Peter Hobson

British regulator reviews JPMorgan metals trading amid U.S. probe: sources

11 Oct 2019

NEW YORK/LONDON Britain's financial services regulator is examining allegations of precious metals market manipulation by JPMorgan Chase & Co traders following criminal charges by U.S. authorities, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Palladium to build on record peak as market tightens again

03 Oct 2019

LONDON Palladium is likely to rise still higher after growing demand from automakers and a gaping supply shortfall pushed prices to record levels above $1,700 an ounce this week, analysts said.

METALS-Rising trade fears drag copper to 4th day of losses

03 Oct 2019

LONDON, Oct 3 Copper prices slipped for a fourth day on Thursday after the United States announced tariffs on some European goods, adding to fears that a global economic slowdown will deepen, weakening demand for metal.

METALS-Aluminium slides to lowest since January 2017

27 Sep 2019

LONDON, Sept 27 Aluminium prices were set for their biggest weekly decline since last October as falling alumina prices and a weak demand outlook dragged the metal used in transport and packaging to its lowest level since January 2017.

Exclusive: Two JPMorgan metals executives put on leave amid U.S. probe - source

13 Sep 2019

LONDON/NEW YORK Two JPMorgan Chase & Co employees, including a top metals trading executive, have been placed on leave in response to a U.S. criminal investigation into the bank’s metals trading practices, according to a source familiar with the matter.

EXCLUSIVE-Two JPMorgan metals executives put on leave amid U.S. probe -source

13 Sep 2019

LONDON/NEW YORK, Sept 12 Two JPMorgan Chase & Co employees, including a top metals trading executive, have been placed on leave in response to a U.S. criminal investigation into the bank’s metals trading practices, according to a source familiar with the matter.

METALS-Copper falls as slumping China auto sales signal weak demand

11 Sep 2019

(Updates with closing prices) By Peter Hobson LONDON, Sept 11 Copper prices dipped on Wednesday after a sharp fall in Chinese auto sales underlined fears of weaker demand from the world's largest consumer of metals. Concerns over China's economic outlook outweighed any optimism from a decision by Beijing to exempt some U.S. goods from additional tariffs, potentially easing tensions in a damaging trade dispute. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) did not trade in closing rings but was bid down 0.9% at $5,772 a tonne, moving toward a two-year low of $5,518 hit earlier this month. Unless a U.S.-China trade deal is reached, prices will likely remain around current levels as weaker demand is offset by constraints on supply, said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen. "We've seen the bottom for copper for this year," he said. CHINA CARS: China's total auto sales fell 6.9% from the same month a year earlier to 1.96 million, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said, warning of weak sales ahead. The figures follow a string of weak Chinese manufacturing data. China has made some moves to stimulate activity, including a cut to bank reserve requirements announced last week. CHINA OUTPUT: Refined copper cathode production by major Chinese smelters fell by 0.5% in August from a month earlier, a survey by research house Antaike showed. PERU: An indefinite strike by mining unions in Peru that started on Tuesday has failed to draw large numbers of workers and has not affected output at mines in the world's No.2 copper, zinc, and silver producer, an industry association said. NICKEL: LME nickel closed down 0.8% at $17,900 a tonne even as the premium for cash metal over the three-month contract surged to a 10-year high of $107, pointing to tighter nearby supply. Benchmark nickel leaped to a five-year high of $18,850 this month after top supplier Indonesia said it would ban ore exports next year. STOCKS: On-warrant stocks of nickel available to the market in LME-registered warehouses fell to 83,346 tonnes, down from around 250,000 tonnes at the start of 2018 and the lowest since 2011. One entity holds between 80% and 89% of warrants. <0#LME-WHL> PHILIPPINES: Nickel miners in the Philippines are likely to ramp up ore output by next year, but their production capacity is limited, a local industry lobby group said. The Philippines' mining watchdog meanwhile recommended lifting the suspension of a small-sized nickel miner. LEAD: China's primary lead output rose 3.6% year-on-year to 242,000 tonnes in August, while recycled lead production was up 9.1% year-on-year at 196,000 tonnes, Antaike said. Benchmark lead finished down 0.4% at $2,093 a tonne. OTHER METALS: LME aluminium closed up 0.3% at $1,825 a tonne, zinc gained 1.1% to $2,363 and tin rose 2.2% to $17,775. (Reporting by Peter Hobson; additional reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Alexander Smith and Lisa Shumaker)

