Monthly Metal Review
- May 2019
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- February 2019
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- May 2018
Eurozone growth was flat in the second quarter as Germany contracted by 0.2 percent. Italy again returned to recession, shrinking by 0.2 percent while France showed no growth.
The European Central Bank (ECB) could begin anti-deflation quantitative-easing measures in September, economists said. Rates in Europe decreased substantially since the beginning of the year with the 10yr German bund trading at 0.88% (vs 1.94% at the beginning of the year) while the US 10yr is hovering around 2.4%.
UK unemployment fell towards a six-year low in the quarter to June, down by 132,000 to 2.08 million. But average wages, excluding bonus-es, rose by just 0.6 percent in the year. At the same time the UK economy grew by 3.2 percent on-year in the second quarter.
In the U.S., the Federal Reserve is in no rush to increase near-zero short-term interest rates without a more-enduring jobs recovery. Existing U.S. home sales rose in July to 5.15 million, the highest annual rate since last September. The U.S. manufacturing PMI showed August factory activity expanding at its fastest pace for more than four years.
China’s manufacturing-sector growth slumped to a three-month low, an HSBC/Markit purchasing-managers survey indicated; still growing but dropping to 50.3 from July’s 51.7 measure. Property-market prices fell 0.9 percent on-month in July, as developers scaled back investments. China’s economy grew by 7.5 percent in the second quarter, up from 7.4 percent in the first.
Scarce water access and rising energy costs are significant mining-industry business risks, re-ports consulting group EY. Threats to affordable water and energy are most acute in South America and Africa. Miners spent US$3 billion on water infrastructure in 2009, growing to some US$12 billion in 2013. EY said renewable energy should become core to operations, noting that electricity costs in Chile jumped 11 percent annually since 2000. Mining was about 36 percent of Chile’s electricity consumption.
Mining companies in Peru brought multiple lawsuits against the government to overturn an increase in the tax they pay to cover inspections and environmental oversight. The general manag-er of Yanacocha said 26 mining corporations, including his own, brought legal action against the APR levy. The National Society of Mining, Oil and Energy argued that the tax is unconstitutional.