SHANGHAI, Apr 18 (SMM) – This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.
LME base metals traded mixed on Wednesday. Copper rose close to 0.9%, lead climbed 0.6% and zinc inched up 0.05%, while aluminium dipped 0.05%, nickel fell close to 0.4% and tin declined 0.6%.
SHFE base metals also saw mixed performance overnight. Aluminium advanced 0.5%, copper gained close to 0.3%, and tin edged up 0.03% while lead slipped close to 0.5%, zinc lost close to 0.9% and nickel dropped more than 1.2%.
The US dollar weakened against a basket of foreign currencies on Wednesday as better-than-expected economic data in China bolstered risk appetite.
China’s economy grew 6.4% in the first quarter, unchanged from the last three months of 2018 and snapped a slowing streak in the past three consecutive quarters.
This showed signs of stabilisation and suggested that government measures are taking effect. It also beat a median forecast of 6.3% by economists polled by Bloomberg.
Other economic indicators gauging investment, industrial output and consumption were also upbeat, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
"The operation of the Chinese economy was stable in the first quarter. Most indicators were better than expected in March, as market expectations continued to improve and positive factors gradually increased," NBS spokesman Mao Shengyong told reporters at a briefing.
Fixed-asset investment, a key driver of domestic demand that includes infrastructure, increased 6.3% year on year in the first three months of the year. Government-driven infrastructure investment, which excludes the production and supply of electricity, heating, gas and water, rose 4.4%, 0.1 percentage point faster than in January-February.
Value-added industrial output, which measures production at factories, mines and utilities, soared 8.5% year on year in March to register the fastest growth since July 2014.
Retail sales, which include spending by governments, business and households, jumped 8.7% last month, the strongest pace since September.
The Fed’s Beige Book report, a region-by-region assessment of the US economy based on information collected by the 12 regional Fed banks, found that the US economy continued to grow and labour markets remained tight across the country.
Data on Wednesday also showed that the US trade deficit fell to an eight-month low in February as exports to China surged and outperformed a rebound in overall imports.
The US' goods and services deficit fell to $49.4 billion in February, its lowest since June 2018 and well below estimates, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected the US trade deficit in February to increase to $53.8 billion from $51.1 billion in January.
The decline was due in large part to a 28.2% decrease in its goods deficit with China as exports to the nation surged. Exports to China rose $1.6 billion to $9.2 billion while imports fell $1.5 billion to $39.3 billion. That brought the total deficit with China to $30.1 billion.
Overall, exports for the month rose $2.3 billion to $209.7 billion, while imports increased $600 million to $259.1 billion.
US wholesale inventories increased less than expected in February as sales rose for a second straight month. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday that wholesale inventories climbed 0.2% to a record $668.9 billion in February.
US crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 1.7 million barrels in a Reuters survey. However, the official data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday was about half the decline reported by the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday.
US crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels in the week to April 12, compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 1.7 million barrels, according to the official data from the EIA on Wednesday.
Gasoline stocks fell by 1.2 million barrels, less than analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.1 million-barrel drop. Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell 362,000 barrels, less than the forecasts for an 846,000-barrel drawdown, the EIA data showed.
In the Eurozone, consumer prices grew slower last month, despite an acceleration in energy costs. Eurostat confirmed on Wednesday that the annual rate of increase in euroarea headline CPI slowed from 1.5% for February to 1.4% in March.
The bloc’s February trade surplus was reported at 19.5 billion euros (seasonally adjusted), up nearly 2 billion euros over January.
Factory activity data for April from the Germany, the Eurozone and the US are due today.
The US will also release retail sales for March as well as weekly unemployment claims and rig count.