US stocks climbed higher today, on track to erase most of February losses, as the markets assessed economic resilience against the threat of energy crisis and, in turn, inflation. US initial jobless claims fell to 187,000 in the week ending March 19, the lowest level since 1969, as demand for labour increased, driven in large by the incentive of rising consumer prices. The dollar was range-bound, and the 10yr US Treasury yield softened to 2.34%. Given the recent increases in both the rates and upcoming rate expectations, mortgage rates in the US have breached 4.40% for 30-year loans, the highest level since January 2019.
Yesterday’s rally cooled on the LME, as metals softened marginally, despite another wave of sanctions against Russia announced by the US. Nickel, however, once again breached the day’s limit on the exchange to close higher at $37,235/t. Likewise, SHFE nickel futures jumped by 20%, causing the exchange to halt the metal’s trading for the day. Tin was another metal that gained ground today, edging higher to close at $42,726/t. Aluminium and copper softened marginally into closing at $3,623.50/t and $10,349.50/t, respectively. Lead softened, breaching support of $2,300/t to close at $2,308.50/t.
Oil futures paused their rally after major clearing houses announced increased margin costs, driving WTI and Brent lower to $113/bl and $120/bl. Silver gained ground into $25.62/oz, while gold remained broadly unchanged.
For more in-depth analysis of base and precious metals, please see our Quarterly Metals report.
All price data is from 24.03.2022 as of 17:30