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Markets

Copper plunges below $10,000 as U.S. jobs data knocks markets

  • World stocks also stepped back from record highs and the dollar strengthened, making metals costlier for buyers with other currencies.
04 Jun 2021

LONDON: Copper and other industrial metal prices dived to five-week lows on Thursday as strong U.S. jobs data fuelled concerns that monetary policy could tighten, knocking growth-related assets.

World stocks also stepped back from record highs and the dollar strengthened, making metals costlier for buyers with other currencies.

In China, the biggest metals consumer, the yuan weakened for a fourth day from a three-year high against the dollar, potentially dampening demand.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 3.1pc at $9,829.50 a tonne at 1616 GMT after touching $9,762, the lowest since April 28.

Prices of the metal used in power and construction reached a record high of $10,747.50 in early May, up nearly 40pc in 2021, with many analysts expecting strong demand to power further gains in the coming years.

"The dips seem to be well supported," said independent analyst Robin Bhar. He said the short-term price direction would likely be dictated by U.S. employment data, but added: "I think we'll see new record highs as we head into the fourth quarter."

JOBS: U.S. private employers stepped up hiring in May, adding nearly a million jobs and beating expectations. Unemployment claims fell.

PMI: Surveys showed China's services sector expansion slowed in May, though factory activity grew at the fastest pace this year.

Euro zone business activity surged.

CHINA PREMIUMS: China's appetite for overseas metal is fading, with Yangshan copper import premiums falling to $28.50 a tonne, the lowest since at least 2012.

CITI: "Refined copper market tightness is on its way once consumer destocking runs its course," analysts at Citi said in a note. "Our base case is that this becomes evident in the next few months and will be particularly bullish for tighter copper spreads."

ALUMINIUM: Output of primary aluminium in China will increase until 2024, researchers Antaike said.

SCRAP: Europe's metals recycling industry could collapse under the European Commission's proposed changes to waste shipments, members of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) warned.

OTHER METALS: LME aluminium was down 1.7pc at $2,401.50 a tonne, zinc fell 3.3pc to $2,979.50, nickel slipped 2pc to $17,865, lead fell 2.6pc to $2,163 and tin was 2.2pc lower at $30,180.

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