Market Insights & Analysis

Read our analysts' daily briefings, together with our Market Snapshot reports.

23 Oct 2015 09:20
Front month crude futures continued to exhibit substantial downside pressure this week as data releases confirmed a bearish outlook for both Brent and WTI. Market participants were upbeat yesterday as ECB president Mario Draghi hinted at the prospect of more euro zone stimulus possibly before the end of the year. Three month LME aluminium prices sank to 2009 lows as the supply glut continues to pile downward pressure on the metal.
12 Oct 2015 08:21
Copper, aluminium and zinc managed to hold onto Friday’s gains during early morning trading on Monday, finding firm support around the previous session’s close as upbeat investors reacted positively to the expectation of further output cuts. Further details regarding the Fed’s interest rate outlook were provided over the weekend as Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer signalled that there may be sufficient strength in the US economy to support an interest rates rise this year. Recent volatility reminds us of June 2013 where global asset prices exhibited significant “taper tantrum” as the Fed reined in its asset purchase programme
09 Oct 2015 08:32
Glencore has announced its decision to cut its annual zinc output by more than a third as the natural resources group struggles to navigate in a market dominated by weaker prices for industrial metals. Yesterday’s release of September’s FOMC meeting minutes saw policymakers vote overwhelmingly in favour of holding rates at the current record lows. Alcoa reported lower than expected earnings for the third quarter as a slowing Chinese economy and softer prices throughout much of the year saw EPS drop to 7 cents from 31 cents for Q3 2014.
07 Sep 2015 09:08
US markets are closed today for Labor Day, so we expect thin trading volumes across the global equity and commodity markets. Asian equity markets were mixed overnight. The People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan told G20 central bankers and finance ministers over the weekend that the turmoil in China's stock market is approaching an end.
09 Jul 2015 09:22
Alcoa reported Q2 earning results that missed analysts' expectations. Net income fell to 10 cents/per share from 12 cents/per share a year earlier. The disappointing earnings results might be due to the sharp price declines of aluminium which has retreated recently due to surging exports from China.
01 Jun 2015 08:04
China’s manufacturing PMI reading for May rose to 50.2, sending risk assets higher as investor confidence steadily improved. Three month LME copper, aluminium and nickel prices were supported higher early on this morning on the stable Chinese PMI data, as the industrial metals attempted to recover some of Friday’s steep losses. The deadline for a Greek deal is fast approaching and it seems hope is quickly fading as talks over the weekend failed to garner any significant traction.
18 May 2015 15:15
After a week of rather poor performance for the USD dollar, losing 1.76% against a basket of major currencies and adding a fifth straight week of losses, the dollar index started this week off on a firmer note. We continue to keep a close eye on JPY, which will seemingly remain locked in consolidation sideways throughout the remainder of the month. Shortly after Rio Tinto announced it would be looking for a buyer for its $1bn Pacific Aluminium business unit, an attempt to divest noncore assets, BHP Billiton’s South32 entity, where it spun off noncore assets, had a rather subdued debut on ASX.
18 May 2015 08:02
Time is quickly running out for Greek officials as Greek banks run the risk of a shortfall of collateral with buffers dangerously low, threatening to derail any potential deal in the pipeline. Crude oil exports from Saudi Arabia to the US have fallen to their lowest level since the crisis as the impact of shale oil in the US and increasing presence of Canadian exports impacts the oil rich nation’s current account. Rio Tinto have announced a fresh attempt to sell-off surplus aluminium assets in a deal that could come with a $1bn price tag as it struggles to restructure itself and shed non-core assets in the face of a worldwide commodities slump.
30 Apr 2015 15:59
European equity markets came under renewed pressure for third consecutive session today, heading for their first monthly decline of 2015 following the recent disappointing economic data.
31 Dec 2014 14:56
It has been a fairly volatile year for the global equity markets and commodity prices. The sharp sell-off in crude oil prices weighed on market sentiment and set a bearish tone across the markets.
23 Dec 2014 08:09
Asian stocks struggled to keep the upward momentum going during overnight trading as mainland Chinese indices sold off as trading volumes thinned owing to the Japanese market holiday. Risk assets have experienced a broad rally over the past few sessions after comments from US Fed chair Janet Yellen eased concerns regarding the path of an eventual interest rate rise.
03 Dec 2014 07:52
Asian stocks tracked Wall Street higher overnight with Japanese stocks posting steady gains on a weaker yen as investors weighed up the effects of the recent slump in crude oil prices on the global economic growth outlook. Three month LME aluminium prices lost 2.4% yesterday owing to the bearish crude outlook as production costs for the metal were expected to drop on lower energy prices.
02 Dec 2014 08:20
Spot gold prices saw the biggest one day rally in over a year yesterday with prices surging as much as 4.6% higher before ending the session up 3.85%. Three month LME copper prices managed to snap a five session bear run despite prices starting the first session of December on the back foot, opening 1.1% below Friday’s close before rallying 2.7% higher to end the session at $6,449/tonne. Asian benchmark equity indices rallied higher overnight as the cross commodity rebound saw an increase in risk appetite.
28 Nov 2014 08:00
Attention this week has been firmly fixed on the crude oil market with OPEC confirming what many market participants had expected by leaving their official production quota unchanged at 30m bpd. Three month LME aluminium prices fell by 1% yesterday as the slump in oil prices signalled at lower energy prices, potentially reducing the production costs for the metal.
14 Nov 2014 08:48
The strong US dollar has rattled most commodity prices adding serious pressure to base metals and crude oil prices. This morning, crude oil prices came under renewed pressure as WTI front month futures are heading towards $73 per barrel, while support holds near the key level of $70. All eyes are on the upcoming OPEC meeting on 27th November.
