sensex Falls on Metal Sell-off
The S&P BSE Sensex dropped more than 300 points or 0.7% to close at 49,565 on Thursday, led by a metal stock sell-off, after China pledged to step up its management of commodity supply and demand, including stockpiling and reinforcing inspections on both the spot and futures markets, aiming to curb “unreasonable” increases in prices. Elsewhere, minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting suggested officials could soon talk about starting to scale back stimulus. On the coronavirus front, daily COVID-19 cases remained below the 300,000 mark for a fourth consecutive day, while daily COVID-19 deaths fell below 4,000 for the first time this week.
US Weekly Jobless Claims Set to Decline Again
Initial jobless claims are likely to decrease to a fresh 14-month low of 450 thousand in the May 15th week, as the re-opening of the economy, coupled with growing consumer demand, prompted employers to hire more workers. The pace of the labor market’s recovery gained further momentum in the spring, due to the ongoing government support and one of the world’s most successful vaccination campaigns. Meanwhile, continuing claims are seen declining to 3.64 million in the May 8th week from 3.655 million the week before, but remaining well above February 2020 levels.
Taiwan Current Account Surplus Widens in Q1
The current account surplus in Taiwan rose by $9.03 billion to $25.96 billion in Q1 of 2021 from $16.93 billion a year ago. It was the third largest current account surplus ever recorded, as the goods surplus increased by $6.33 billion to $18.75 billion, mainly owing to orders for emerging technology applications and a rebound in business for manufacturing goods. Meantime, the services account shifted to a $2.83 billion surplus compared to a $0.60 billion deficit, due to an increase in freight surplus and a narrow travel deficit. On the other hand, the primary income account surplus fell by $0.96 billion to $4.99billion, amid decreases in banks’ overseas interest income. The secondary income account gap shrank by $0.24 billion to $0.61 billion deficit, mainly because of decreases in outward remittances both by residents to supplement overseas family and by migrant workers.
Crude Oil is down by 2%
Crude Oil WTI decreased 2% to 62.09 USD/Bbl
UK Factory Orders Gauge at Over 3-Year High
The Confederation of British Industry’s order book balance jumped to +17 in May 2021, the highest level since December 2017 and well above market expectations of zero, according to the CBI’s latest monthly Industrial Trends Survey. Total order books were also reported to be “above normal” for the first time since February 2019, while the gauge for export order book edged up to an over year high of -17. Meanwhile, the output expectations index rose to +18, the highest since December 2018, signaling the first material growth reported in almost two years. Output increased in 12 of 17 sub-sectors, with growth driven by chemicals, electronic engineering, and metal products. Looking ahead, manufacturers anticipate output to accelerate further in the next three months. Manufacturers also reported the weakest stock adequacy since July 2017, while price growth is expected to pick up rapidly in the coming quarter, with expectations at their strongest since January 2018.