Copper climbed to a seven-week high on Tuesday as hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal prompted bearish investors to buy back positions.
The Dow Jones industrial average hit a new intra-day record high, 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) climbed 1.1% to $5,940 a tonne in final open-outcry trading to register its third straight daily gain. It had earlier touched $5,978, its highest since Sept. 16.
* 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 SMM-CUR-BON dropped to a record low of 243,500 tonnes in November, monthly data from Shanghai Metals Market shows.
* 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 slipped 0.6% to close at $16,280 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.
* ALUMINIUM TECHNICALS: Aluminium has more upside after breaking above its nine-month downtrend, said Commerzbank technical analyst Axel Rudolph.
“Further up, the May and July peaks can be spotted at $1,866/$1,871. These represent our upside targets,” he said in a note.
LME aluminium shed 0.2% to close at $1,811 a tonne, reversing direction after hitting a seven-week high of $1,818.
* PRICES: LME zinc gave up 1.6% to finish at $2,498 a tonne, lead fell 0.5% to a three-week low of $2,151 and tin added 0.2% to $16,455.