07 Nov 2014 08:12
The dollar index continued its upward march yesterday as the greenback gained 0.64% against a basket of major currencies to end the session just above 88.00, reaching a five and a half year high. Three month LME nickel and copper prices were on track for weekly losses after selling pressure earlier in the week saw previous gains retrace as key areas of support were tested. Spot gold prices are set to close lower for the third straight week, on track to extend declines by as much as 3.0% this week as investment demand dissipates.
05 Nov 2014 07:50
US markets paused for breath yesterday with both the DJIA and S&P 500 fluctuated around opening levels for much of the session as investors struggled to find motivation for further moves higher. The dollar index resumed its upward charge overnight and early on this morning, recovering much of yesterday’s losses as investors exercised some caution ahead of the voting outcome. Three month LME aluminium prices snapped a six day bull run yesterday after resistance forming around $2,077/tonne proved too difficult to breach.
31 Oct 2014 08:01
The Japanese yen slid to a six year low overnight, trading towards 111.40 after seeing intense selling pressure against the dollar throughout the entire Asian session. Three month LME nickel prices rallied above $16,000/tonne overnight on the BOJ’s unexpected announcement for more stimulus measures, adding 2.7% so far today as prices rose to a two week high above $16,170 early on. OPEC members saw output rise to a 14 month high in October showing no signs of slowing down despite the recent bear run seen in crude oil futures.
01 Oct 2014 13:33
Platinum prices plunged to a five year low today as concerns that demand for the metal, commonly used in catalytic convertors, was faltering. As production levels steadily resume in South Africa the focus has shifted to the demand side and with sluggish demand from auto manufacturers, owing to slower manufacturing growth in Germany which slid to its lowest levels in 15 months, investors have sold-off platinum holdings. Three month LME aluminium prices slid to an eleven week low today, towards $1,930/oz as a stronger USD continues to limit gains.
16 Sep 2014 08:13
Weaker than expected FDI exacerbated concerns regarding slower Chinese growth after figures released overnight showed foreign direct investment slipped to a four year low. The dollar traded around a six year high against the yen in the lead up to the September FOMC meeting starting today. Three month LME aluminium prices stabilised around $2,000/tonne in early morning trade.
03 Sep 2014 07:57
Three month LME aluminium prices close higher for the seventh straight session on Tuesday as prices found fresh support from a stronger than expected ISM manufacturing reading. Spot gold prices fell 1.6% yesterday as stronger US macro data prompted the largest one day drop since July 14th. Asian stocks climbed overnight on a combination of US data and China’s services PMI as benchmark stock indices in the region built on recent gains.
27 Aug 2014 08:22
Three month LME aluminium prices touched an 18-month high yesterday, reaching an intraday high of $2,100/tonne, a level last seen in February last year as stronger economic data coming out of the US increased the demand outlook. Front month NY sugar prices managed to recover some of Monday’s losses during yesterday’s trading session as prices closed above 15.70c/lb. WTI prices posted modest gains yesterday as investors anticipated crucial supply data, due out later today.
26 Aug 2014 08:18
Equity markets around the world rallied higher on Monday as comments by ECB president Mario Draghi struck a dovish tone at Jackson Hole. The prospect of further monetary easing in Europe was magnified by the surprise dismissal of top ministers in France as President Francois Hollande sought to hush criticism of his austerity plans. Front month WTI prices traded near a seven month low yesterday, skirting around $93/bbl for much of the day as investors anticipate further clarity regarding the fundamental picture.
21 Aug 2014 08:17
China’s manufacturing PMI recorded a surprise fall in August as preliminary figures saw the index drop to 50.3 from 51.7 the previous month, well below the consensus expectation of 51.5 according to a Bloomberg poll. Aluminium prices rallied higher yesterday, in anticipation of a stronger PMI reading, breaching resistance around $2,050/tonne which had kept a cap on prices over the past four weeks. Details emerging from the release of July’s FOMC meeting minutes yesterday indicated that policymakers were leaning towards raising the base rate in the near term.
23 Jul 2014 17:27
The USD index held strongly above 80.8 as the US dollar continued its strong rally against the euro and sterling. European equity markets edged slightly higher in today’s trading session, while investors remained cautious after the strong rebound across equities and commodities yesterday.
23 Jul 2014 08:36
US inflation data released yesterday bolstered the view that the Fed will maintain low interest rates, with headline CPI coming in line with expectations in June at 0.3% m/m, slightly below the 0.4% reading the previous month. Asian benchmark indices extended their rally during overnight trading as flaring violence in the Middle East and unrest between Russia and Ukraine continued to take a backseat for sanguine Asian investors.
22 Jul 2014 16:52
European equity markets rebounded strongly in today’s trading session as investors saw the recent low levels as a buying opportunity. The USD index climbed higher towards 80.8 as the US dollar rallied strongly against the euro and sterling following robust US economic indicators.
22 Jul 2014 07:47
Wall Street struggled to find firm support around current levels at the start of the week as the lack of macro data on Monday left investors struggling to find a reason for a move higher. In contrast to the US session, Asian equities were more bullish as Japanese markets reopened after the long weekend. Three month aluminium prices traded on the LME rallied to their highest level in 16 months, trading above $2,020/tonne yesterday as speculation regarding tightening fundamentals supported levels higher.
09 Jul 2014 08:20
US stock indices trailed lower yesterday, unable to overcome the cautious undertones displayed by most market participants as earning season got underway. Asian markets continued the softer tone seen on Wall Street as benchmark indices in the region extended declines.
18 Jun 2014 17:13
European equity markets edged higher in today’s trading session, while investors remain cautious ahead of the US FOMC policy meeting decisions. The euro rebounded strongly, trading around 1.355 against the USD, offering some support to equity and commodity markets.