Copper steps higher as trade deal hopes trigger short-covering

Reuters | Nov 5, 2019 at 1:22 PM

* GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: (Updates with official prices)

LONDON, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Copper climbed for a third session running on Tuesday as hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal prompted bearish investors to buy back positions.

Shares in Asia hit six-month highs, the Chinese yuan advanced to a three-month peak and oil also rose after people close to the negotiations said China was pushing U.S. President Donald Trump to remove more tariffs imposed in September as part of a so-called Phase 1 trade deal.

"We've seen some positive trade headlines and we're optimistic. We think we're going to get a Phase 1 trade deal and that opens the playbook for Dec. 15 and tariffs to be pushed back," said Citigroup analyst Oliver Nugent.

"Copper is a real macro story, the fundamentals are taking a back seat and we're dancing around the headlines ... you've seen a decent bit of short-covering."

Most of the bearish positions in copper are probably linked to computer-generated algorithms largely used by commodity trade advisor (CTA) funds, he added.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) failed to trade in official open-outcry activity but was bid up 0.6% at $5,910 a tonne, on track for its third straight daily gain.

* COPPER SUPPLY: Antofagasta's production cuts in Chile have doubled to about 10,000 tonnes, it said, citing worker protests in the South American nation.

* CHINA COPPER: Copper in China's bonded warehouses dropped to a record low of 243,500 tonnes in November, monthly data from Shanghai Metals Market shows.

* CHINA RATES: China's central bank cut the interest rate on its medium-term lending facility for the first time since early 2016 as policymakers work to bolster a slowing economy hit by weaker demand at home and abroad.

* INDONESIA NICKEL: China's top nickel producer Jinchuan Group will feel some impact from Indonesia's ban on ore exports from 2020 but will be able to plug the supply gap, partly by using its own mines, a company executive said on Tuesday.

LME nickel was bid down 1% at $16,220 a tonne.

* ZINC SPREADS: LME cash zinc's premium over the three-month contract CMZN0-3> rose to $62 a tonne. That is the highest since July 1, having been in backwardation of $40 at the end of October. The high premium indicates near-term shortages of metal in the LME system.

* PRICES: LME aluminium fell 0.2% in official rings to trade at $1,811 a tonne, zinc edged down 0.04% to $2,538, lead added 0.1% to $2,165 and tin was bid up 0.6% at $16,525.

More sources
  • Copper steps higher as trade deal hopes trigger short-covering (Reuters: Nov 5, 2019 at 11:28 AM)