US stocks wavered today after the markets assessed weakening economic data against the Jackson Hole symposium later this week. US new home sales fell for the sixth straight month this year, down to the slowest pace of growth since early 2016. Business activity in the US contracted for a second month, as both the service and manufacturing industries saw softer demand for new orders. Likewise, euro area activity declined for the second straight month in August, with manufacturing slipping into contractionary, whilst the service sector is continuing to slow marginally. The euro fell below parity, breaking below the July lows of 0.9952 to 0.9901. The dollar and the 10yr US Treasury yield both softened after finding resistance at current levels.
Base metals saw sentiment improve today, although trading still remained mixed across the board. Aluminium saw further upside as smelting disruptions in China and Europe are driving the sentiment; the metal settled at $2,424/t. Rising energy costs are likely to slow smelting facilities even further as China aims to prioritise households that are going through the season demand for air conditioning. According to BI, this could stymie the expected rebound in Chinese refined copper production this month, with aluminium production flattening as electricity shortages spread. Copper gained a footing as it tested the resistance at $8,190/t before $8,120/t. Zinc, on the other hand, cooled slightly as it softened into closing at $3,484.50/t. Lead saw stronger declines, falling into $1,976/t.
Oil futures gained today after Saudi Arabia flagged that extreme volatility is disconnecting prices from the fundamentals. WTI and Brent traded at $93/bl and $99/bl. Gold and silver jumped higher in the second half of the day to $1,750/oz and $19.18/oz, respectively.
For more in-depth analysis of base and precious metals, our Q3 2022 Quarterly Metals report is out now!
All price data is from 23.08.2022 as of 17:30