MORNING VIEW: Base metals firmer in Shanghai, mixed in London

While copper and tin prices are showing some hesitancy on the London Metal Exchange, most of the other base metals are looking robust this morning, Friday June 25, and all the base metals in Shanghai are upbeat too.

  • United States President Joe Biden agrees a $1 trillion infrastructure deal…
  • …which should be good for metals because it focuses on upgrading roads, bridges and broadband networks

Base metals
LME three-month base metals prices were mixed on Friday, the main movers being tin, which was down by 1.1% at $30,415 per tonne, while aluminium  was up 0.5% at $2,451 per tonne and nickel up 0.6% at $18,555 per tonne. Copper, ($9,455.50 per tonne), zinc ($2,919 per tonne) and lead ($2,215.50 per tonne) were little changed.

The most-active Shanghai Futures Exchange base metals contracts were up across the board by an average of 1.1%, led by a 3.3% rise in August nickel, which made up for the 0.1% gain in August copper, at 69,060 yuan ($10,689) per tonne.

Precious metals
Spot precious metals were also up across the board with gold up 0.2% at $1,779.70 per oz, while the more industrial-based precious metals were up by an average of 0.8%.

Wider markets
The yield on US 10-year treasuries was 1.49% this morning, unchanged from a similar time on Thursday.

Asia-Pacific equities were up strongly across the board on Friday – the Nikkei was +0.61%, the CSI 300 +1.7%, the ASX 200 +0.53%, the Kospi +0.42% and the Hang Seng +1.34%.

Last week’s rebound in the US Dollar Index has ended and it was recently at 91.76, little changed from a similar time on Thursday, having peaked last week at 92.41 on June 18.

The major currencies were consolidating this morning: Sterling (1.3925), the Australian dollar (0.7593), the euro (1.1941) and the Japanese yen (110.86).

Key data
Data already out on Friday showed Tokyo’s core consumer price index (CPI) came in flat in June, after a 0.2% decline in May.

Later today, there will be data on Germany’s GfK consumer climate; European Union M3 money supply and private loans; United Kingdom data on realized sales; US data on personal income, personal spending, personal consumption expenditure CPI and revised University of Michigan (UoM) consumer sentiment and inflation expectations; and Chinese leading indicators from the Conference Board.

Today’s key themes and views
Copper prices continued to consolidate in early trading this morning, as they did on Thursday, after their three-day rebound at the start of the week. The rest of the metals are looking more robust, especially nickel, but it has been one of the weaker metals since February, so may have some catching up to do on the upside. Now the US infrastructure deal looks set to get through Congress, sentiment may get another boost as the day unfolds.

The sell-off in gold has been sharp and prices are struggling to rebound. But given that the US Fed is not talking about raising rates until 2023 and bond yields have weakened again, the reaction in gold seems a bit overdone – especially considering the mounting inflationary pressures and some evidence of rising US/China tensions.

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