LME MORNING - Metals ride wave of Greek debt deal enthusisam to multi-week highs

By: Martin Hayes

London 27/11/2012 -  Base metals rose across the board during Tuesday LME premarket trading, with many breaking through chart levels to hit multi-week highs - sentiment in the financial sector is underpinned by yesterday's Greek debt deal.

In the deal hammered out by the EU finance ministers Greece's debt will be cut by 40 billion euros, dropping to 124 percent of GDP by 2020, while international lenders also looked to take additional steps to bring the country's debts significantly below 110 percent in 2022.

"The market is going along quite nicely today on this European deal, even if it is not the end of the issue," a trader said.

Technical factors came into play as well. Copper rose to its highest for some three weeks, aluminium and tin traded at their best for around six weeks, while zinc touched levels last seen seven weeks ago.

"Overall, the metals look well placed to extend gains - nickel and zinc have overcome recent highs and aluminium has done the same this morning," William Adams of FastMarkets said.

In wider markets, equities rose in Europe, following on from Asian stock markets, while the euro hit 1.3009 against the dollar, its highest since October 31 at one stage, and then settled back recently at around 1.2955.

Despite the Greek deal, metals will still be cautious on the upside ahead of the end of the year by uncertain demand conditions in leading consumer China and worries about the forthcoming US fiscal cliff negotiations.

On the data side, important US releases resume later, with October durable goods orders, the November CB Consumer Confidence index and Richmond Manufacturing Index and the September S&P/CS Composite-20 HPI all due for release.


Copper pushed through the psychological $7,800 level to touch $7,828.75, its best since November 2, before settling at $7,825 per tonne, a $45 advance from the previous close. Warehouse stocks fell a net 275 tonnes to 249,550 tonnes, the lowest for two weeks.

Aluminium rose to $2,017, the highest since October 19, and then traded at $2,012, up $12.50. Inventories dropped 2,600 tonnes to 5,174,500 tonnes but remain close to the all-time high of 5,177,425 tonnes set last Friday.

Zinc nudged above $2,000 to trade at $2,002.50, a $19.50 advance and its highest since October 11. Stocks fell 1,725 tonnes to 1,197,325 tonnes, while cancelled warrants - the metal booked for removal - jumped 22,000 tonnes to a new all-time peak of 613,350 tonnes.

This was due to a near-24,000-tonne cancellation in New Orleans, where 411,050 tonnes of metal is now queuing up for removal.

In other metals, lead was at $2,199, up $16, with stocks unchanged at 361,475 tonnes. Nickel traded at $16,715, up $270 - inventories declined 198 tonnes from what were 22-month highs to 134,448 tonnes.

Tin jumped to $21,175, the highest since October 22, and then held at $21,140, up from the previous $20,825. Still, inventories climbed 285 tonnes to 12,025 tonnes, the highest since November 5.

Steel billet was indicated at $325/250, with stocks down 2,015 tonnes at 76,830 tonnes. In the minors, cobalt at $22,600/23,000 was around the lowest since the contract was launched in February 2010. Molybdenum was neglected.

(Editing by Mark Shaw)