Monthly Metal Review
- March 2018
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- December 2017
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- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
The dollar has come under pressure as a spate of negative numbers from the US weighed – it was last at its softest in two months at 1.1210 against the euro after first-quarter advance GDP growth of 0.2 percent missed the expected 1.0 percent and was down from 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. This has in part pushed up metals prices during this month of April.
The CRB Index is a measure of commodity prices. It recently crossed its 100-day moving average line for the first time since last July. During this entire period the CRB index has been in a downward trend.
More autonomous mining vehicles are coming to expensive-labor regions. Some 48 percent of sur-veyed mining buyers and decision-makers in Europe and former Soviet Union intend to use AVs by 2020; 31 percent use them. Usage was much greater in high-er-cost Scandinavia than Eastern Europe. About half of those planning to automate by 2020 said they will switch within two years. Results were from London’s Timetric’s Mining Intelligence.
The International Monetary Fund said the world should brace for low growth, high debt and unem-ployment unless policymakers take evasive action. The warning came against lower U.S. job growth, Eurozone deflation and low oil prices.
UK voters go to the polls May 7 for a general election. The ruling Conservatives have promised, if returned to power, an in/out referendum on leaving the EU.
The pound fell in April to its lowest against the dollar in nearly five years on softer UK industrial-output figures, uncertainty over the parliamentary elec-tion and a slowing UK economy. Industrial-output rose by 0.1 percent on-month in February, below expectations. Oil and gas production fell sharply, whilst the construction sector shrank by 0.9 percent in February. Manufacturing output showed the best growth within the industrial-output measure, with a 0.4 percent gain in February, from a 0.6-percent Janu-ary fall.
The number of UK jobless fell by 76,000 to 1.84 million in the three months to February, a seven-year low. But critics said too many were low-paid and low-skilled.
U.S. employers added 126,000 workers in March, the weakest in two years largely on sluggish business investment and harsh late-winter weather. Still, analysts noted that last year’s 6.6-percent unem-ployment rate is down to 5.5 percent.
Germany’s March new-car sales jumped the most in more than a year, boosted by an additional sales day and robust sentiment in Europe's largest economy. Passenger-car registrations rose 9 percent to some 323,000 vehicles.
The Reserve Bank of Australia held interest rates at 2.25 percent in April, as it did in March. It is likely to cut rates as early as its May 4 policy meeting.
South Korea’s central bank lowered 2015 growth and inflation forecasts on weaker exports and sluggish domestic demand. It took no April interest-rate action after cutting its policy rate in March to a record-low 1.75 percent. It forecast 3.1-percent 2015 growth, down from a predicted 3.4 percent.