Comex copper market consolidates in midweek trading

Comex copper prices traded in negative territory during US morning trading on Wednesday October 25, with market participants keeping prices fixed to a tight range following the conclusion of the Chinese Communist party meeting.

Copper for December settlement on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange declined 1.80 cents or 0.6% to $3.1800 per lb. The contract has traded within a worn-trough over the past week.

The conclusion of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China ended with a surprise declaration that it would not nominate a successor to current president Xi Jinping.

President Jinping has amassed a historic level of power and his announcement that the “One Belt, One Road” project be mentioned in the constitution should keep metals prices elevated in the interim.

“This would also have medium- to long-term implications for the commodities and metals markets on which China’s economic growth has chiefly dictated prices for nearly two decades,” Commerzbank said in a daily note. “The project is likely to consume enormous quantities of metals.”

In the latest copper data, China imported 290,446 tonnes of refined copper in September, up 19.6% year on year.

China produced 774,000 tonnes of refined copper in September, marking the highest monthly production volume since December 2014. This was 6.8% higher on an annual comparison.

In precious metals, Comex gold inched down $1.70 or 0.1% to $1,276.60 per oz. Trade has ranged $1,272-1,280.40.

Currency moves and data releases 

  • The dollar index was down 0.30% to 93.66. The index had risen as high as 94.02 on Monday, the highest since October 6.
  • In other commodities, the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price fell 0.38% to $52.27 per barrel.
  • In data on Tuesday, October flash manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) readings from the USA and Europe surprised on the upside. The number was at 54.5 in the USA, above the forecast of 53.3, while the print for Europe was at 58.6, above the expected 57.9.
  • The US Richmond manufacturing index disappointed at 12, below the forecast of 17. In China, the CB leading index month over month in September increased 1%, down from 1.3% in August.
  • In today’s data, US new home sales in September hit 667,000. HPI month-over-month in August bested expectations at 0.7% gain, while durable goods orders in September came in at 2.2%.