US stocks dropped yesterday, with tech shares leading the slump. The 10-yr US Treasury yield continued to climb, beating a one-year high of 1.49%, while 5- to 30-yr spread rose up to the levels last seen in 2014. The dollar weakened. The US continuing jobless claims data came at a lower-than-expected value of 730,000 (the week ending February 20th), signalling a decline in job cuts as the number of vaccinations in the country rises. Meanwhile, orders for US durable goods surged to 3.4% m/m in January, fuelled by business investment. Euro area confidence improved in February as consumer and businesses are more optimistic about economic recovery amid the growing number of vaccinated people.
Metals markets were mostly higher yesterday with only nickel down on the day. Copper remained well bid and tested resistance at $9,600/t, but closed at $9,412.50/t. Aluminium prices gained the most, with the market testing $2,240/t to close at $2,235/t; the spread continued to tighten and settled at $43.75/t – the level was last seen in February 2019. Zinc was stronger but failed above $2,920/t, leading to a close at $2,890/t. Nickel sold off and closed lower on the day at $19,202/t.
Oil futures fluctuated near a one-year high on tightening global supply expectations. At the time of writing, WTI and Brent trade at $62.88/bl and $66.14/bl. Precious metals were seen trading lower, with gold and silver edging down to $1,777.81/oz and $27.73/oz respectively.
*All price data is from 25.02.2021 as of 17:30