SHANGHAI, Mar 29 (SMM) – This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.
The US dollar rose for the third consecutive trading day and jumped to the highest since March 11, at 97.3, with bulls shaking off a cut in the final reading of fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP).
Base metals ended mixed as LME copper and tin rose nearly 0.5%, aluminium nudged up, while nickel lost 1.34%, zinc slid 0.64%, and lead dropped 0.32%. SHFE tin increased 0.7%, copper jumped 0.31%, zinc edged up, while nickel fell 0.7%, lead dipped 0.24%, and aluminium went down slightly.
The last reading of the US GDP for the last three months of 2018 was lowered to 2.2%, in line with market expectations and down from a previous reading of 2.6%.
Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams downplayed fears of a recession on Thursday. "On the national outlook – 2% GDP growth, the economy continuing to add lots of jobs, low unemployment -- that’s the most likely case," he said at an event in San Juan, Puerto Rico. "So, I still see the probability of a recession this year or next year as being not elevated relative to any year."
Eurozone economic sentiment eased more than expected in March, from bearish sentiment in the industry and services sectors, European Commission data showed on Thursday.
The Commission said in its monthly survey that economic sentiment in the euro zone eased to 105.5 in March from 106.2 in February, compared with the expected 105.9.
Separately, the Commission’s business climate index, which helps point to the phase of the business cycle, fell to 0.53 in March from 0.69 in February.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting that labour market conditions remained upbeat, despite slowing job growth.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 211,000 for the week ended March 23, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was revised to show 5,000 fewer applications than previously reported.
The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labour market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 3,250 to 217,250 last week.
The US pending home sales dropped 1% month on month in February, despite lower mortgage rates, according to the National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index.
"In January, pending contracts were up close to 5%, so this month's 1% drop is not a significant concern," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors. "As a whole, these numbers indicate that a cyclical low in sales is in the past, but activity is not matching the frenzied pace of last spring."
Economic data slated for release today include Germany’s retail sales for February, its unemployment rate for March, the eurozone consumer price index (CPI) for March, the US PCE price index and personal spending for January, and the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index for March.