SHANGHAI, Mar 28 (SMM) – This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.
LME base metals traded mixed on Wednesday. Lead saw the biggest gain of 1.15%, zinc rose 0.24%, aluminium nudged up 0.05%, while nickel fell 0.42%, copper lost 0.24%, and tin dipped 0.05%.
SHFE base metals, except for tin, ticked up overnight. Zinc climbed 1.03%, aluminium gained 0.48%, nickel advanced 0.13%, copper inched up 0.08% and lead edged up 0.06%.
The US dollar index rose on Wednesday to a new high of 96.98 since March 13, while emerging-market currencies declined, including the Turkish lira, Brazilian real and Mexican peso.
The trade deficit between the US and its global partners dropped sharply in January to $51.15 billion as exports rebounded from a slowdown at the end of 2018, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday.
Economists had forecast that the balance fell to $57 billion in January, from the $59.9 billion recorded in the previous month.
The decline of 14.6% represented the sharpest drop since March 2018 and comes amid continued efforts by the Trump administration to level the playing field with China and other global partners.
Oil prices fell on Wednesday after government data showed US crude stockpiles unexpectedly rose last week, though disruptions to Venezuela's crude exports limited losses.
US crude inventories rose by 2.8 million barrels in the week ended March 22, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 1.2 million barrels, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.
Profits at Chinese industrial firms saw their biggest contraction since late 2011 in the first two months of this year, data showed on Wednesday, as increasing strains on the economy in the face of slowing demand at home and abroad took a toll on businesses.
Profits across Chinese industrial firms in January-February slumped 14% year on year to 708.01 billion yuan, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on its website on Wednesday.
The data combined figures for January and February to smooth out distortions caused by the week-long China’s Lunar New Year.
Price contractions in key industrial sectors such as auto, oil processing, steel and chemical industries accounted for the decline, Zhu Hong of the statistics bureau said in a statement accompanying the data.
Zhu said that the timing of Lunar New Year holidays in early February also had a bigger impact on business operations this year than in 2018.
Economic data slated for release today include the eurozone’s business climate index and consumer confidence index for March, Germany’s consumer price index (CPI) for March, and US weekly jobless claims, gross domestic product (GDP), personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index for the fourth quarter and pending home sales for February.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will resume negotiations with their Chinese counterparts in Beijing today.