July 17, 2018 / 11:23 AM / 2 years ago

METALS-Copper falls as upbeat U.S. Fed boosts dollar

    * GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

 (Recasts, updates with closing prices)
    By Peter Hobson
    LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) - Copper prices edged lower on
Tuesday along with aluminium and nickel, pushed down by a
stronger dollar and fears that demand will be damaged by a
global trade war and weaker economic growth in top consumer
    Benchmark copper         on the London Metal Exchange (LME)
closed 0.7 percent down at $6,152 a tonne, near a one-year low
of $6,081 reached on July 11 and down about 16 percent from
early June.
    Nickel and aluminium were at or near their lowest since
April and zinc was close to a one-year nadir. 
    Negative sentiment was pushing down prices despite good
supply and demand fundamentals, said Societe Generale analyst
Robin Bhar. 
    "Every rally is being sold into," he said. "It's not clear
whether we have bottomed out or if there's another 10 percent on
the downside."
    DOLLAR: The stronger dollar pressured metals by making them
more expensive for users of other currencies.              
    FED: Upbeat comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome
Powell on Tuesday signalled that the U.S. central bank will move
ahead with interest rate rises, which are likely to boost the
dollar further.             
    U.S. FACTORIES: Also supporting the greenback was U.S. data
showing a sharp rebound in manufacturing and gains in mining
output that boosted industrial production in June.             
    CHINA ECONOMY: Following data on Monday showing slightly
slower growth for the second quarter in China, the country's
state planning agency said that a 2018 economic growth target of
about 6.5 percent remains achievable. 
    China is the world's biggest consumer of metals. Monday's
data also showed the weakest expansion in factory activity for
two years in June.                          
    TRADE WAR: China said on Monday that it had filed a
complaint to the World Trade Organization about Washington's
proposed tariff list on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
    COPPER STOCKS: On-warrant copper inventories available to
the market in LME-registered warehouses rose 4,175 tonnes to
225,975 tonnes, the highest in a month. MCUSTX-TOTAL
    COPPER SPREAD: The discount of cash copper to the
three-month contract has also grown from around zero at the
start of July to $36, signalling greater availability of metal. 
    ALUMINIUM: LME aluminium ended 1.1 percent lower at $2,032 a
tonne after touching $2,021.50 on Friday, the lowest since April
6 and down nearly 15 percent from early June. 
    NICKEL: Nickel         finished down 1.3 percent at $13,490
a tonne after hitting its lowest since April 12 at $13,475.
    OTHER METALS: Zinc         ended 1.5 percent up at $2,512 a
tonne, retracing some of its losses on Monday, while lead
        closed 0.4 percent down at $2,166 a tonne and tin
        was bid flat at $19,500 a tonne.

 (Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in SINGAPORE
Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and David Goodman)
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