Rampant investor demand eats into platinum oversupply - WPIC

06 Sep 2019

By Peter Hobson LONDON, Sept 6 Resurgent investor demand for platinum will drive overall consumption of the metal up 9% this year and lead to a lower surplus, the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) said on Friday. The WPIC in its latest quarterly report cut its estimate of oversupply in the roughly 8 million ounce a year platinum market to 345,000 ounces from 375,000 ounces three months ago. Clamour for the metal from investors in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) will offset declines in consumption by jewellers and auto makers, the WPIC said. "Unprecedented investment demand in H1'19 of 855,000 ounces (720,000 ounces from increased ETF holdings and 135,000 ounces from bar and coin purchases) supports a conservative investment demand forecast for 2019 of 905,000 ounces," it said. The WPIC is a platinum industry-funded body and uses data from an independent consultancy. Platinum prices plunged from around $1,800 an ounce in 2011 to a low of $751.25 last year as declining demand pushed the market into surplus in 2017 and 2018, according to the WPIC. But prices have since crept higher, with rapid gains since late August taking the metal to near $1,000. The biggest consumer of platinum is the auto industry, which uses it and sister metals palladium and rhodium in vehicle exhausts to reduce harmful emissions. Demand is likely to improve as a decline in sales of diesel cars, which use the most platinum, begins to reverse as more of them meet tougher environmental rules and lower interest rates lift precious metals in general, said the WPIC's head of research, Trevor Raymond. He also said a sharp rise in palladium prices, currently around $1,600 an ounce, would encourage auto makers to use more platinum, though there is so far no evidence of this happening. "Demand growth potential over the next two years certainly looks like the market is heading to deficit," Raymond said. Platinum supply will rise 4% this year, the WPIC said, mainly due to the release of stocks accumulated by miners in South Africa, the largest producer, during smelter repairs and maintenance in 2018. But this is a one-off boost, Raymond said, predicting South African output would be around 200,000 ounces lower next year. PLATINUM SUPPLY/DEMAND ('000 oz)* 2019(f) 2018 % change Mine supply 6,405 6,125 5% Recycling 1,985 1,935 3% TOTAL SUPPLY 8,390 8,060 4% Automotive 3,015 3,125 -4% demand Jewellery 2,215 2,325 -5% demand Industrial 1,910 1,920 -1% demand Investment 905 15 TOTAL DEMAND 8,045 7,385 9% Balance 345 675 -49% Above-ground 3,335 2,990 12% stocks Q2 2019 Q2 2018 % change Mine supply 1,615 1,650 -2% Recycling 495 485 2% TOTAL SUPPLY 2,110 2,135 -1% Automotive 765 815 -6% demand Jewellery 555 585 -5% demand Industrial 480 475 1% demand Investment 90 -55 TOTAL DEMAND 1,890 1,820 4% Balance 220 315 -30% * Source: World Platinum Investment Council, Platinum Quarterly Q2 2019 (Reporting by Peter Hobson; editing by David Evans)

METALS-Copper rebounds as U.S., China resume trade talks

05 Sep 2019

LONDON, Sept 5 Copper prices rose on Thursday to the highest since Aug. 19 after China and the United States agreed to hold high level trade talks, reviving hopes for an end to a dispute that has weakened global economic growth and consumption of metals.

Exclusive: LME's gold, silver contracts in doubt as Societe Generale pulls out

04 Sep 2019

LONDON The London Metal Exchange's gold and silver futures are being thrown into doubt, with the imminent resignation of Societe Generale as a market maker threatening to deepen a decline in trading activity, three sources said.

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