METALS MORNING VIEW 13/06: Metals prices retreat/consolidate after recent strength

Three-month base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange were for the most part weaker on the morning of Wednesday June 13, the exception being lead which was up by 0.2%.

The rest were weaker with copper, aluminium, nickel and zinc off between 0.4% and 0.6%, with copper at $7,176 per tonne, while tin was down by 1.2%.

Volume has been average with 10,155 lots traded as at 9.38 am London time.

This follows a day of weakness on Tuesday when the base metals complex closed down by an average of 0.4%.

Precious metals were little changed this morning, with gold prices off by 0.1% at $1,294.15 per oz. This a bout of weakness on Tuesday, which saw the complex close down by an average of 0.5%.

In China, base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange weaker this morning, with the complex down by an average 1.1%, led by a 3.1% decline in the most-traded September tin contract price. Meanwhile, the most-traded August copper contract price was off by 0.8% at 53,530 yuan ($8,358) per tonne.

In other metals in China, the most-traded September iron ore contract price on the Dalian Commodity Exchange edged 0.4% higher to 468 yuan per tonne. Meanwhile on the SHFE, the most-traded October steel rebar contract price rose by 0.9%, while the December silver and gold contract prices were down by 0.2% and 0.3% respectively.

Spot copper prices in Changjiang were down by 0.4% at 53,150-53,290 yuan per tonne and the LME/Shanghai copper arbitrage ratio was at 7.46.

In wider markets, spot Brent crude oil prices were up by 0.08% at $75.47 per barrel this morning. The yield on US 10-year treasuries has eased slightly to 2.9572% and the German 10-year bund yield was at 0.4770%.

Equity markets in Asia were for the most part weaker on Wednesday: Hang Seng (-0.94%), CSI 300 (-0.98%), ASX 200 (-0.51%) Kospi (-0.05%), with the only the Nikkei (+0.38%) in positive ground.

The dollar index has been edging higher while it rebounds after its recent mini pullback. The index at 93.88 is within the recent 93.21-95.03 range. Meanwhile, the euro (1.1715) and sterling (1.3347) are consolidating, while the Australian dollar (0.7567), and the yen (110.64) are weakening.

On the economic front, there is data on UK prices, including the consumer price index (CPI), producer price index (PPI), house price index (HPI), and EU data that includes employment change and industrial production. US data of note includes PPI and crude oil inventories, which are followed by the US Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) rate decision, statement, economic projections and conference call.

The base metals prices are diverging with copper, nickel, lead and tin prices giving back some of the strong gains seen in recent weeks, while aluminium prices are weakening and zinc prices are consolidating. Lead and copper prices seem to have found support from supply concerns, while the rest, with the exception of aluminium, got some lift on the back of the rise in copper.

A lack of follow-through buying, however, is now leading to consolidation/corrections. We remain mildly bullish, but the market may not see follow-through buying until stronger economic data is seen.

Gold and platinum prices are the weaker ones of the precious metals complex, while silver and palladium prices are giving back some of their recent gains. Gold tends to be weak ahead of an expected FOMC rate rise and then recovers after the rise, we wait to see if that remains the case today.

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