ASIAN MORNING BRIEF: Key stories on December 30

Good morning from Metal Bulletin's London offices, bringing you the key moves and price moves at the start of the Asian day.

Good morning from Metal Bulletin’s London offices, bringing you the key moves and price moves at the start of the Asian day.

London Metal Exchange copper prices fell below their opening levels of $6,290 per tonne as official trading progressed in Europe on Tuesday December 30, as weak macro cues weighed on the near-term outlook for the red metal.

Three-month copper settled at $6,271/72 per tonne in the official session, up from official five-year lows of $6,253/54 seen yesterday, but down 0.3% on an intraday basis.

Other metals posted a mixed performance, with three-month zinc settling at $2,150/51, up about $8 from the previous official price and its opening level.

Three-month aluminium settled at $1,853/54, down $6 from its previous official price and $7 below its opening level.

Chinese copper smelter Yantai Penghui has stopped production and told at least some workers to stay at home, amid concerns about financial problems, market sources in China said.

The situation faced by Penghui, a 120,000-tpy smelter in Shandong province, highlights continued credit issues in the Chinese market, particularly in Shandong province. More here.

Indonesia’s ban on ore exports was one of the most talked about issues in the base metals market this year. Click here for Metal Bulletin’s review of the year.

Inner Mongolia’s local government will not approve any new aluminium or steel projects, according to a statement by the regional government.

The local government disclosed the ban as part of its plans to improve air quality in the region, and it also vowed not to approve any new capacity for cement and plate glass.

It also plans to stop approving new capacity for coking, calcium carbide and ferro-alloys in its counties close to the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area.

China’s molybdenum market weakened ahead of the year-end after steel mills reduced both purchase volumes and prices for ferro-molybdenum earlier this month. More here.

Today will see the release of HSBC’s final purchasing managers’ index from China, while in the USA the Chicago PMI numbers come out in the afternoon.

James Heywood

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