ASIAN MORNING BRIEF 13/02: Copper holds on to gains on LME; chromium prices maintain 5-yr high; metals crash could have been worse in early February

The latest news and price moves to start the Asian day on Tuesday February 13.

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange generally moved higher on Monday February 12, with copper holding on to most of its early morning gains. Read more in our live futures report.

Here are how LME prices looked at Monday’s close:

The physical iron ore market wound down further on Monday, with participants more or less already in a holiday mood for the Chinese New Year break later this week.

Tungsten prices climbed higher last week in Europe amid tightening spot supply, while the Chinese market has started to wind down ahead of the week-long national Chinese New Year holiday.

Chromium prices held at a five-year high on Friday due to a severe shortage of material and strong downstream demand.

The early-February sell-off in LME base metals seems to have run its course for now but it might have been less extreme than it could have been, ironically because of the growing influence of computerized trading systems.

Chinese ferro-silicon prices have been flat over the past week before the Lunar New Year holiday, the European market dropped further amid slow demand and prices in the United States were supported by supply tightness.

Glencore’s Pasar copper smelter has returned to operation after fixing a technical failure that led to a production halt last month, the company told Metal Bulletin.

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