasing by 5.11%, testing the resistance at $9,000/t – a 9-year high, among concerns of a historic shortage, and closed lower near the day’s highs at $8,909.50/t. Nickel was stronger today and failed above $19,800/t, leading to a close at $19,588/t; the spread continued to tighten and settled at -$22.50/t. Aluminium was range-bound and closed lower on the day at $2,131.50/t.
Oil futures fluctuated as the freeze in Texas continues to support oil prices. At the time of writing, WTI and Brent trade $59.96/bl and $63.65/bl Precious metals were all seen higher, with gold and silver edging up to $1,791.79/oz and $27.39/oz, respectively.
*All price data is from 18.02.2021 as of 17:30