SHANGHAI, Apr 24 (SMM) – This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected in the day ahead.
The US dollar climbed slightly on Thursday, supported by expectations of more stimulus from central banks to limit the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.
The US House of Representatives has passed a new coronavirus relief package totalling $484 billion, the fourth aid bill to clear Congress in response to the pandemic.
European Union leaders met via video conference on Thursday to discuss proposals intended to stabilise the bloc's economy, but the meeting ended without any agreement on details.
LME base metals ended mixed overnight, with nickel as the best performer, adding 2.05%. Copper advanced 0.6%, tin climbed 0.77%, while aluminium shed 0.66%, zinc lost 1.29% and lead slipped 0.96%.
SHFE nonferrous metals closed higher across the board on Thursday. Tin soared 4.7% on the day to be the best performer, copper surged 2.7%, lead jumped 2.3%, nickel advanced 1.6%, aluminium climbed 0.9% and zinc rose 0.5%.
Oil prices soared on Thursday, extending its rebound after major oil-producing nations said they would accelerate planned output cuts to combat the dramatic slump in demand due to the pandemic.
US unemployment remained elevated amid the COVID-19 outbreak, for the fifth week in a row dwarfing the worst week of job losses seen during the Great Recession.
American jobless claims totalled 4.4 million in the week ended April 18, the Labour Department said Thursday. This compared with a consensus estimate was 4.5 million.
The number represented a decline of 810,000 from the previous week, showing a continuing downward trend in jobless claims. But the five-week total has surpassed all of the job gains since the Great Recession.
The HIS/Market flash purchasing managers index (PMI) for the US service sector fell to a record low in April, while the manufacturing PMI slipped to the lowest level in 11 years, as business activity slumped amid the COVID-19 lockdowns.
The flash services PMI fell to 27 from 39.8 in March while the manufacturing PMI dropped to 36.9 from 48.5.
The IHS/Markit research also showed that the German manufacturing sector contraction deepened in April, with the manufacturing PMI at 34.4, compared with an expected 39 and the previous 45.4.
Meanwhile, services PMI hit a fresh record low level of 15.9 in April as against the previous month’s reading of 31.7 and 28.5 anticipated.
“April’s PMI surveys reveal the full effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown on Germany’s economy, showing business activity across manufacturing and services falling at a rate, unlike anything that has come before. Compared to a low of 36.3 during the financial crisis, the headline PMI’s reading of 17.1 paints a shocking picture of the pandemic’s impact on businesses,” commented by Phil Smith, Principal Economist at IHS Markit.
“Service providers bore the initial brunt of the virus containment measures, but the collapse in demand and supply constraints have caught up with manufacturers, who are now also recording an unpreceded drop in output.”
Germany’s consumer confidence has also fallen to an all-time low, and about half of the country's companies have now introduced short-time work. The pandemic and the measures introduced to contain it badly hit consumer sentiment in April, Nuremberg-based market research firm GfK said.
The GfK consumer confidence index for Europe’s largest economy fell a historic low of -23.4, down 25.7 from 2.3 points in March.
Key economic data slated for release today include the German IFO business climate index for April, the US durable goods orders for March and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for April.