• US president-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen to become Treasury Secretary…
  • …the market seems to see Yellen as a safe pair of hands
  • Copper sets fresh high at $7,310 per tonne basis three-months

Base metals
The three-month base metals prices on the LME were up by an average of 0.4% this morning, led by a 0.9% rise in copper that was recently trading at $7,256.60 per tonne. The rest were ranged between nickel ($16,072 per tonne) that was little changed and zinc ($2,748 per tonne) that was up by 0.6%.

The most-traded base metals contracts on the SHFE were mixed with January copper and February nickel up by 0.6% and 0.5% respectively with the former at 54,410 yuan ($8,275) per tonne, while the rest were down between 0.1% for January tin and 0.9% for January zinc.

Precious metals
Spot gold prices took a tumble on Monday, with a decline of 1.9%, and were down a further 0.4% this morning at $1,827.74 per oz. Silver ($23.43 per oz) and palladium ($2,343.40 per oz) were down by 0.4% and 0.3% respectively, while platinum was up by 0.8% at $936.50 per oz.

Wider markets
The yield on US 10-year treasuries has rebounded, suggesting risk-on, it was recently quoted at 0.86% - this after 0.82% at a similar time on Monday.

Asia-Pacific equities were mainly stronger this morning: the ASX 200 (+1.26%), the Nikkei (+2.5%), the Kospi (+0.58% and the Hang Seng (+0.02%), while the CSI (-0.81%) bucked the trend.

Currencies

The US dollar index had a volatile day’s trading on Monday, first dropping to 92.01, then bouncing to 92.81, and was recently at 92.39. Support at 92.13 was breached yesterday, meaning support is now at 91.73.

The other major currencies were mixed with the euro (1.1854) and the Australian dollar (0.7320) treading water in relatively high ground, while the yen (104.43) was weaker and sterling (1.3337) firmer.

Key data
Tuesday’s key data includes a final reading on German gross domestic product, German Ifo business climate, UK realized sales from the Confederation of British Industry as well as US data on house prices, consumer confidence and the Richmond manufacturing index.
In addition, UK Monetary Policy Committee member Andy Haldane is scheduled to speak.

Today’s key themes and views
Sentiment remains bullish with LME copper setting fresh highs for the year this morning, but while the trend is your friend and all the metals are in uptrends, some of the metals are starting to look tired. While we are bullish over the medium and long term, our concern remains that prices may have run ahead of the fundamentals and are vulnerable to a correction.

We have been saying for a while that gold remains vulnerable and Monday’s sell-off showed it was. With the markets seeing a Covid-19 exit light at the end of the tunnel, demand for havens has weakened.