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April 23, 2018

Macro Roundup (Apr 20)

SHANGHAI, Apr 20 (SMM) – This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.

Last night

As US treasury yield rates climb and upbeat momentum from an anticipated hike in interest rate buoyed the market, the US dollar index rose and closed at 89.879 overnight. It hit a high through the week at one point.

Base metals fell across the board as the US dollar rose and as global economic and geopolitical concerns eased. LME aluminium tumbled close to 3% while nickel fell close to 2%. SHFE aluminium and nickel lost nearly 2%.

The US initial claims for state unemployment benefits over the week that ended on April 14 fell 1,000 to 232,000, indicating that job growth continued after a slowdown in March. The economy created 103,000 jobs in March, the fewest in six months.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, viewed as a more accurate measure of labour trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, increased 1,250 to 231,250 last week. The number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid fell 15,000 to 1.86 million over the week ended April 7.

The labour market is considered to be near or at full employment. The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1%, not far from the Federal Reserve's forecast of 3.8% by the end of this year. The Fed's "Beige Book" report on Wednesday also indicated that businesses remain upbeat about the economy, with tight labour markets and strong borrowing. The document is a detailed summary of opinions about the economy, gathered from business contacts throughout the Fed's 12 regional districts. It highlighted growing labour shortages across high-skilled occupations and in the construction and transportation sectors.

Day ahead

The eurozone consumer confidence index (CCI) in April is the key factor to watch today.

The US dollar is likely to gain further today due to the rising Treasury yield and an anticipated uptick in interest rates. Base metals are expected to remain rangebound with downward room.

The April eurozone CCI is estimated at -0.1, down from the previous 0.1.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) joint ministerial monitoring committee meeting will be held tonight. OPEC and its allies will extend their cutback on crude oil output to 2019, said OPEC secretary general Mohammed Barkindo to Reuters recently. This is expected to address the global oversupply of crude oil by September this year. OPEC, Russia and several other producers began to reduce supply in January 2017 in order to address a global supply glut.

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