US stocks rallied today after the news of potential progress in Russia-Ukraine talks. The dollar weakened, and the 10yr US Treasury yield strengthened above 2.17% ahead of the Fed decision. The policymakers raised the interest rates by 25bps and signalled further hikes at all remaining six meetings. US retail sales stalled in February, with the value of overall purchases growing by 0.3% vs 4.9% a month before, a sign that a spike in energy costs is driving consumers away from discretionary spending. At the same time, homebuilder sentiment fell to a six-month low in March, as labour shortages coupled with rising mortgage rates are undermining outlook prospects.
Metals on the LME market were mixed today, faced with fresh bounds of volatility, driven by the reopening of the nickel market. The metal struggled to make significant moves amid the glitch at the start of the trade and has closed at $45,590/t. As Russia continues to soften the blow of the sanctions, the government has told metal companies, including aluminium, nickel and steel, to keep prices for domestic clients low in the meantime, as it aims to revert the complete meltdown of the manufacturing industry. Aluminium gained ground to test $3,267/t before selling off in the second half of the day, settling in lower day-on-day at $3,258.50/t. Copper edged higher, up to $10,060/t, closing $10,054/t; cash to 3-month spread remained low at -$46.75/t. Lead and zinc closed at $2,251.50/t and $3,808.50/t, respectively.
Oil futures fluctuated after Libya urged OPEC+ to increase supply at a faster rate; this was offset by the progress in peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. WTI and Brent trade at $96.81/bl and $99.45/bl. Another day of declines for gold, as it fell to $1,909.16/oz, silver softened into $24.64/oz.
For more in-depth analysis of base and precious metals, please see our Quarterly Metals report.
All price data is from 16.03.2022 as of 17:30