Metals News
Macro Roundup (Feb 28)
data analysis
Feb 28,2019

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

Last night

LME base metals, except for tin, traded higher across the board on Wednesday. Lead advanced 1.7%, nickel climbed close to 1%, copper rose 0.8%, aluminium and zinc gained 0.3%.

SHFE base metals performed similarly overnight. Lead saw the biggest gain of over 1%, nickel crept 0.6%, zinc gained 0.3%, copper and aluminium rose some 0.2%, while tin dipped 0.2%.

The US dollar rebounded on Wednesday as investors digested testimonies from the lead US trade negotiator with China and the top ranking Federal Reserve official.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell finished his second day of testimony on Wednesday in front of the House Financial Services Committee. In a prepared statement, Powell told lawmakers Tuesday that while the US economy looks "healthy" and the outlook is "favorable," there are some worrying signs on the horizon.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer also spoke Wednesday, saying in front of the House Ways and Means Committee that US issues with China are "too serious" to be resolved by promises of more purchases of US goods by Beijing.

The US trade deficit in goods jumped in December amid a surge in imports, a move that could cause fourth-quarter economic growth estimates to be lowered, according an advanced look from the Census Bureau on Wednesday.

December saw a $79.5 billion goods deficit, up 12.8% from the $70.5 billion in November. The move came amid a $4 billion decline in exports, to $135.7 billion, and a $5 billion increase in imports, to $215.2 billion.

In another report on Wednesday, the Commerce Department said factory goods orders edged up 0.1% in December amid declining demand for machinery and electrical equipment, appliances and components. Data for November was revised slightly up to show factory orders falling 0.5% instead of the previously reported 0.6% drop.

Oil prices also rose on Wednesday as US crude stocks unexpected fell and as Saudi Arabia brushed aside pressure from President Donald Trump.

US commercial crude stockpiles fell by 8.6 million barrels in the week through February 22, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Wednesday. That was more than twice the drop of 4.2 million barrels reported by the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday. It also confounded the forecasts of a rise of 2.9 million barrels.

For the same week, US gasoline stocks fell by 1.9 million barrels, and inventories of distillate fuels like diesel shrank by about 304,000 barrels.

In the Eurozone, economic sentiment slipped to 106.1 points in February from an upwardly revised 106.3 in January, the European Commission said on Wednesday, marking the lowest level since November 2016. Economists had expected a slightly sharper decline to 106.

Sentiment in industry fell for a third consecutive month to -0.4 points in February from 0.6 points in January, well below market expectations of 0.1.

Day ahead

Economic data slated for release today include China’s official manufacturing purchasing mangers’ index (PMI) for February, Germany’s consumer price index (CPI) for February, the US’ weekly jobless claims, personal consumption expenditure (PCE) price index, gross domestic product (GDP) and consumer spending for the fourth quarter as well as Chicago PMI for February.

The US-North Korean summit in Hanoi would be another key thing to watch today.

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