METALS MORNING VIEW 12/06: Metals prices consolidate recent gains

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange are split this morning, Monday June 12, with copper, aluminium, lead and zinc prices down between 0.2% and 0.5% – copper prices are off 0.5% at $5,801 per tonne – while tin and nickel prices are up 0.6% and 0.2%, respectively.

Volume has been average with 6,031 lots traded as at 06:59 BST. This comes after a generally positive day of trading on Friday June 9, when apart from tin that fell 1.5%, the base metals were up an average of 1.2%.

This morning, gold and silver prices are weaker by 0.8% and 1.8% at $1,267.06 per oz and $17.11 per oz, respectively, while palladium has rallied 4.6% to $898.80 per oz and platinum is up 0.7% at $944.20 per oz. This comes after a weaker day for gold and silver on Friday when prices were down 0.9% and 1.2% respectively, while platinum was little changed and palladium was up 2.9%.

In Shanghai this morning, the base metals trading on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) are for the most part bullish, with prices up an average of 1.1%, led by a 2.1% gain in zinc prices, with lead prices up 1.9%, nickel prices up 1.2% and copper prices up 1.1% at 46,270 yuan per tonne ($6,806 per tonne), while aluminium prices are off 0.1%.

Spot copper prices in Changjiang are up 1.3% at 46,180-46,380 yuan per tonne and the LME/Shanghai copper arb ratio remains low at 7.98.

In other metals in China, September iron ore prices on the Dalian Commodity Exchange have rebounded for a change, prices are up 2.5% at 433.50 yuan per tonne, while on the SHFE, steel rebar prices are up 1.4% while gold and silver prices are down 0.9% and 1.5%, respectively.

In international markets, spot Brent crude oil prices are down 0.2% at $48.35 per barrel and the yield on the US ten-year treasuries is slightly firmer at 2.22%.

Equities ended Friday firmer with the Euro Stoxx 50 closing up 0.6% and the Dow closed up 0.4% at 21,271.97, although US tech companies showed some weakness with the Nasdaq composite closing down 1.8%. In Asia this morning, the Nikkei is off 0.5%, the Hang Seng is off 1.2%, the CSI 300 is off 0.2% and the Kospi is down 1%, all suggesting that the focus is on tech companies.

The dollar turned higher in the second half of last week and with the dollar index at 97.14, it is consolidating again having been as high at 97.50 on Friday. The euro is at 1.1214, sterling is rebounding at 1.2761, the yen at 110.24 is slightly weaker and the Australian dollar continues to consolidate at 0.7533.

The yuan at 6.7980 remains firm and the other emerging market currencies we follow are for the most part flat, although the Mexican peso continues to recover.

The economic agenda is quiet, data out of Japan showed producer price index (PPI) unchanged at 2.1%, while core machine orders and machine tool orders showed some weakness. Later there is data on Italian industrial production and US data on the Federal Budget balance – see table below for more details.

Copper and zinc prices picked up late last week following better Chinese trade data and that did underpin most of the other metals, the exception being tin where prices are under pressure as toll-smelting licences suggest more refined tin may flow out of China. The general rebound coincided with a stronger dollar and with some pick-up in Chinese metals prices, it may be that these rebounds have further to run, but it is too early to suggest overall sentiment has turned less bearish.

Gold, silver and platinum prices are giving back some of their recent gains as prices consolidate. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data out on Friday showed a large increase in the fund net long gold position, which bodes well, so for now we see the weakness in gold prices as being consolidation. Palladium prices, however, continue to soar in what looks like a short-squeeze. We do expect gold, silver and platinum prices to be well supported into dips.

Metal Bulletin publishes live futures reports throughout the day, covering major metals exchanges news and prices.

What to read next
Fastmarkets launches MB-CU-0513 copper cathode equivalent grade (EQ), cif Southeast Asia, $/tonne on Tuesday February 20.
Fastmarkets’ 2024 outlook for key raw materials and ingredients used in the production and distribution of fast-moving consumer goods
Weak demand continues to stem profitability and prevent capacity return in the European aluminium market, Norsk Hydro’s chief executives told Fastmarkets in an exclusive interview on Wednesday February 14.
The publication of Fastmarkets’ rand fixing prices for LME trade for Monday February 12 were delayed due to a technical issue.
The copper concentrate market was already tight, but the addition of major new smelting capacity this year – starting with the expansion of Freeport’s Gresik smelter in Indonesia — will likely mean maintenance breaks, capacity curtailments and potentially even closures while operating costs start to become untenable, Fastmarkets understands.
Major aluminium producers Alcoa, Rio Tinto and Century Aluminum have been accused of pocketing vast sums of money from the sale of aluminium products to the beverage industry in the US at inflated prices – and of potentially colluding to do so