June 7, 2017 / 11:29 AM / a month ago

METALS-Copper steadies after sell-off, tin tumbles to 3-month low

3 Min Read

* LME/ShFE arb: tmsnrt.rs/2oQ5nm2 (Releads, updates with closing prices)

By Peter Hobson

LONDON, June 7 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose on Wednesday after three days of declines as investors judged that a sell-off had run its course despite weaker than expected German manufacturing data that pointed to lower demand, while tin fell to its lowest in three months.

"The lows were tested and seem to have held. A bit of short covering may be coming in as prices did not break to the downside," said Robin Bhar, head of metals research at Societe Generale.

LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed up 0.1 percent at $5,621 a tonne. The metal used in power and construction has fallen nearly 2 percent from a high of $5,720 on June 1.

COPPER TECHNICALS: Fund investors were buying copper off the lows and technical resistance was around $5,675-$5,690, brokers Marex Specton said in a note. "We still espouse selling rallies," it said.

COPPER STOCKS: Prices supported by a fall in stockpiles at LME-registered warehouses by 5,350 tonnes to 294,225 tonnes, down from a recent high of 340,350 tonnes in mid-May. MCUSTX-TOTAL

COPPER SPREAD: The discount of LME cash copper to the three-month contract CMCU0-3 rose to $30.75 a tonne from $14 two weeks ago, indicating tighter supply.

CHILE OUTPUT: Heavy rains forced mines in northern Chile to suspend key operations.

GERMAN FACTORIES: German industrial orders dropped far more than expected in April as factories lacked new contracts for big ticket items. {nL8N1J40QB]

OIL: Crude prices slid more than 3 percent after an unexpected increase in U.S. inventories. Lower oil prices tend to pressure metals because they deter investors from buying into commodity basket funds and allow smelters to produce at lower prices.

LME TIN: Three-month tin closed down 1.9 percent at $19,310, after earlier touching $19,260, a low since March 13.

Data showing an increase in exports from Indonesia on Tuesday fuelled fears of ample supply and pushed the metal down 2.4 percent on the highest volumes in more than a year. Tin has declined for four days.

LME ALUMINIUM: Aluminium closed up 0.2 percent at $1,906 a tonne, mostly shrugging off disruption in exports from a plant in Qatar part-owned by Norway's Norsk Hydro .

ALUMINIUM TECHNICALS: The metal briefly fell below its 100-day moving average on Tuesday but has since held just above that level. "This has stopped the aggressive selling, so you have seen buyers come through," a trader said.

OTHER METALS: Nickel ended down 0.6 percent at $8,810 a tonne. Zinc finished 0.6 percent lower at $2,447 and lead closed down 0.5 percent at $2,063.

Additional reporting by James Regan; editing by Jon Boyle and David Evans

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