Market Insights & Analysis

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

17 Feb 2016 08:19
Three month LME nickel futures managed to hold onto previous gains yesterday as prices opened firmly around the previous session’s close and traded towards $8,350/tonne. For now though, Chinese investors seem cautiously optimistic as risk appetite fuelled by PBOC assurances and positive sentiment after the Chinese New Year conflicts with Chinese debt concerns. Spot gold prices gained some support towards $1,200/oz during overnight trading despite moves lower testing appetite for prices around $1,190/oz. Front month Brent crude futures struggled to push past the 50 day moving average yesterday as the global benchmark was subjected to a protracted sell-off throughout much of the day.
15 Feb 2016 08:30
Bullish moves for LME nickel prices overnight with the three month rolling forward garnered support at Friday’s close and rallied as much as 5.6% higher overnight as Chinese investors returned to market after the week long Chinese New Year celebrations. Comments from PBOC governor Zhou Xiaochuan over the weekend went some way to calm markets, with the mood across Asia at the start of the week largely upbeat. In a sign that market sentiment was improving gold prices plummeted almost 2% overnight, adding to Friday’s modest losses as appetite for risk displayed a market improvement at the start of the week.
26 Nov 2015 08:20
Base metals prices rebounded firmly overnight as investors reacted warmly to the news that Chinese regulators were considering launching a probe into short selling on local exchanges. Yesterday’s Autumn Statement saw Chancellor George Osborne tackle the deficit from another angle after failing to curb welfare spending, instead introducing a 2% increase to council tax to help pay for social care while wielding the axe on departmental budgets. Front month Brent futures managed to post gains for a fourth successive session yesterday as intraday dips towards $45/bbl were firmly bought into and futures ended the session at $46.17/bbl after attempting to gain a foothold at $46.50/bbl.
24 Nov 2015 08:03
Three month LME nickel prices slumped to their lowest level since 2003 as prices extended declines for a sixth straight session. With the last OPEC meeting of the year looming, due to be held on December 4th in Vienna, investors are wondering what the members will make of the year where we have seen crude prices trade around multi-year lows and what the coming year will bring for the group. The dollar index flirted with 100.00 yesterday as intraday moves briefly touched this level before paring back slightly as investors maintained their positioning ahead of an expected US rates rise next month.
23 Nov 2015 08:06
Gold investors were hopeful that last week’s choppy trading potentially signalled that a floor was developing. San Francisco Fed President John Williams proffered strong hints on Friday, stating that there was a “strong case” for the Fed to increase rates in December. The commodity rout continues with industrial metals, oil and gas leading the way lower, largely driven by a stronger dollar and a growing fundamental imbalance. The stronger dollar, which has gained over 3.5% so far this month, and weaker demand outlook has seen the base metals complex take a battering as investors look to limit risk taking.
12 Aug 2015 08:07
The base metals complex saw intense selling pressure overnight as prices revisited levels last seen during the financial crisis. The yuan declined against the dollar for a second day, losing 1.94% from the previous close against the greenback as the government’s latest efforts to shore up markets struggled to have the desired impact. OPEC output hit a three year high in July sending front month Brent futures back below $50/bbl as the supply glut continued to build.
27 Jan 2015 07:53
Futures prices across the base metals complex were trading lower early on this morning after National Bureau of Statistics data released overnight showed industrial profits grew at their slowest pace on record in December, extending the previous month’s declines. In an effort to combat the sluggish outlook the PBOC took steps to inject funds into the market by instigating 60bn yuan of reverse repos for seven day and 28 day contracts. The yen gained ground against the dollar during overnight trading, strengthening towards 118.00 as the currency recovered the majority of yesterday’s losses
05 Dec 2014 08:00
Asian markets traded with modest gains during overnight trading despite both European and US equity benchmark indices posting losses yesterday as investors repositioned themselves ahead of today’s important data releases. The dollar index rallied higher ahead of today’s crucial data releases as it touched a fresh year-to-date high towards 89.122 against a basket of major peers yesterday as it looks to target a seventh week of gains. Three month LME nickel prices posted gains for a fourth straight session yesterday, adding 3.35% throughout the session and bringing gains for the week to just under 6.5% after built on support at the 50 day MA on Monday.
