LME ASIAN WRAP: Copper prices rangebound after weak Chinese data

Copper prices on the London Metal Exchange were rangebound on Friday January 2 amid lingering concerns of an economic slowdown in China.

Copper prices on the London Metal Exchange were rangebound on Friday January 2 amid lingering concerns of an economic slowdown in China.

At 02:30 London time, the three-month copper contract was up $7.25 from its opening to trade at $6,280.75 per tonne. It touched a low of $6269.25 per tonne and a high of $6,284 per tonne earlier in the session.

“China’s official manufacturing PMI, the bellwether for the large industrial firms, dropped for the third consecutive month to 50.1 in December (November: 50.3), the lowest level in 2014,” ANZ economists said in a note to clients.

China’s HSBC PMI had fallen by 0.4 points to 49.6 in December, representing a contraction.

“The decline of both the official and HSBC PMIs suggests that China’s manufacturing sector, especially those industries related to the property market, is still struggling due to sluggish domestic demand,” the economists said.

“As China is entering a ‘New Normal’ economy and Chinese authorities will tolerate slower growth, massive policy easing is unlikely in 2015,” they said.

They said the industrial sector could remain under pressure. “We believe that investment in the manufacturing sector will only see single-digit growth this year, compared with a 13% growth in 2014.”

Chinese markets remained closed on Friday for the New Year holiday.

By 02:30 London time, three-month aluminium was up $1 at $1,858.25 per tonne.
Lead was down $4.75 at $1,850.5 per tonne.
Zinc traded at $2,177 per tonne, down $0.25.
Nickel was down $63 at $15,189 per tonne.
Tin was down $9 at $19,091 per tonne.


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