# Gold futures settled higher on Wednesday, extending gains from previous session, as the dollar continued to stay weak on rising hopes about U.S. fiscal stimulus.
# Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin both backed more fiscal stimulus to bridge the economy through the next few months of the pandemic. In Senate testimony, Powell suggested that more fiscal stimulus would be needed in addition to the central bank’s monetary support.
# Crude oil prices moved higher on Wednesday, as data showed a drop in U.S. crude inventories in the week ended November 27. Traders were also betting on hopes the OPEC, Russia and other allies will agree on extending output cuts.
# Positive updates on the vaccine front contributed as well to oil’s uptick. The U.K. has approved the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. The vaccine is expected to be rolled out next week.
# Data from EIA showed crude inventories in the U.S. dropped by 0.679mbls last week. Distillate stockpiles were up 3.238mbls in the week, as against expectations for a 0.209mbl drop, the EIA data showed. Meanwhile, gasoline inventories increased by 3.491mbls, beating expectations for a 2.386mbls increase.
# Shanghai base metals fell across the board in overnight trading. Copper slid 0.44%, aluminium declined 1.16%, zinc fell 1.55%, lead weakened 1.25%, nickel slipped 0.99% and tin edged down 0.19% all moved lower on Thursday morning as longs left the market with profits, while their counterparts on the LME set for mixed start.
# Data released by the ADP National Employment Report overnight showed US private payrolls rose by 307,000 jobs in November, lower than economists’ forecast for a 410,000 rise in new jobs. It was also the smallest monthly increase since May.
# On Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement calling on Republicans to work with them on another round of Covid relief funding, using a bipartisan proposal from Senate moderates as a starting point. Optimistic market sentiment limited the downward room for copper prices.
# The safe-haven dollar sank to a fresh 2-1/2-year low in choppy trading on Wednesday, pressured once again by expectations of further fiscal stimulus for the United States. U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday rejected the latest Republican coronavirus aid plan. He described it as an “inadequate, partisan proposal” that would help shield businesses from liability lawsuits but fail to help workers hurt by the pandemic.
# Israel received its most advanced warship on Wednesday, describing the German-made vessel dubbed “Shield” as a bulwark for vulnerable Mediterranean gas rigs as tensions with Tehran soar over the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist. The Saar-6 corvette that docked in Haifa port, and three of the same model to follow next year, will bring to 15 the number of missile boats deployed by an Israeli navy which, while small, carries out missions as far away as the Red Sea and the Gulf.
# Goldman analysts raised their 12-month forecast for copper to $9,500 per metric ton, up from a previous estimate of $7,500. The Wall Street bank said it now expects a sustained, higher average price for 2021 and 2022. It has estimated copper prices will average around $8,625 next year, before climbing to an average of $9,175 in 2022. By the first half of 2022, Goldman analysts said, it is “highly probable” copper would test the existing record highs of $10,170 set in 2011.
# Global stock markets were mixed to weaker overnight. U.S. stock indexes are near steady at midday, on some mild profit taking and a pause after two major indexes hit record highs on Tuesday. Upbeat traders and investors continue to look at a bright light at the end of a dark Covid-19 tunnel—even though there will be a few more rough months ahead. Very successful vaccines for the pandemic virus will be rolling out to some of the general public as soon as this month.