21 Nov 2014 08:25
Front month natural gas futures rallied towards $4.50/mmbtu yesterday as a weather conditions in the US worsened along the east coast. The Japanese yen extended losses against the dollar, reaching 118.98 at one point as investors retreated from the currency for the sixth straight session. Three month LME nickel prices found firm support at the 50 day MA yesterday with futures ending the session at $16,355/tonne after Tuesday’s session saw intraday gains test resistance around $16,300/tonne before the breakout.
19 Nov 2014 08:03
Both US and European equity indices rebounded strongly yesterday as stronger than expected economic data encouraged a fresh round of buying among investors. Three month LME zinc prices headed lower for a second session yesterday, closing below $2,250/tonne as investors re-positioned themselves ahead of housing data due out later today. Three month nickel futures also experienced further sideways trading as prices remained resistance once more to protracted moves above $15,800/tonne.
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.
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.
24 Oct 2014 07:53
The dollar index extended gains for a third straight session on Thursday as steady gains, particularly against the yen and euro, off the back of better than expected US economic data which spurred a rebound in the greenback. The yen in particular posted sharp losses against the dollar, weakening to 108.35 at one stage as it lost 1.05% throughout the session. Gold headed lower for a second consecutive session yesterday as spot prices remained on track to end the week lower, snapping the two week bull run which had seen prices rise to a six week high towards $1,255/oz just earlier this week. Three month LME nickel prices closed lower for a fifth session, on track to add a seventh consecutive week of price declines as the metal looks to extend its longest run of weekly losses since 2001.
06 Oct 2014 07:58
LME nickel futures rebounded on Friday as the three month contract snapped a six session losing streak, adding 2.5% throughout the day. Gold prices extended losses overnight as spot prices hit their lowest level this year, trading towards $1,183/oz during the Asian session as investors continued to lose interest in the yellow metal. Front month Brent crude futures saw losses extend to levels last seen in 2012 on Friday as oversupply weighed heavily on market prices.
24 Sep 2014 16:11
It has been such a volatile trading session for the European equity markets as they opened the day on the positive side but disappointing German economic data hurt market sentiment in early trading and added pressure to most European indices.
22 Sep 2014 16:07
Crude oil prices and base metals remained under pressure in today’s trading session. Brent front month futures retreated sharply more than 1.4% to retest $97 per barrel as bearish oil fundamentals weighed heavily on market sentiment.
05 Sep 2014 08:11
Asian equity indices were largely unchanged overnight as investors shrugged off yesterday’s surprise ECB policy decision. Gold prices slipped towards a 12-week low yesterday, shedding 0.61% throughout the session predominantly on dollar strength. Three month LME nickel futures look set to post their 5th consecutive week of gains as prices rallied off $19,000 yesterday, testing resistance towards $19,500/tonne.
05 Aug 2014 08:11
Asian benchmark indices posted heavy losses on Tuesday as weaker Chinese services PMI data prompted a sell-off among investors. Spot gold prices held below the 50 day MA despite the moderate risk aversion during overnight trading. Three month LME nickel prices managed to find support at the 100 day MA on Monday, with prices early on this morning managing to hold around yesterday’s close.
08 Jul 2014 08:01
Asian markets slipped lower overnight, building on Monday’s losses as they pared recent gains which had sent benchmark indices in the region towards multiyear highs in recent weeks. Three month LME nickel prices pulled back towards the 50 day MA during intraday dips yesterday as market participants viewed the sharp hike in nickel inventories as sufficient over the short term.
10 Jun 2014 16:39
European equity markets consolidated today, pulling back from record levels as a quiet trading session left investors struggling to find impetus for further gains. Levels towards the close were swinging between positive and negative territory as a subdued US open dragged sentiment lower.
