LIVE FUTURES REPORT 05/01: Tin, copper continue to rise on weak dollar

The three-month tin price on the London Metal Exchange crossed the $21,200-per-tonne mark while copper edged above $7,900 per tonne during morning trading on Tuesday January 5, with a weak dollar continuing to offset worries about new lockdowns in Europe and the Georgia run-off election in the United States.

Tin’s forward price stood at $21,215 per tonne as at 9am London time, a 0.8% rise on its Monday 5pm closing price of $21,049 per tonne. The metal’s three-month price surpassed $21,000 per tonne on Monday for the first time since April 2019.

The three-month copper price, recently at $7,923.50 per tonne, was also up by 0.8% from its Monday closing price of $7,860.50 per tonne.

Nickel’s price edged up to $17,480 per tonne this morning, after rising by as much as 4.8% on Monday to a 5pm closing price of $17,404 per tonne.

A weak dollar index – which was at 89.72 on Tuesday morning, down from 89.89 on Monday evening – remains a supportive factor for the rising base metals forward prices.

The softer US currency helped offset concerns surrounding a new national lockdown in England, announced by the British prime minister on Monday evening, as well as new in restrictions in other European countries.

“Markets, in general, are in a sort of overall hold pattern, trying to assess the implications of events in the USA… and the true global economic effects of Covid-19 as the UK goes into another lockdown,” Kingdom Futures director Malcolm Freeman said.

The US state of Georgia will hold its run-off election on Tuesday for two senate seats, which will decide whether Democrats or Republicans will hold control of the Senate during Joe Biden’s administration, a key factor on the president-elect’s ability to push his legislation through Congress.

“The one factor that is growing is the ever-increasing number of market analysts that are predicting 15-25% corrections in the equity markets and particularly on the Dow Jones,” Freeman says.

“People are becoming more and more distracted by external events and that is when markets can be at their most dangerous and keeping focus will be key,” he added.

Other highlights

  • Aluminium traded sideways on Tuesday morning, with its three-month price at $2,025 as at 9am. This after a 1.7% rise to $2,032.50 per tonne on Monday at the 5pm close.
  • Economic data out on Tuesday includes German retail sales, Spanish and German unemployment change, among other European data.
  • There is also US data to be released today, including the Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI), ISM manufacturing prices and total vehicle sales.
  • The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)’s Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) meeting will have its second day on Tuesday, as well.
  • The Brent Crude oil price was at $51.19 per barrel at around 9.30am, while the West Texas Intermediate oil price was $47.76 per barrel at the same time.
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