Looking at the Economic Agenda
US Markets: Dollar
World stock markets climbed on Monday, lifted by optimism over the outlook for corporate earnings and U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax reform plan, while the dollar gained as investors took a bullish view of the American economy. The three major U.S. stock indices were poised to close at record highs, boosted by financials and healthcare stocks. U.S. manufacturing surged amid strong gains in new orders and raw material prices, while rebounding construction spending in August bolstered the economic outlook even as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are expected to dent third-quarter growth. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of U.S. factory activity rose to a reading of 60.8 last month, the highest reading since May 2004, from 58.8 in August. Canadian Markets: Dollar Futures at Canada's main stock exchange were little changed on Tuesday after oil prices dipped as investors took profits on some large positions that have built up in the last couple of weeks. Two rate hikes over the summer by the Bank of Canada following the economy’s surprisingly powerful start to the year had seen the loonie approaching 83 cents US in September. In currency markets, the Canadian dollar continued to weaken against the greenback, trading at an average price of 79.97 cents US, down 0.16 of a cent. The last time the loonie traded below 80 cents was on Aug. 31 when it closed at $79.77 US. Last Friday, Statistics Canada reported that the country’s eight-month march of monthly growth in the economy came to an end in July when gross domestic product was essentially unchanged at zero per cent growth compared with June. A speech last Wednesday by Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz also suggested a more cautionary tone to the bank’s approach going forward when he said he had no prearranged route for further interest-rate hikes.
A very light Canadian economic calendar this week, labour market reading on Friday will be the one to watch. In the U.S., non-farm payroll data will also headline on Friday, with a Yellen speech on Wednesday attracting attention.
Scrap prices moved sideways during the month of September and are poised to go lower this month!
Talk in the steel market for the month of October is indicating steel spot prices are expected to move lower over the next 30 to 60 days. Discussions continue with the Trump administration in regards to applying tariffs on steel imports. Steel imports are up 24 percent year to date through August and imports from China have increased about 7 percent, according to the U.S.
The three-month zinc price is continuing to lead the upward trend hitting a new ten-year peak at $3,292 per tonne earlier today. The lead price took its cue from zinc’s strength, and closed $73 per tonne higher than Monday’s 5pm close price. Nickel prices continued to rebound, trading a further $280 per tonne higher as it aims to get back above $11,000 per tonne.
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Markets are predicting a rough three months for copper on the whole but has suggested the quarter could start in a positive flurry as inventories of refined metal tighten following the recent sell off. The more copper, particularly refined copper, China imported, the healthier the outlook for manufacturing activity and demand for all industrial metals. That’s no longer the case. China’s increased smelting and refining capacity has seen its appetite for mined copper concentrates grow exponentially in recent years. Imports rose from 6.4 million tonnes (bulk weight) in 2011 to 17.0 million in 2016. However, the pace of import growth has braked sharply from 28 percent last year to just 3 percent in the first eight months of this year.
Three-month aluminium gained 0.5 percent to $2,142 a tonne after rising 1.25 percent overnight. China’s crackdown on pollution has helped boost prices in aluminium by 27 percent this year on expectations of widespread capacity shutdowns during winter.