SHANGHAI, Apr 9 (SMM) – This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected in the day ahead.
The US dollar index edged higher on Wednesday in choppy trading, attracting safe-haven bids, as investor concerns remained over the economic fallout of the pandemic.
Hopes that the coronavirus outbreak may soon turn a corner continued to underpin US stocks on Wednesday. The spike on Wall Street was also fueled by Sen. Bernie Sanders dropping out of the presidential race.
US oil prices surged in a sudden move toward the end of trading followed a report from Bloomberg that the oil minister of Algeria said OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, would discuss a massive cut that could reach 10 million barrels per day at its virtual meeting on Thursday. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped as much as 12% before paring some of those gains to settle 6.18% higher at $25.09.
The US Energy Information Administration reported on Wednesday that US crude inventory increased by 15.2 million barrels for the week ending April 3. Analysts had been expecting a build of 9.67 million barrels.
The larger-than-expected increase in inventory came as fuel demand slumped due to efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. EIA also said US fuel demand has dropped by about one-third in the last three weeks, with last week's fall of 3.4 million barrels per day (bpd) the most ever.
LME base metals, except for nickel, closed lower overnight. Tin pulled back 1.8% to be the biggest loser, aluminium fell 0.6%, lead and zinc shed close to 0.5%, and copper dipped 0.03%. Nickel rose 0.7%.
The SHFE kept its night trading session suspended.
European Union finance ministers on Wednesday failed to agree on further support for their coronavirus-hit economies. The impasse spooked bond markets and sent shorter-dated Italian yields spiking higher.
On Thursday, US weekly jobless claims will be released at 8:30am ET. Economists are expecting an increase of 5 million, which would build on the record-shattering prior two readings of 6.6 million and 3.3 million.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is also set to speak on Thursday. His remarks follow the release of the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s emergency meeting in March, which is when the central bank slashed interest rates to near zero.
The minutes revealed that the Fed is prepared to keep rates near zero until the economy has “weathered” the coronavirus impact.
Other economic data slated for release Thursday include Germany’s February trade account, China’s March loan data, and US February wholesale inventories, March producer inflation data, and preliminary April consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan.