US stocks edged higher yesterday, led by the incline in the tech companies. The US initial jobless claims fell unexpectedly to fresh pandemic lows of 444,000 in the week ending May 15, rekindling optimism about the economic recovery outlook. Philadelphia Fed survey showed that producers continue to accelerate input cost in May, with the price index now at the highest level in 40 years. The dollar declined, and the 10yr US Treasury yield softened to 1.6318%. European equities rebounded from a two-week low, with financials and carmakers paving the way. Meanwhile, Italy approved a EUR40bn stimulus package that extends the support from the impacts of the pandemic. From the virus front, a Japanese government approved Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines for use, yielding a total of three available vaccines in the market.
LME metal prices were on the front foot today, apart from nickel and aluminium, which closed lower on the day. Zinc prices were well supported and tested resistance at $2,980/t; prices closed lower at $2,959.50/t. Lead was well bid in the second half of the day, testing the resistance level of $2,220/t, before closing below at $2,217/t; the cash to 3-month spread tightened up to $6.50/t, after widening out to $9.00/t on Wednesday, a December 2020 high. Copper advanced, following the previous day slump, as expectation of stronger than expected demand supported prices above $10,000/t, the metal closed at $10,048/t. SHFE copper prices, however, weakened, closing at CNY73,070/mt; the next day, prices continued their decline to CNY72,980/mt. Nickel prices remained marginally supported above $17,200/t for most of the day but broke below that level and closed lower at $17,148/t.
Oil scraped earlier gains after Iran said that a deal to end sanctions on its oil had been reached. WTI and Brent edged down to $63.01/bl and $66.26/bl. Precious metals were mixed, with gold and silver up on the day, to $1,881.03/bl and $27.99/bl, respectively.
All price data is from 20.05.2021 as of 17:30