Commodity prices declined as US and European macroeconomic data disappointed the market. Employment data in both sides of the Atlantic came in weaker than expected. The front-month contract for WTI crude oil price fell to 105.22, down -0.89% while the equivalent Brent crude contract slumped to a 5-day low of 117.64 before settling at 118.2, down -1.22%. Gold dropped for a second consecutive day to 1654.0, down -0.51%.
In the US, ADP's employment change showed a +119K addition in payrolls in April, a decline from the downwardly revised 201K in March. The market had anticipated a milder drop to 175K. In the Eurozone, the jobless rate climbed +0.1% to 10.9% in March. Although this came inline with market expectations, it raised worries about the region's outlook on economic recovery. Manufacturing activities in the Eurozone remained weak. The final manufacturing PMI was revised lower to 45.9 in April from 46 in preliminary reading. This was the worst reading since June 2009. Moreover, the final readings for Germany and France were revised down to 46.2 and 46.9 respectively.
The focus today is on the ECB meeting. While the ECB is expected to leave the main refinancing rate unchanged. Analysts have been urging President Mario Draghi to implement further stimulus to stem the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis which has shown signs of worsening again.