US stocks fluctuated alongside lacklustre economic data on Friday. US hiring slowed sharply in August, with the smallest monthly gain seen since January, clouding the outlook for the Fed tapering its bond purchases by the year-end. US service PMI expanded robustly in August, despite being down month-on-month, as business activity moderated. The dollar weakened, and the 10yr US Treasury yield gained ground to 1.3223%. Likewise, in Europe, composite PMI slipped to 59.0 as the spread of the delta variant along with manufacturing bottlenecks stalled rapid recovery.
LME metal prices were on the front foot on Friday, apart from lead and tin, which closed lower on the day. Copper prices were well supported and tested resistance at $9,480/t and closed just off the highs at $9,431/t.; the cash to 3-month spread tightened into -$10.50/t. Aluminium was well bid in the second half of the day, testing the resistance level of $2,730/t before closing below at $2,727/t. Nickel prices shot up, closing below the key resistance level of $19,900/t at $19,789/t. Lead was range-bound but closed lower on the day at 2,310.50/t.
Oil futures finished the week on the front foot, despite being down on Friday, supported by the OPEC+ supply increase decision. WTI and Brent weakened into $69.43/bl and $72.72/bl. Precious metals were all stronger, with gold and silver edging up to $1,829.80/oz and $24.70/oz.
For more in-depth analysis of base and precious metals, please see our Quarterly Metals report.
All price data is from 03.09.2021 as of 17:30