SHANGHAI, Dec 14 (SMM) – This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.
Both LME and SHFE base metals closed mixed on Thursday. LME nickel and tin climbed some 0.6%, zinc gained 0.35% and copper nudged up 0.05% while aluminium slipped 0.3% and lead fell close to 1%.
SHFE nickel rose about 0.4%, tin grew 0.3% and copper edged up 0.1% while aluminium dipped 0.04%, lead inched down 0.05% and zinc slid 0.2%.
The euro fell against the dollar on Thursday after the European Central Bank said that it will end its bondpurchasing progrme at the end of December.
In winding up the program, the ECB plans to reinvest cash from maturing bonds for an extended period beyond its next interest rate hike. The ECB also left benchmark interest rates unchanged.
In his remarks to reporters in Frankfurt, ECB President Mario Draghi said that 2018 growth in the euroarea was expected to be 1.9% rather than the 2% forecast in September. "The risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook can still be assessed as broadly balanced. However, the balance of risk is moving to the downside owing to the persistence of uncertainties related to geopolitical factors, the threat of protectionism, vulnerabilities in emerging markets and financial market volatility," Draghi said.
Gross domestic product (GDP) for 2019 was also reduced to 1.7% from an earlier forecast of 1.8%.
The dollar strengthened against most major currencies on Thursday on US President Donald Trump's upbeat comments on trade talks with China and Beijing's first major purchase of US soybeans in months.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported that Chinese state-owned companies purchased more than 1.5 million tonnes of US soybeans. It was the first major US soybean purchases in more than six months, and the clearest sign to date that China is making good progress on pledges at the start of the month.
President Trump earlier this week tweeted that discussions with Beijing had been "very productive" and that some "important announcements" were forthcoming. He also said he would intervene in the Department of Justice's case against Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, if it would help secure a trade deal with Beijing.
US import prices fell by the most in more than three years in November as the cost of petroleum products tumbled and a strong dollar weighed on prices of other goods, reflecting subdued imported inflation in the near term.
The Labor Department said on Thursday that import prices dropped 1.6% last month, the biggest decline since August 2015. On a yearly basis, import prices rose 0.7%. That was the smallest annual increase since November 2016.
The report also showed that export prices fell 0.9% in November, the biggest drop since January 2016. A rebound of 1.8% in prices of agricultural exports was partly offset by a 1% drop in prices of nonagricultural goods.
Export prices increased 1.8% year on year in November after rising 3.1% in October.
The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits tumbled to near a 49-year low last week, which could ease concerns about a slowdown in the labour market and economy.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 206,000 for the week ended December 8, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Last week's decline in claims was the largest since April 2015. Claims hit 202,000 in mid-September, the lowest since December 1969.
In Germany, consumer prices were 2.3% higher compared to a year earlier in November, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). This was down from a rise of 2.5% in October compared to October 2017.
Energy product prices "had a considerable effect on the inflation rate", as energy prices rose 9.3% in November from the year-ago month. Destatis said the rise in energy prices has continuously accelerated since March. On a yearly basis, prices of heating oil and motor fuels gained 40.7% and 15% respectively. However, gas prices lost 1.4% from a year earlier. Excluding energy prices, the inflation rate would have been 1.4% in November.
China will release several pieces of economic data today including industrial production for November, fixed asset investment and retail sales.
In the US, retail sales and industrial production in November, the Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for December and weekly oil rig counts are also slated for release.
In the eurozone, Markit December manufacturing PMI for the eurozone and Germany will come out today.