US stocks continued to rise on signs of economic resilience, and data coming out about the severity of the omicron variant. Indeed, we saw studies coming from South Africa pointing to 80% less risk of hospitalisation in relation to omicron when compared to other strains, pointing to a potentially minimal impact on the healthcare system in other economies. US previously-owned sales increased for the third consecutive month in November, indicating continued strength in the housing market. Likewise, consumer confidence edged higher in December, by more than expected, as the outlook surrounding the labour market improved. On the other hand, we saw restaurants and other public places closing down in the US as the number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise once again. The dollar weakened, and the 10yr US Treasury yield remained broadly unchanged.
Surging European energy prices are taking a toll on the manufacturing side of the business, as producers are unable to run the factories facing such high costs. Aluminium, being one of the more energy-intensive materials, has felt this more evidently, climbing above the resistance of $2,800/t for the first time since October; the metal closed higher at $2,824.50/t. The metals also got an additional boost after President Biden stated that the deal with one of the US senators, Manchin, is possible and will give an economy a boost going into next year. Another metal that saw strong gains was zinc, climbing higher to find resistance at $3,550/t and close at $3,531.50/t. Nickel was supported above $19,700/t for most of the day; the metal closed at $19,951/t. Likewise, copper was stronger, closing at $9,607/t.
Oil futures picked on diminishing crude stockpiles, with WTI and Brent edged up to $71.71/bl and $74.45/bl. Precious metals were all higher, with platinum and palladium surging higher, while gold and silver saw some moderate gains to $1,797.50/oz and $22.72/oz, respectively.
For more in-depth analysis of base and precious metals, please see our Quarterly Metals report.
All price data is from 23.12.2021 as of 17:30