US stocks were mixed yesterday as market confidence about the global outlook softened marginally following this week's rally. US job openings jumped to the second-highest value on record, highlighting the employers' struggle to fill available vacancies. The dollar was under pressure yesterday, and the 10yr US Treasury yield rallied back up to 1.52%. Global geopolitical tensions continue to intensify after Biden spoke to Putin regarding the situation in Ukraine; both reiterated their points, but no concessions have been made. China's factory-gate inflation eased somewhat in November, as it climbed by 12.1% y/y, down from 13.5% in the previous month; if the softness persists, this should provide some relief for manufacturers into the new year. Markets are awaiting the CPI data on Friday, which is forecast to show a 6.8% y/y growth in November.
Another positive day on the LME markets yesterday, with lead and zinc the biggest movers, as smelters in China continued to suffer from the supply cuts after the introduction of regulation to curb pollution. Both metals closed higher at $2,284/t and $3,310/t, respectively. Likewise, copper strengthened in the second half of the day, testing resistance at $9,669/t and closed marginally lower at $9,652.50/t. Nickel was supported above $20,100/t and closed higher at $20,230/t. Aluminium fluctuated throughout the day, and closed lower at $2,627/t; cash to 3-month spread softened, but still remained backwardated at $4.00/t.
Oil futures were mostly range-bound, as sentiment cooled off after yesterday's rally. WTI and Brent traded at $72.51/bl and $75.93/bl. Precious metals erased earlier gains in the latter half of the day as the markets assessed the impact of omicron spread alongside growing geopolitical tensions. Gold and silver were seen at $1,782.23/oz and $22.39/oz, respectively.
For more in-depth analysis of base and precious metals, please see our Quarterly Metals report.
All price data is from 08.12.2021 as of 17:30