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Macro Roundup (May 11)

2018-05-11

This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last night and what is expected today.

Last night

The US dollar fell overnight after the April consumer-price inflation data came in weaker than expected. The US dollar index closed at 92.71, down 0.42%.

Base metals saw mixed trading. LME copper gained 1.5% as inventories declined. LME lead nudged up while tin lost 1.6% and aluminium dropped over 1%. SHFE copper, aluminium and lead inched up while the rest of SHFE metals dipped.

The US consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.2% on the month in April after slipping 0.1% in March, but still lower than the forecast of 0.3%. Year-on-year growth stood at 2.5% last month, biggest gain since February 2017, after rising 2.4% in March.

Consumer prices rebounded less than expected in April as rising costs for gasoline and rental accommodation were tempered by a moderation in healthcare prices, pointing to a steady build-up of inflation.

The US initial claims for state unemployment benefits remained unchanged at 211,000 for the week ended May 5, lower than the expected 218,000. New applications for US unemployment benefits held at a 48-year low last week, reflecting further tightening of the labour market.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, viewed as a better measure of labour market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 5,500 to 216,000 last week, the lowest level since December 1969.

China's CPI, the main gauge of inflation, rose 1.8% in April year on year, down by 0.3 percentage point from the previous month as food prices declined. The price of pork, China's staple meat, slumped 16.1% year on year in April, dragging down CPI growth by 0.43 percentage point.

China's producer price index (PPI), which measures costs of goods at factory gate, rose 3.4% year on year in April, in line with the expectations and higher than 3.1% in March. This was driven by growth in factory prices in mining and raw materials.

Day ahead

Key factors to watch today include the US import price index in April and the preliminary Michigan consumer sentiment index for May.

The US dollar is likely to stay firm in the short term with the support from treasury yields and interest rates.

Base metals are expected to maintain their mixed and rangebound patterns in the short term.

 Source: SMM