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Morning Bid: Metals rise above the din

Published 04/09/2024, 12:34 AM
Updated 04/09/2024, 12:35 AM
© Reuters. An ingot of 99.99 percent pure gold is cast at the Krastsvetmet non-ferrous metals plant in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia March 10, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Manzyuk/File Photo
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A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Tom Westbrook

Shiny things are on a tear. Gold, silver, copper, zinc and aluminium prices have begun the quarter with a surge thanks to signs that the bottom has been hit for global manufacturing.

Flickers of life in U.S. and Chinese output were followed this week by an unexpected revival in German construction, and investors seem to be daring to dream, too, of a season in the sun for European equities, which lurk near record highs.

Since the beginning of March the EuroSTOXX index has risen 2.3%, Germany's DAX is up 3.2%, the FTSE has climbed 3.4% and Spain's IBEX is up 8.4%. The Nasdaq has been flat and the Nikkei has lost 1%.

Gold made a record high on Monday and bitcoin was lurking near a similar milestone.

There are reasons to be doubtful. Tuesday's European bank lending survey may show a less rosy view on the outlook for the continent.

There are wars to the east, in Ukraine and the Levant, and receding expectations of interest rate cuts in the U.S. But therein lies the rub, too - nobody at all is talking of or expecting rate hikes, the focus being on the why and when of cuts.

Which is where the European Central Bank comes in on Thursday, to give an idea of its reaction function. Last week U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated his dependence on data, but said recent upside surprises wouldn't derail cuts.

Markets are expecting ECB President Christine Lagarde to tee up a June cut, but the resilience of the euro lately indicates there may be nerves about a hawkish surprise - such as the one delivered by the Philippine central bank on Monday.

The euro has held in a tight range for about a year and is more or less in the middle of that at just above $1.08. German bunds have sold off this week but bond markets still remain positioned for rates to move lower this year. [GVD/EUR]

Trade in the Asia session was subdued ahead of Wednesday's U.S. inflation test. Brent crude futures held above $90 a barrel. The yen teetered on the brink of the 152-per-dollar level that has traders leery of intervention.

Shares in TSMC jumped 4% to a record high after the chip giant won a $6.6 billion subsidy for an Arizona production plant.

© Reuters. An ingot of 99.99 percent pure gold is cast at the Krastsvetmet non-ferrous metals plant in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia March 10, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Manzyuk/File Photo

Key developments that could influence markets on Tuesday:

ECB bank lending survey

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