Precious metals are up an average of 0.7% this morning January 31, with palladium prices rebounding 1.7%, platinum prices up 0.6% and gold and silver prices both up around 0.3%. This follows a generally firmer day yesterday, when prices closed up an average of 0.3%. Concerns over President Trump’s unpredictability, with the sudden firing of acting Attorney General Sally Yates, seem to be underpinning bullion prices.
Base metals are little changed this morning, January 31: aluminium prices are off 0.3%, tin prices are up 0.3%, nickel prices are up 0.2%, while the rest are up a few dollars per tonne. Three-month copper prices are at $5,853 per tonne – although volume remains light, with 1,200 lots traded as of 06:44 GMT.
Yesterday’s trading on the LME saw fairly independent moves, some of which were large, with lead prices rebounding 3.3%, nickel prices up 1.9%, tin prices dropping 1.4%, copper and aluminium prices off 0.8% and zinc prices up 0.7%.
Equities were weaker yesterday, with the Euro Stoxx 50 closing down 1.2% and the Dow off 0.6%. In Asia, the Nikkei is off 1.7%, the Kospi is down 0.8% and the ASX 200 is down 0.7%.
In FX, the dollar index is treading water around 100.40, but the trend is to the downside. The euro is slightly weaker at 1.0690, as are sterling at 1.2495 and the aussie at 0.7558. Meanwhile, the yen is attracting some safe-haven interest, firming to 113.62. In emerging market currencies, most are flat, but the real and peso are strengthening, while the rand is weaker.
The economic agenda is busy today, with Japan’s monetary policy decisions, statement and housing starts; French GDP and consumer spending; and German retail sales. There are CPI numbers due out across much of Europe; unemployment data out in Germany, Italy and the EU; UK lending data; and EU GDP.
US data includes employment costs, house prices, Chicago PMI and consumer confidence – see table below for more details.
Generally the dips in base metals prices seem to be attracting buying, the exceptions being aluminium that probably overshot on the upside in recent weeks, and tin that is still trying to find support having broken out of its extended sideways range. The consolidations in copper, lead and zinc prices mean those metals are still well placed to push ahead. The backwardation in lead may provide lead prices with further fuel, but all eyes will be on whether the backwardation attracts metal into LME warehouses or not – if anything, in recent days LME lead stocks have started to fall at a faster pace.
The precious metals have had an orderly pullback as profit-taking/liquidation emerged after the US inauguration, but the dips were well supported and the likes of silver and platinum are now well placed to extend gains. Gold prices pulled back slightly further, as did palladium prices, but the overall trends remain to the upside and gold may well pick up more safe-haven buying if President Trump starts to make more aggressive decisions.
|2:56am||Japan||BOJ Outlook Report|
|2:56am||Japan||BOJ Policy Rate||-0.1%||-0.1%||-0.1%|
|2:56am||Japan||Monetary Policy Statement|
|5:00am||Japan||Housing Starts y/y||3.9%||8.5%||6.7%|
|6:30am||France||French Prelim GDP q/q||0.4%||0.4%||0.2%|
|6:30am||Japan||BOJ Press Conference|
|7:00am||Germany||German Retail Sales m/m||0.6%||-1.8%|
|7:45am||France||French Consumer Spending m/m||0.2%||0.4%|
|7:45am||France||French Prelim CPI m/m||-0.5%||0.3%|
|8:00am||EU||ECB President Draghi Speaks|
|8:00am||Spain||Spanish Flash CPI y/y||2.4%||1.6%|
|8:55am||Germamy||German Unemployment Change||-5K||-17K|
|9:00am||Italy||Italian Monthly Unemployment Rate||11.8%||11.9%|
|9:30am||UK||Net Lending to Individuals m/m||5.3B||5.1B|
|9:30am||UK||M4 Money Supply m/m||0.3%||0.4%|
|10:00am||EU||CPI Flash Estimate y/y||1.5%||1.1%|
|10:00am||EU||Core CPI Flash Estimate y/y||0.9%||0.9%|
|10:00am||EU||Prelim Flash GDP q/q||0.4%||0.3%|
|1:30pm||US||Employment Cost Index q/q||0.6%||0.6%|
|2:00pm||US||S&P/CS Composite-20 HPI y/y||5.0%||5.1%|
|3:00pm||US||CB Consumer Confidence||112.6||113.7|