LONDON: Prices of copper and other industrial metals slipped on Thursday as global stock markets wobbled ahead of a keenly awaited speech by US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Friday.
Equities 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 0.6% at $9,298.50 a tonne at 1620 GMT. The metal used in the power and construction sectors 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.
FED: The Fed’s hawkish wing used the day before Powell’s marquee speech to urge the central bank to begin paring bond purchases they feel have become ineffective or even harmful.
MARKETS: Investors remain cautious, with global shares tapping the brakes, oil prices falling and the dollar strengthening.
MARKET 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.
ALUMINIUM: A prefecture in China’s Xinjiang region has imposed output limits on five aluminium smelters starting from this month as part of efforts to stamp out illegal production.
LME aluminium, which is close to three-year highs, inched up $4 to $2,618.50 a tonne.
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: Benchmark zinc on the LME dropped 1.1% to $2,991.50 a tonne, nickel fell 2.1% to $18,765 and lead was down 1.2% at $2,290.
Tin bucked the trend, rising 1.3% to $33,325.