Make Kitco Your Homepage

METALS-China property market and demand jitters weigh on copper

Kitco News

(Updates prices) By Pratima Desai LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Copper prices retreated on Monday as the market fretted over demand in top consumer China and rising inventories in London Metal Exchange-registered warehouses, though losses were capped by a softer dollar. Traders said volumes were subdued because of the Labor Day holiday in the United States. Benchmark copper on the LME was 0.5% down at $8,457 a metric ton by 1605 GMT. Prices of the industrial metal touched a four-week high of $8,599 on Friday after a survey showed China's factory activity expanded in August. However, a slowdown in China's housing market is expected to remain a headwind for industrial metals for some time. "China's property sector is going to have a longer-term negative impact on industrial metals," said Dan Smith, head of research at Amalgamated Metal Trading.

"But Chinese imports for some metals have been quite strong, which suggests demand is holding up." Stocks of copper in LME warehouses are nearly double levels in the middle of July, having reached 107,425 tons for their highest since October last year.

Growing expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve could be at the end of its monetary tightening cycle was weighing on the U.S. currency, weakness of which makes dollar-priced metals cheaper for holders of other currencies. On the technical front, copper faces upside resistance around $8,590, where the 200-day moving average sits. Strong support comes in at $8,430-$8,440, between the 50-day and 100-day moving averages. Elsewhere, large holdings of LME warrants and cash contracts have fueled worries about the availability of lead on the LME market. This can be seen in the premium for the cash lead contract over the three-month contract. At $27.50 a ton, the premium is close to last week's two-month high of $28.40. Three-month lead was down 1.2% at $2,222 a ton. In other metals, aluminium ceded 1.2% to $2,209, zinc slipped 0.3% to $2,478, tin jumped 1.9% to $26,305 and nickel was down 0.3% at $21,030. Nickel prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose to 175,740 yuan, their highest in nearly four months, on concern over supplies after top exporter Indonesia delayed issuing mining quotas. (Reporting by Pratima Desai Additional reporting by Siyi Liu Editing by David Holmes and David Goodman)

LME price overview COMEX copper futures All metals news All commodities news Foreign exchange rates SPEED GUIDES ))
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.