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Alcoa boosts US stocks, gold rallies, oil plunges again

CMC Markets

US indices are once again following their European counterparts higher again this morning. Unlike yesterday when their rally fizzled, US stocks have more of a tailwind today coming from Alcoa, who beat the street on earnings and indicated aluminium demand remains robust particularly in the aerospace sector. Better than expected China trade numbers also appear to be helping the bulls’ cause today. The major crude oil crash continues today with WTI taking out $45.00 and Brent approaching that round number as well. Comments from the UAE supporting OPEC’s decision not to cut production last month indicate that the current price war is nowhere close to ending and really may just be getting started. It increasingly looks like the $35-$40 zone near the 2008 low could be retested. Oil-sensitive currencies like NOK and CAD remain under pressure. On the other hand, gold is rallying again today, testing $1,240/oz. This appears to be related to speculation that the ECB may take more serious steps to rebuild its balance sheet which has helped to also boost European indices while weighing on EUR. It’s another quiet day for US news so there may be more of a focus on earnings speculation with more corporate reports and economic news due later in the week including major US banks, Intel and Schlumberger. Corporate News Alcoa $0.33 vs street $0.27, aerospace demand robust, looking for 7% aluminium demand growth in 2015 same as last year. Economic News Economic reports released overnight and this morning include: 1:00 pm AEDT China trade balance street $49.0B 1:00 pm AEDT China exports street 6.0% 1:00 pm AEDT China imports street 6.2% 12:00 am GMT UK same store sales street 1.0% 7:00 am GMT Sweden unemployment rate street 4.3% 8:30 am GMT Sweden consumer prices street (0.5%) 9:00 am GMT Italy industrial production street (2.7%) 9:30 am GMT UK consumer prices street 0.7% 9:30 am GMT UK core CPI street 1.3% 9:30 am GMT UK retail prices street 1.6% 9:30 am GMT UK producer input prices street (11.5%) 9:30 am GMT UK producer output prices street (0.4%) 9:30 am GMT UK ONS house prices street (1.7%) Economic reports due later today include: There are no major economic announcements or speeches in North America today.