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METALS-Base metals slide as China data hints at slowdown
November 15, 2017 / 11:42 AM / a month ago

METALS-Base metals slide as China data hints at slowdown

* GRAPHIC-2017 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl (Updates with official midday prices)

By Maytaal Angel

LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Base metals slid on Wednesday as data from China stoked fears of a slowdown in the world’s top commodities consumer, with falls in oil and global stocks indicating broad-based caution among investors.

World stocks were set for their longest losing streak in eight months while oil prices slipped for a fourth day, though there was some reprieve for the dollar after U.S. data surprised on the upside.

“There’s definitely a move out of riskier assets which typically has a negative impact on commodities but there are fundamental reasons why commodities are selling off. China is slowing and yesterday’s data exemplified it,” said Caroline Bain, senior commodities economist at Capital Economics.

Data on Tuesday showed China’s economy cooled further last month, with industrial output, fixed asset investment and retail sales missing expectations as the government extended a crackdown on debt risks and factory pollution.

* PRICES: London Metal Exchange (LME) copper ended up 0.2 percent at $6,773 a tonne, having earlier hit a more than one-month low at $6,713. Aluminium ended up 1.2 percent at $2,106, having earlier hit its lowest since late August at $2,068.50.

“The timing and power in yesterday’s move lower (is) suggestive of it being macro driven. There is more downside to come over the next session or so. CTA sell programmes are already apparent today across some of the metals,” said broker Marex Spectron in a note.

* NICKEL: Nickel closed down 0.8 percent to $11,690 after sliding 5 percent on Tuesday, correcting from a surge to two-year highs earlier this month on hopes for a bounce in demand from the emerging electric vehicle market.

* TC/RC‘S: China’s top copper smelters held an unscheduled meeting in Shanghai on Tuesday to reaffirm their position that there will be no shortage of copper concentrate supply in 2018 as the key contract renegotiation season hots up.

* COPPER CUTS: Polish copper producer KGHM said this year’s output of electrolytic copper from its concentrates would be 35,000 tonnes rather than the planned 401,000 tonnes due to an accident at its smelter.

* COPPER SPECULATORS: Unidentified traders on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) added $1 billion to positions in copper contracts tied to the second half of 2018 this week, as investors continue to place big bets on the metal.

* ALUMINA CUTS: Chinalco, China’s biggest state-run aluminium producer, is cutting its alumina capacity by 2 million tonnes this winter to comply with pollution-related restrictions on heavy industry.

* OTHER METALS: Zinc closed flat at $3,151.50, having earlier hit its lowest in nearly a month, lead ended down 1.4 percent at $2,436, having hit its lowest since Oct 31, while tin closed down 0.7 percent at $19,340.

Additional reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Louise Heavens and Elaine Hardcastle

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