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Gold Lacks Firm Direction After Sino-US Trade Deal

Eurozone Jobless Rate Steady At 7.5%, Lowest Since 2008

Eurozone unemployment rate remained at the lowest level since 2008, despite subdued economic growth at the end of the year.

The jobless rate came in at 7.5 percent in November, unchanged from October, Eurostat reported Thursday. The rate also came in line with economists’ expectations.

The number of people out of work decreased by 10,000 persons in November from the previous month. From last year, the unemployment figure fell by 624,000 persons to 12.31 million.

The unemployment rate among youth aged below 25 held steady at 15.6 percent in November.

Data showed that the unemployment rate in the EU28 also remained unchanged in November, at 6.3 percent, the lowest on record.

The lowest rate in EU28 was reported by the Czech Republic, at 2.2 percent. Meanwhile, the highest rates were seen in Greece and Spain.

Among the big-four nations in the euro currency bloc, Germany’s jobless rate remained near a record low of 5 percent in December, the Federal Employment Agency reported last week.

Spain’s labor ministry said the unemployment reached its lowest level for the month of December in more than a decade. Unemployment totaled 3.163 million, the ministry said.

Italy’s unemployment rate was stable at 9.7 percent in November, Istat data revealed Thursday.

The jobless rate in France fell to 8.4 in November from 8.5 percent a month ago, according to Eurostat.

TSMC Q4 Profit Climbs; Sees Sequentially Lower Revenues In Q1

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd. or TSMC (TSM) reported Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income grew 16.1 percent to NT$116.04 billion from last year’s NT$99.98 billion. Earnings per share were NT$4.47 or $0.73 per ADR unit, up from NT$3.86 per share a year ago.

Consolidated revenue grew 9.5 percent to NT$317.24 billion from NT$289.77 billion last year.

In US dollars, fourth-quarter revenue was $10.39 billion, which increased 10.6 percent year-over-year and increased 10.6 percent from the previous quarter.

Looking ahead for the first quarter of fiscal 2020, revenue is expected to be between $10.2 billion and $10.3 billion. The company further expects gross profit margin between 48.5 percent and 50.5 percent and operating profit margin between 37.5 percent and 39.5 percent.

The management further expects the 2020 capital budget to be between $15 billion and $16 billion.

Lindsey Graham Wants To ‘End This Crap’ As Quickly As Possible

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Wednesday said he wants the imminent Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump over the Ukraine scandal to be concluded swiftly because “the best is yet to come” from the president.

Graham, who despite his pre-2016 election misgivings about Trump has now become one of president’s staunchest defenders, told Fox News host Sean Hannity “the best thing for the American people is to end this crap as quickly as possible.”

“To have a trial in the Senate,” he continued. “Bipartisan acquittal of the president and on February 4th when the president comes into the House chamber to deliver the State of the Union, he will have been acquitted by the Senate, he will be the strongest he’s ever been politically.”

“And when it comes to Donald Trump, all that stuff you’ve just named, the best is yet to come Sean,” Graham added.

Members of the House formally marched the two articles of impeachment (abuse of power and obstruction of Congress) over to the Senate on Wednesday. Graham had earlier predicted how a backlash to Trump’s likely acquittal in the GOP-controlled Senate could play out for Republicans.

“We’re going to get the House back, we’re going to keep the Senate majority and President Trump’s gonna be re-elected and one of the reasons is the way they’ve conducted themselves,” he claimed.

Check out the clip here:

Oil Prices Rise After EIA Report, Sino-US Deal

Oil prices rose on Thursday after the United States and China signed a partial trade deal and data showed a drop in crude stockpiles last week.

Benchmark Brent crude climbed 0.6 percent to $64.38 a barrel, while U.S. crude futures were up 0.3 percent at $57.98 a barrel.

The prospect of no further escalation in the economically damaging trade war helped improve investor sentiment somewhat as the U.S. and China finally signed the long-awaited “Phase One” trade deal, with tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in imports still in place.

The phase one trade deal calls for China to purchase $200 billion worth of U.S. goods over the next two years, including up to $50 billion worth of agricultural products.

In exchange, the U.S. will scrap a new round of tariffs and cut tariffs on approximately $120 billion worth of Chinese goods in half to 7.5 percent.

Trump noted a 25 percent tariff on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports will remain in place in order to give the U.S. leverage as the two countries enter into phase two negotiations.

Meanwhile, according to the data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), crude stockpiles in the U.S. fell by 2.55 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 10, substantially higher than an expected drop of about 474,000 barrels.

A report from OPEC said the group expects lower demand for its oil this year despite an increase in global oil demand, as other producers are grabbing market share and the U.S. continuing to increase crude output to record levels.

Gold Lacks Firm Direction After Sino-US Trade Deal

Gold prices were narrowly mixed on Thursday after the United States and China signed a trade truce, helping ease investors’ concerns of further escalation in the costly conflict.

Spot gold was marginally lower at $1,555.30 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures edged up around 0.1 percent to $1,555.35.

The prospect of no further escalation in the economically damaging trade war helped improve investor sentiment somewhat as the U.S. and China finally signed the long-awaited “Phase One” trade deal, with tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in imports still in place.

The phase one trade deal calls for China to purchase $200 billion worth of U.S. goods over the next two years, including up to $50 billion worth of agricultural products.

In exchange, the U.S. will scrap a new round of tariffs and cut tariffs on approximately $120 billion worth of Chinese goods in half to 7.5 percent.

Trump noted a 25 percent tariff on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports will remain in place in order to give the U.S. leverage as the two countries enter into phase two negotiations.

The U.S. dollar edged lower on improved sentiment. U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers on Wednesday expressed confidence they have borrowing costs at the right level to sustain growth and lift inflation to healthier levels, despite uncertainty over U.S. trade policy.