Met­als prices bow to pres­sure

Business a.m. - - FRONT PAGE - Temi­tayo Aiyetoto

THE THREEMONTH lead price on the Lon­don Metal Ex­change was slightly firmer last Fri­day while the rest of the com­plex was down by an av­er­age of 0.6 per­cent. Zinc led the de­cline with a 1.2 per­cent fall, while cop­per was off by 0.8 per­cent at $6,217 per tonne.

THE THREEMON TH lead price on the Lon­don Metal Ex­change was slightly firmer last Fri­day while the rest of the com­plex was down by an av­er­age of 0.6 per­cent. Zinc led the de­cline with a 1.2 per­cent fall, while cop­per was off by 0.8 per­cent at $6,217 per tonne.

Vol­ume has been high with 11,796 lots traded, the bulk of which has been in nickel where 6,902 lots have traded. The LME three-month nickel price was down by 1.1 per­cent at $10,835 per tonne, hav­ing ear­lier set a fresh low for the year at $10,750 per tonne.

There was sim­i­lar weak­ness in the pre­cious met­als with the com­plex down across the board by an av­er­age of 0.5 per­cent. The spot gold price was down by 0.3 per­cent at $1,223.89 per ounce.

In China, the Jan­uary con­tract prices for base met­als were for the most part weaker, the ex­cep­tions be­ing alu­minium and lead, the lat­ter of which was up by 1 per­cent.

The rest were down be­tween 0.1 per­cent for cop­per, which was at 49,460 yuan ($7,133) per tonne, and 2.9 per­cent for nickel.

Tin was also down heav­ily, off by 2.1 per­cent, while zinc was down by around 1 per­cent.

Spot cop­per prices in Changjiang were up by 0.5 per­cent at 49,710-49,900 yuan per tonne, the fact that spot prices are higher than fu­tures prices sug­gests the weak­ness came later in the day.

The LME and Shang­hai cop­per ar­bi­trage ra­tio was firmer at 7.97 on Fri­day after 7.95 a day ear­lier.

In other met­als in China, the Jan­uary iron ore con­tract on the Dalian Com­mod­ity Ex­change was down by 4.6 per­cent at 497 yuan per tonne. On the SHFE, the Jan­uary steel re­bar con­tract was also down by 2.6 per­cent.

The un­der­ly­ing trend in the base met­als, with the ex­cep­tion of nickel, re­mains the same with prices os­cil­lat­ing

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