By: Martin Hayes

London 15/03/2012 - Base metals ranged narrowly during Thursday LME pre-market trading, with a spell of short-term consolidation and sideways price movements developing, reflecting a similar pattern and tone in wider markets.

"It is just a little bit directionless at the moment but it is still relatively firm, given the general picture," a trader said.

There is little solid direction to be gleaned from equity markets, traders said, while the eurozone sovereign debt situation has calmed for now. Still, the weakness of the euro and some nascent worries about the pace and extent of China's economy are negative factors.

"China does appear to be slowing down and it does appear to some that it is heading for a hard landing or may already be there," the trader said.

The euro again threatened to drop below 1.30 against the dollar, touching a one-month low of 1.3001 before holding around a steady 1.3045.

For the metals, activity is expected to remain low-key ahead of a whole series of US economic reports this afternoon, which may kick-start movements in other markets and flow through into the complex.

Figures scheduled for release include the Empire State and Philly Fed manufacturing indices, February PPI, January TIC long-term purchases and weekly unemployment claims. The ECB will also publish its monthly bulletin and employment report.


COPPER NUDGES HIGHER, OTHERS SWING ROUTINELY

Copper moved away from early lows near $8,400 to trade at $8,470 per tonne, a $10 advance from Wednesday. The market stalled overhead near $8,600 yesterday, which has now become the ceiling of a $200 short-term range.

Warehouse inventories fell 2,875 tonnes to 267,750 tonnes, the 16th successive daily decline, with the stockpile at a fresh low since July 2009.

Aluminium was hardly moving - recent business at $2,234 was $5 higher. The usual pattern of inventory declines was interrupted, with stocks climbing 1,675 tonnes to 5,073,350 tonnes. The increase was due to an 8,125-tonne warranting in Vlissingen.

In other metals, nickel fell back to $19,250, a $325 loss, as yesterday's technical momentum slowed. Stocks climbed 444 tonnes to 97,170 tonnes. Zinc traded at $2,068, a $6 loss, with inventories rising 125 tonnes to 867,700 tonnes.

Lead business at $2,106 was just $4 higher after stocks fell 125 tonnes to 365,100 tonnes. Tin traded at an unchanged $23,800, while stocks remained static at 11,570 tonnes.

Steel billet eased $5 to $520 but stocks fell 780 tonnes to 59,280 tonnes, the lowest since November 18, 2010. Both cobalt and molybdenum were neglected.


(Editing by Mark Shaw)

Feed news Join Telegram

Recommended content


Recommended content

Editors’ Picks

EUR/USD reflects market tension around 1.0870 ahead of German GDP, Fed vs. ECB battle

EUR/USD reflects market tension around 1.0870 ahead of German GDP, Fed vs. ECB battle

EUR/USD treads water around 1.0870-60 as markets remain on a dicey floor ahead of the key central bank meetings and data. Adding strength to the market’s indecision could be the return of China and fears of a softer growth number from Germany.

EUR/USD News

GBP/USD bulls and bears battle it out at the start of week ahead of central banks, Fed, BoE

GBP/USD bulls and bears battle it out at the start of week ahead of central banks, Fed, BoE

GBP/USD dropped on Friday due to the fears that the United Kingdom economy's slowdown may prompt the BoE that meets this week to slow down on its rate hike cycle sooner than originally thought. The Cable is trading at 1.2390 and has travelled between a low of 1.2372 and 1.2404 so far.

GBP/USD News

Gold shows resilience below 200-hour SMA, bulls have the upper hand

Gold shows resilience below 200-hour SMA, bulls have the upper hand

Gold price kicks off the new week on a subdued note and oscillates in a narrow trading band through the Asian session. The XAU/USD, meanwhile, remains well within the striking distance of a nine-month peak touched last Thursday as investors move to the sidelines ahead of the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) rate-hike verdict later this week.

Gold News

Why Ethereum bears need to be cautious about shorting ETH before $2,000

Why Ethereum bears need to be cautious about shorting ETH before $2,000

Ethereum price has been consolidating after the January rally subsided after three weeks. This tightening continues even after BTC shot up 3% over the weekend. Therefore, a short-term spike in buying pressure should is likely. This move could propel ETH to tag immediate hurdles, liquidating early bears.

Read more

Big risk this week Fed hikes 50 points

Big risk this week Fed hikes 50 points

While the entire global investment community is apparently very excited about the US Federal Reserve slowing its rate increases to 25 point increments, there are strong reasons for arguing why another 50 point rate hike, or two, are still on the Fed menu.

Read more

Forex MAJORS

Cryptocurrencies

Signatures