SHANGHAI, Mar 18 (SMM) – This is a roundup of global macroeconomic news last weekend and what is expected today.
The US dollar dropped and recorded the biggest weekly loss in more than three months, dragged by weak US economic data.
Weak economic data underscored the Federal Reserve's "patient" stance toward further interest rate hikes this year. Fed officials are scheduled to meet next Tuesday and Wednesday to assess the economy and deliberate on the future course of monetary policy.
Base metals ended mixed as LME copper rose 0.73%, nickel grew 0.23%, while lead dipped 2.16%, zinc fell 1.35%, tin slid 0.61%, and aluminium closed 0.32% lower. SHFE copper increased 0.29%, nickel jumped 0.21%, tin nudged up, while lead dropped 1.44%, zinc went down 0.55%, and aluminium fell 0.37%.
The US manufacturing output dipped for a second straight month in February and factory activity in New York state was weaker than expected this month, offering further evidence of a sharp slowdown in economic growth early in the first quarter.
The Federal Reserve said on Friday manufacturing production fell 0.4% last month, weighed by declines in the output of motor vehicles, machinery, and furniture. Data for January was revised up to show output at factories dropping 0.5% instead of losing 0.9% as previously reported.
The preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment index moved higher in March for the second straight month, with the index rising to 97.8 from 93.8 in February. In January, the index stood at 91.2, which was the worst reading since November 2016.
Inflation in the eurozone accelerated modestly in February but stayed well below the European Central Bank's medium-term target, according to final data for the month.
The consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.5% in February from the same month a year earlier, the bloc’s statistics agency Eurostat said. That was higher than the 1.4% recorded in January and confirmed a preliminary reading.
Core inflation, which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco prices, slowed to an annual rate of 1% from a revised 1.1% in January. That is well below the level targeted by the European Central Bank, which aims for an inflation rate of close to, but just below, 2% in the medium term.
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, or JOLTS, said on Friday that the US employers posted some 7.58 million open jobs in January, near a record high set in November, a sign that businesses are still hungry for workers despite evidence the economy has slowed. There are now about 1 million more open jobs than unemployed workers.
The eurozone will release its trade balance for January.