SHANGHAI, May 14 (SMM) – This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news over the weekend and what is expected in the day ahead.
The US dollar erased earlier losses to trade largely flat against a basket of currencies on Wednesday, as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell rejected the idea of using negative interest rates as a stimulative tool, even as he sounded a gloomy note about economic growth.
“While the economic response has been both timely and appropriately large, it may not be the final chapter, given that the path ahead is both highly uncertain and subject to significant downside risks,” Powell said, noting more needs to be down to support the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. He made his comments as several states begin to reopen their economies.
Following the stark warning from the central bank leader, US stocks and oil prices declined on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s decline in oil prices came despite the first decline in U.S. crude inventories since January. The US Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that US crude stockpiles fell by 745,000 barrels for the week ended May 8, compared with analysts’ expectations for a 4.1 million-barrel rise. For the same week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday reported an increase of 7.58 million barrels of crude oil in the US crude oil inventories.
LME base metals traded mixed on Thursday morning, after seeing back-to-back losses in the previous session. On Wednesday, LME base metals fell across the board for a second straight trading day, with lead remaining the worst performer and shedding more than 2%. Tin dropped 1.2%, zinc slipped 1.1%, copper and nickel lost 0.3% and aluminium sank 0.2%.
On the SHFE, lead was also the biggest loser in overnight trading, shedding 1.4%. Zinc dropped 1.3%, copper fell 0.2%, while tin edged up 0.02%, nickel gained 0.2% and aluminium firmed 0.3%.
Also on Wednesday, a measure of underlying US producer prices fell more than expected in April as the economy reeled from restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus.
The US producer price index dropped 1.3% last month, more than the 0.5% decline expected by economists polled by Dow Jones. The reading came after data on Tuesday showed consumer prices dropped by the most on record in April.
In Europe, UK GDP (gross domestic product) contracted by 5.8% month on month in March, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday, as lockdown measures began to hammer economic activity in the country.
It represents the biggest monthly fall since the series began in 1997, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). However, the March reading was still above analyst expectations of a 7.2% decline. It tipped UK GDP into a contraction of 2% for the first three months of the year, quarter on quarter, according to the ONS figures, although this was better than the 2.5% expected by analysts.
Germany’s April consumer inflation data, US weekly jobless claims and April import prices will be released on Thursday.