US stocks tumbled today, driven primarily by disappointing corporate earnings performance from Meta. US service performance slowed significantly in January, as ISM gauge fell to 59.9 from 62.3, as the omicron spread halted the service sector performance. Meanwhile, US jobless claims continued to fall, down to 238,000 in the week ending January 29. US productivity surged by the most in almost a year in Q4 2021; meanwhile, labour costs cooled. The 10yr US Treasury yield strengthened and the dollar sold off to test 95.30. The euro jumped amid concerns about persistently high inflation voiced by the ECB today, prompting markets to price in a more aggressive monetary policy tightening outlook. Meanwhile, BOE hiked its key rate to 0.5% and stated that its emergency support programme will end in March.
Metals prices came under pressure today, with risk appetite suffering from US data, the BOE and ECB. Copper was rangebound across the LME and CMX despite more inventory being withdrawn in LME warehouses; the metal closed at $9,832.50/t. Aluminium reversed yesterday’s activity, pushing back above $3,000/t to close at $3,050/t. Lead and zinc were softer, with lead breaking through support at $2,200/t to close at $2,191.40/t. Nickel consolidated once again, closing at $22,866/t and the cash to 3-month spread widened marginally to settle at $455/t.
Oil futures steadied after the OPEC+ output decision has been confirmed, with WTI and Brent trading at $88.78/bl and $89.90/bl. Precious metals cooled, and gold and silver softened marginally into $1,805.71/oz and $22.44/oz, respectively.
For more in-depth analysis of base and precious metals, please see our Quarterly Metals report.
All price data is from 03.02.2022 as of 17:30