Gold Trades Slightly Higher as Yields Fall
Gold edged up to $1,730 an ounce on Wednesday, as Treasury yields continue to retreat and concerns about a slower global economic recovery amid rising coronavirus and restrictions in many countries lifted demand for the safe-haven metal. However, bullion’s attraction is still limited by a stronger dollar. Federal Reserve Jerome Powell played down the risk that a rise in prices this year would spur unwanted inflation while US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said future tax hikes will be needed to pay for infrastructure projects and other public investments.
Mexico Jobless Rate Rises to 4.4% in February
The unemployment rate in Mexico rose to 4.4 percent in February of 2021 from 3.6 percent in the corresponding month of the previous year and matching market expectations. The number of unemployed increased by 362 thousand to 2.4 million while employed fell by 2.7 million to 53 million. Meantime, the labour force decreased by 2.4 million to 55.5 million. Job losses were primarily observed in services (-2.1 million), namely trade (-598 thousand) and restaurants & hotels (-598 thousand). Conversely, the industrial sector added jobs (+99 thousand), amid increases in construction (+138 thousand) and manufacturing (+7 thousand). When adjusted for seasonality, the jobless rate was 4.5 percent, unchanged from the previous month.
Sterling Hits 7-Week Low
The British pound’s sell-off accelerated on Wednesday, hitting a seven-week low of $1.3677 before paring some losses to trade around $1.37 after the latest data showed UK’s inflation rate unexpectedly slowed. Consumer prices grew only 0.4% in February as clothes and footwear prices fell the most since 2009 due to more discounting triggered by the latest lockdown. Meantime, flash Markit PMIs figures showed business activity across the UK private sector returned to growth in March after two months of decline, led by the fastest increase in service activity since August 2020 and as manufacturing activity expansion accelerated to a 40-month high. After hitting a three-year high of $1.41 in late February on the stunning pace of immunizations, the sterling has been under pressure amid a general risk aversion as Europe is grappling with a sluggish vaccination campaign and threatens to ban doses’ exports.
General Mills earnings at 0.82 USD
General Mills (GIS) released earnings per share at 0.82 USD, compared to market expectations of 0.84 USD.