Monthly Metal Review
- August 2018
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
The US dollar in November traded relatively flat versus other currencies such as the euro, but it remains very strong since the beginning of the year (+10% vs EUR). The impact on metals this month was unclear as copper, Zinc and Cobalt are ending the month lower while Silver, Gold, Nickel and Lead are ending the month higher.
Federal Reserve officials warned of market turbulence when the Fed eventually raises short-term interest rates, expected next year. Government data showed the U.S. job market is improving faster than expected. October’s U.S. unemployment rate was down to 5.8 percent. Furthrmore the percentage of the U.S. population employed rose to 59.2 percent, its highest since 2009.
U.S. industrial production fell 0.1 percent in October, but consumer confidence jumped to a seven-year high. Lower gasoline costs and the biggest payroll gains in a decade were forecast to lift buying power into December’s holiday-shopping season. America’s economy grew at an annual pace of 3.5 percent in the third quarter.
Americans bought homes in October at the fastest pace this year, upping existing-home sales 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual 5.26-million rate. That's up from September’s 5.18 million pace and up 2.5 percent on-year. Building-permit issuance was near a 6.5-year high and starts for single-family homes rose for a second month. Still, full-year sales are expected to fall below 2013’s.
The meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was one of the most closely watched in years, with prices tumbling 4 percent on the announcement that production would not be cut. Oil prices have sunk 34 percent since June, including a 13 percent fall in November. This is due to the U.S. shale boom, slower economic growth in China and Europe and limited shocks on the supply side.
China and Australia sealed a free-trade agreement to significantly expand ties. China is resource-rich Australia's top trading partner. The deal, to take effect after 2015, will open China’s markets to Australian farm exporters and the services sector while easing curbs on Chinese investment. Fortescue Metal’s chairman praised the deal.
China could up its limited Mexico mining as part of a US$14-billion investment package signed by Mexican and Chinese officials. It includes a US$2.4-billion investment fund for energy, mining, infrastructure, technology and tourism which could grow to US$9 billion.
Worldwide nonferrous-metals exploration budgets plunged 25 percent to US$11.36 billion in 2014 from US$15.19 billion in 2013, according to an SNL Financial Services study. This marks a two-year drop of more than US$10 billion in yearly exploration expenditure.