Italian Shares Slip on Tuesday
The FTSE MIB fell towards a one-week low on Tuesday, in line with global markets and retreating from a 15-month high in the prior session, as inflation data from China raised concerns of a premature removal of ultra-accommodative monetary policies. On the data front, industrial output in Italy went down 0.1% in March from the prior month, missing expectations of a 0.4% gain. On the corporate side, Unicredit announced a buyback worth €179 million of up to 30 million shares. Also, Italian holding CIR is promoting a takeover bid of almost 13% of its capital at €0.51 per share
Spanish Stocks Down from 15-Month High
The IBEX 35 fell more than 1.5% to around 9,005 on Tuesday, down from Monday’s near 15-month high, in line with its European and global peers amid renewed concerns over higher inflation which could potentially hold back economic recovery. China’s factory gate prices rose at the fastest rate in three and a half years in April, while Germany’s wholesale price inflation hit a decade high. Traders now wait for US inflation figures on Wednesday for more clues about inflationary pressures. On the earnings front, Spanish steel maker Acerinox said Its first-quarter net profit more than doubled and surpassed expectations thanks to higher demand from makers of cars and home appliances.
Nickel Hovers at 2-Month High
Nickel futures have been trading above $17,500 per tonne in May, a level not seen since early March as the global vaccine roll-out gathers pace boosting expectations for stronger economic recovery and underpinning a rally in the metals market. Meantime, the commodity growing usage in lithium-ion batteries and the accelerated roll-out of electric vehicles remains a positive backdrop for markets. In early March, nickel prices slumped to a 3-month low and stuck in a tight range until the end of April, after concerns about supply shortages eased following China’s Tsingshan announcement to produce a large amount of nickel matte in Indonesia.
Platinum Little-Changed in May
Platinum futures traded around $1,250 per troy ounce in May, not far from an over six-year high of $1,302 touched in mid-February, supported by robust demand from the automotive sector due to a solid recovery in auto manufacturing and the implementation of tighter emissions standards in China and Europe. Looking forward, the market is still very much in a bullish trend, as automakers in China and North America start to switch to platinum from more expensive palladium in autocatalysts, along with new uses such as hydrogen fuel cells. Demand for platinum is also rising from other industries such as jewelry and as an investment.