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Copper falls on investor caution ahead of Fed symposium

  • Fundamentals are still pointing to lower prices ... supply can meet demand
  • On-warrant copper inventories in LME-registered warehouses fell to 169,800 tonnes from almost 240,000 tonnes a week ago
Published August 26, 2021

LONDON: Prices of copper and other industrial metals slipped on Thursday as global stock markets wobbled ahead of a highly anticipated speech by US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Friday.

Shares in China, the biggest user of metals, fell sharply in response to concerns that government efforts to cool the property market could ripple through the economy.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 0.5% at $9,313 a tonne at 1056 GMT. The metal, used in power and construction, reached a record high of $10,747.50 in May but slipped to as low as $8,740 last week.

"Fundamentals are still pointing to lower prices ... supply can meet demand," said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann.

Copper should move lower over the remainder of 2021 but rise after that as the world's transition from fossil fuels to electrification boosts demand, he said.

Copper claws higher on physical demand, but jittery on rates

MARKETS: Investors are cautious ahead of Powell's speech to the Jackson Hole economic conference, with global shares tapping the brakes and oil prices falling.

FED: Powell will likely offer few new hints about when the US central bank may start reducing its massive asset purchases, analysts said.

CORRECTION: The blistering rally in world stocks is nearly over, with a correction likely by the end of the year, a Reuters poll of analysts found.

EUROPE: The mood among German consumers darkened heading into September while lending to euro zone companies continued to slow last month.

COPPER STOCKS: On-warrant copper inventories in LME-registered warehouses fell to 169,800 tonnes from almost 240,000 tonnes a week ago, suggesting tighter supply.

PERU: Chile's sprawling mining sector believes a royalty bill under discussion could, as currently written, shut down the country's private miners, a mining executive said.

METALS PRICES: LME aluminium was down 0.7% at $2,599 a tonne, zinc was 1.5% lower at $2,981.50, nickel fell 1.6% to $18,865 and lead lost 2.1% to $2,269.50.

Tin bucked the trend and was up 0.7% at $33,150.

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