US Auto Sales See Rise; US Platinum Bar Still Rising

U.S. auto sales are seeing an increase. Sales “will rise 1 percent in January from a year ago, industry consultant and research firms J.D. Power and LMC Automotive said Friday, which equates to a seasonally adjusted annualized 15.9 million vehicles, from 15.2 million in January 2013.”

“January U.S. fleet sales, which are made to businesses, rental agencies and government, will be less than 20 percent of total sales, down from a year ago. That’s why retail sales, those to individual consumers, will rise at a higher 3 percent rate than overall sales, LMC and J.D. Power said.”

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“‘All systems are a go for a strong and stable U.S. auto market in 2014, with risk of not achieving modest growth diminished,’ said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. ‘We look for economic growth, a robust level of lease maturities, 70 percent more new model launches and an increase in consumers’ willingness to spend to be the major drivers of growth in 2014.'”

“In 2014, JD Power and LMC see total light vehicle sales up 600,000, or 4 percent, to 16.2 million vehicles. Light vehicles do not include medium and heavy trucks.”

In metal price news for the automotive sector…

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Automotive MMI® was the price of US platinum bar, which saw a 2.0 percent increase. Last week marked the fourth in a row of rising prices for the metal. Closing out the third week of rising prices, the price of US palladium bar increased by 0.5 percent.

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US HDG saw a 0.1 percent decline over the past week.

The price of Chinese lead fell 0.4 percent over the past week. This was the fourth week in a row of declining prices. The cash price of primary copper rose 0.2 percent on the LME to $7,326 per metric ton after falling 0.8 percent during the previous week. On the LME, the 3-month price of copper closed at $7,289 per metric ton after a flat week. Korean 5052 coil premium over 1050 sheet remained essentially flat from the previous week.

The Automotive MMI® collects and weights 7 metal price points used in automotive production to provide a unique view into automotive metal trends. For more information on the Automotive MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

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