US stocks fluctuated as the focus has shifted to inflation expectations once again. The Fed’s Chairman Jerome Powell stated the willingness to continue to support the economy and letting it run hotter, which has spurred bets on faster growth and inflation forecasts. The initial jobless claims rose unexpectedly in the week ending March 13th pushing it to the levels last seen in mid-February. The 10yr US Treasury yield climbed to 1.7312%, the level last seen in January 2020, while the 30yr yield touched 2.48%. The dollar strengthened. In Europe, the drug regulator deemed AstraZeneca as safe to use, recommending to proceed with the inoculation programme.
Sentiment on the LME was mixed again today. Zinc was the big mover, falling below the key support level of $2,800/t and closed at $2,792/t. Aluminium fell in the second half of the day to test the $2,210/t level and closed on the front foot at $2,216/t. Nickel softened yesterday after previous day gains; the market closed at $16,036/t; the cash to 3-month spread widened out to -$50.00/t. Lead prices were stronger, as an appetite for prices caused a test of resistance at $1,930/t to close at $1,923/t. Copper closed at $9,055.50/t.
Oil futures sold off on the back of short-term demand concerns as well as the rising dollar. WTI and Brent fell down to $61.10/bl and $64.57/bl. Precious metals softened in the second half of the day, down to $1,733.97/oz and $26.26/oz respectively.
All price data is from 18.03.2021 as of 17:30