SHANGHAI, Mar 2 (SMM) – This is a roundup of global macro-economic news last night and what is expected today.
The US dollar index edged down slightly from a six-week high to 90.2 following the Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s statement that the US economy was not overheating and President Donald Trump’s announcement of imposing global tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.
However, base metals futures remained under pressure from the strong dollar, with over 2% drops in LME lead and nickel. Zinc slid over 1%, while aluminium and tin inched up. SHFE aluminium also rose slightly.
Despite a small decline in the euro, the average manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the eurozone in the first quarter recorded the second highest level since spring 2000. The rise incluyded all the surveyed countries, including Greece which registered the fastest growth in 18 years.
Germany's manufacturing also performed strongly, but there are signs of a gradual drop from the high levels recorded at the end of 2017. Output prices rose due to increasing costs and exports fell to a new low in seven months.
The eurozone's unemployment rate in January stood at 8.6%, the lowest since December 2008.
The US real personal consumption expenditures (PCE) in January registered the smallest increase since August 2017, which suggested a slower consumption growth. However, the strong labour market continues to give support to expenditures.
The US PCE Price Index gained the biggest month-on-month rise since September 2017 at 0.4%, and this suggested that inflation is expected to reach 2% this year, with higher wages and spending as well as tax cuts.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits for the first time during the week that ended February 24 stood at 210,000, the lowest since 1969.
As the manufacturing industry continues to expand, the US' manufacturing new orders index by Markit in February hit the highest level since January 2017, and the US ISM Manufacturing Index rose for 17 consecutive months, setting a new high since May 2004 at 60.8.
The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index in February is one thing to watch today. The expected figure is 99.5, slightly lower compared with the previous month.
The US dollar is expected to remain rangebound around 90.2 in the short term. Base metals will remain under pressure.
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