Metals News
Macro Roundup (Mar 15)
data analysis
Mar 15,2019

SHANGHAI, Mar 15 (SMM) – This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.

Last night

The US dollar snapped a four-session decline after the British pound stalled at lower levels ahead of a vote to extend Britain's March 29 deadline for exiting the European Union.

The UK Parliament voted to postpone the Brexit deadline. Prime Minister Theresa May put forward a measure on Thursday that sought to delay the UK’s exit beyond the current March 29 deadline. Parliament voted 412 to 202 in favour.

Base metals, expect for LME tin, closed lower as LME nickel led the decline and fell 2.12%. Copper lost 1.25%, lead slid 0.85%, zinc dipped 0.51%, and aluminium edged down. SHFE nickel and copper declined over 1%, lead slid 0.4%, aluminium lost 0.37%, zinc closed 0.27% lower, and tin dropped 0.12%.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Thursday that industrial output slowed more than expected in January and February, suggesting a slowdown in the Chinese economy. 

The value-added industrial output in China rose 5.3% in January-February from the previous year, compared to 5.7% a year ago and economists’ estimates of 5.6%. Thursday’s reading was the slowest growth in 17 years.

China's retail sales of consumer goods rose 8.2% year on year in the first two months of the year, NBS data showed Thursday. The growth held steady from an increase of 8.2% in December.

After deducting price factors, the indicator grew 7.1% in real terms, accelerating from December's rise of 6.6%, NBS spokesperson Mao Shengyong said at a press conference.

Chinese fixed-asset investment in urban areas rose by 6.1% in January and February compared to the same period a year earlier, an acceleration on the 5.9% increase reported throughout 2018.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased more than expected last week, hinting at a slowdown in the labour market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 229,000 for the week ended March 9, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was unrevised. 

The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered to be a better measure of labour market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, slipped 2,500 to 223,750 last week.

Day ahead

The eurozone will release its February consumer price index (CPI), and the US will release its industrial output for February and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for March. 

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