Comex copper extends rout; ECB maintains interest rates

The Comex copper price was once again under pressure Thursday, October 20 with the market experiencing reduced interest and constant pressure from a multi-month high dollar.

Copper for December settlement on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 0.80 cents or 0.4% to $2.0955 per pound. The contract has now declined eight consecutive sessions.

Comex gold for December delivery ticked up $2.70 or 0.2% to $1,272.60 per ounce. Trade has ranged from $1,268.70 to $1,274.10.

The base metals complex has drifted lower amid weak Chinese industrial and manufacturing figures that have been released over the last few weeks. Despite third quarter GDP meeting expectations at 6.7%, this is lingering concern that the country’s 2017 industrial metals demand will decline.

But for now, the dollar is guiding direction with the greenback last trading at 98.06 on the dollar index – around the highest point since early March.

“This volume might suit those devoted to the God of turnover above all else but for “genuine ” market users it paints an ever complicated picture and one that many are starting to stand aside from,” Malcolm Freeman, Director at Kingdom Futures, said. “Copper, nickel and especially Aluminium looked and still look vulnerable to the downside.”

Earlier in monetary news, the European Central Bank (ECB) kept its asset-purchase program at 80 billion euros. In his press conference, ECB president Mario Draghi said the bank hasn’t discussed tapering and didn’t provide a timeline for any potential changes.

In US data, unemployment claims between October 6-13 came in at 260,000, above the forecast of 251,000, but under the psychological 300,000 mark. The Philly Fed Manufacturing Index in October stood at 9.7, besting the estimate of 5.2.

Later in data, CB leading index, existing home sales and natural gas storage figures are due.

Meanwhile in European, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC-40 were up 0.1% and 0.2% respectively, while the dollar softened by 0.1% to $1.0983 against the euro.

In other commodities, light sweet crude (WTI) oil futures on the Nymex gained $1.33 or 2.6% to $51.95 per barrel, while Comex silver for December settlement was recently trading at $17.650 per oz., 2.3 cents.

(Editing by Tom Jennemann)