Lumber surges to record high

Could put more upward pressure on house prices

Chart of the Day

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While most of the world was focused on Coinbase yesterday, in macro land one of the most interesting moves was the further 2.7% gain in lumber, taking it up by a further 17% over the past month. With the price essentially trebling since the pandemic began, there will be supply effects pushing up house prices as well as demand effects.

Macro

Australia’s employment is now above its pre-virus level - a sign that labor markets elsewhere will cover more quickly than economists expect?

Eurozone industrial production weakened in February.

The weekly EIA report showed a larger than expected drawdown in crude stocks, and although confirmed that US gasoline demand is still about 6% lower than normal.

Refinery utilization is rising, but also abnormally low still.

Markets

The big draw contributed to a rise in WTI of almost 5%, it’s still down by 3.4% in the past month though.

Most commodities are doing well - moves in the past week have ranged from -4.4% for platinum to +12.9% for lumber.

That has helped drive the cyclical commodity currencies back up.

US stocks underperformed yesterday.

Implied volatility for the Nasdaq is currently higher than that for the S&P 500 and Euro Stoxx, but all three have been falling.

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