SHANGHAI, Apr. 17 (SMM) – It was announced last night that the US new housing starts in March surged 7% MoM to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.04 million units, the highest level since June 2008 and exceeding forecasts. This is due mainly to a rise in building of apartments. The new housing starts also rose 47% YoY, a record high since 1992. These positive data helped the S&P 500 advance 1.4%. The euro also jumped to its highest level since February, helping commodity prices rally, with gold prices rebounding 1.5%. LME copper recovered losses and closed up USD 39/mt at USD 7,319/mt.
The US March industrial output climbed 0.4% MoM, beating forecasts. The rebound in the US housing markets highlighted mild recovery in the US economy. Building permits in the US fell unexpectedly to 902,000 units in March, below expectations. The US March CPI fell and missed forecasts due mainly to falling prices in gasoline and energy.
The European Commission will propose "frontloading" payments to Cyprus from the EU budget so that allocations for the next seven years are paid early to give the battered economy a boost, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said. His remarks will ease negative impact from Cyprus’s plan to sell gold for the near term, helping the euro rebound. On the other hand, Germany’s April ZEW economic sentiment fell to 36.3, well below the expected 42.0.
China’s Ministry of Finance announced yesterday that China’s public fiscal revenues hit RMB 3.2 trillion in Q1, up 6.9% YoY, but the growth rate was 7.8 percentage points down from the same period last year. Revenues from tax also grew 6% YoY to RMB 2.74 trillion, with grow rate falling 4.3 percentage points from the same period last year. In March, fiscal revenues at the central government dropped 5.2% YoY to RMB 382.8 billion, while fiscal revenues at the local governments rose 15.1% YoY to RMB 578 billion. This is the first time that fiscal revenues at the central government fell since August 2010, due largely to slowing economic growth, structural tax reduction and small growth in imports.
The IMF lowered last night its growth forecast for global and Chinese economy. LME copper should move within USD 7,270-7,350/mt during the Asian trading hours on Wednesday. The Shanghai Composite Index will remain high, helping SHFE 1308 copper contract fluctuate in a RMB 52,900-53,500/mt range after a high opening. In spot markets, market bearishness will dwindle, and spot copper premiums are expected to narrow to RMB 150-250/mt against SHFE 1305 copper contract.