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Macro Roundup (Dec 28)
Dec 28,2018 08:48CST
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Macro Roundup

SHANGHAI, Dec 28 (SMM) – This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.

Last night

LME base metals traded mixed on Thursday after a two-day closure for the Christmas holiday. Lead saw the biggest gain of 2.4%, tin climbed 0.6%, zinc and copper gained 0.2% while aluminium dropped 1.2% and nickel tumbled 1.4%.

SHFE base metals, except for lead, ended in the black across the board overnight. Aluminium fell over 1%, copper slid 0.7%, zinc slipped 0.6%, nickel lost 0.3% and tin dipped 0.01%.

The US dollar index weakened on Thursday as investors flocked to safe-haven currencies following another volatile trading session of US stocks market.

Concerns over slowing global economic growth and an unstable equities market dampened investor sentiment in riskier asset classes and pressured the greenback.

Earnings at China’s industrial firms in November dropped for the first time in nearly three years, as slackening external and domestic demand left businesses facing more strain in 2019 in a sign of growing risks to the world’s second-largest economy.

Industrial profits fell 1.8% in November from a year earlier to 594.8 billion yuan ($86.33 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on its website on Thursday. It marked the first decline since December 2015.

The fall in profits largely reflected slowing growth in sales and producer prices as well as rising costs, said statistics bureau official He Ping.

For the first 11 months, profits at industrial firms rose 11.8% from the same period in 2017 to 6.1 trillion yuan, slowing from a 13.6% increase in January-October. In the same period, earnings growth at state-owned industrial enterprises also cooled.

It was reported on Thursday that Chinese state oil major China Petroleum & Chemical, also known as Sinopec, suspended two top officials at its trading arm after the company suffered losses.

The Conference Board said on Thursday that its index of consumer confidence for the US dropped to a reading of 128.1 in December from 135.7 in November. That marked the least optimistic level since July.

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell marginally last week in a sign of labour market strength, with claims appearing to stabilise after drifting higher in recent months.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 216,000 for the week ended December 22, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Initial claims have now fallen in three of the last four weeks and are just above the 49-year low of 202,000 reached in the week ended September 15.

US home prices rose in October, inching forward 0.3% from September, and rising 5.7% from the same time last year, according to the latest monthly House Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

The American Petroleum Institute (API) reported a surprise crude oil inventory build of 6.92 million barrels for the week ended December 21, compared to an expected drop in crude oil inventories of 2.87 million barrels.

The API reported a build in gasoline inventories as well for week ended December 21 in the amount of 3.7 million barrels. Distillate inventories fell this week by 598,000 barrels, compared to an expected decline of 529,000 barrels.

Day ahead

Economic data slated for release today include Germany’s December consumer price index (CPI), US wholesale inventories for November, Chicago's purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for December, pending home sales for November, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly crude inventories and the weekly rig count from Baker Hughes.


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