21 May 2014 08:01
US markets pared recent gains yesterday after retailers including Staples and Urban Outfitters posted results that missed estimates. A mixed session for Asian equities as Japanese benchmark indices headed lower after the BOJ held off on further easing measures while Chinese stocks rallied on the hopes of central bank support. Three month LME nickel prices headed lower in early morning trade today as the metal continued to swing wildly as it attempts to find near term support levels.
15 May 2014 08:00
After rallying to a 27-month high at the beginning of the week three month LME nickel prices traded lower for the second straight session yesterday. Japanese Q1 GDP surprised on the upside as the economy grew at an annualised rate of 5.9% q/q in Q1 against expectations of 4.2% q/q. Palladium prices surged higher for the third straight session yesterday, tracking gains in platinum as ongoing industrial action in South Africa threatened supply.
13 May 2014 07:52
US benchmark indices closed at record highs yesterday supported higher by a rally in growth and technology stocks. The bullish sentiment on Wall Street carried over to Asian trading with Japanese equities rallying on yen weakness. Chinese stocks were relatively subdued overnight as investors held out for key economic data. Three month LME nickel prices rallied for a fifth straight session on Monday, reaching a 27 month high with prices early on this morning testing levels towards $21,625/tonne.
09 May 2014 17:23
European equity markets retreated today, giving back yesterday’s gains, as investors were prompted into some profit taking in the technology and financial sectors.
09 May 2014 08:04
Three month LME nickel prices rallied 4.2% higher yesterday, posting gains for a third straight session as tighter fundamentals continued to support the metal higher. The euro declined from a 2 and half year high yesterday as the currency pulled back towards 1.3840 against the dollar where support at the 50 day MA held firm. Iron ore prices dropped to their lowest levels since September 2012 as the TSI measure pulled back towards $103/tonne 62% Fe CFR Tianjin on increasing port stocks and slowing demand which have put pressure on finished steel prices.
08 May 2014 07:57
Spot gold prices dropped back below $1,300/oz yesterday, posting a 1.4% decline after Yellen’s dovish testimony in front of the Joint Economic Committee. The bullish sentiment carried over into the Asian session, with most major benchmark indices in the region heading higher. A busy day for economic data, with market participants anticipating the release of the BOE and ECB base rates before focus switches to US jobless claims later this afternoon.
06 May 2014 07:50
Three month LME nickel prices rallied higher during early morning trade today as concerns of flaring violence in Ukraine supported prices. US stocks started the week on the front foot as investors were encouraged by positive services data. Despite the bullish tones in US equity markets spot gold prices rallied higher yesterday building on newly found support at the 200 day MA after struggling to breakout significantly above $1,300/oz throughout April.
28 Apr 2014 08:07
US markets ended the week on the back foot amid slowing earnings growth and general risk aversion over Russia. Asian markets turned lower during overnight trading as tensions escalated between Russia and the West. Three month LME nickel prices extended gains towards a 14-month high, trading above $18,700 for the first time since February last year as supply concerns supported the metal higher.
14 Apr 2014 07:55
Asian equities started the week on the back foot, carrying over the weaker market sentiment that dominated US trading on Friday. US markets slumped towards the end of last week as disappointing corporate earnings sparked valuation concerns among investors. Spot gold prices extended gains early on this morning, after consolidating around the 50 day MA on Friday as risk aversion prompted investors to seek out safety. Three month LME nickel prices extended gains as an impulsive rally over the past three sessions and a strong early morning buying activity today pushes the metal above $17,800/tonne for the first time since March last year.
11 Apr 2014 08:05
The sell-off in US equities resumed yesterday after a brief midweek respite as tech shares led the move lower. Asian equities faced continued selling pressure overnight with Japanese stocks following US markets lower and Chinese markets faltering slightly on inflation data. Chinese data showed producer price inflation dropped for the third consecutive month to -2.3% y/y, overshooting expectations of -2.2% while consumer prices rose to 2.4% y/y in March from 2% the previous month. Three month LME nickel prices extended gains yesterday, with the metal posting gains in all but one of the last nine sessions.