Cop­per, alu­minum down on Chi­nese trade data

Business World - - World Markets -

HANOI — Cop­per and alu­minium prices on both the Lon­don and Shanghai ex­changes on Mon­day fell af­ter China re­ported low­erthan-ex­pected ex­port and im­port fig­ures for De­cem­ber.

China’s De­cem­ber ex­ports un­ex­pect­edly fell 4.4% from a year ear­lier, the big­gest monthly drop in two years, point­ing to fur­ther weak­en­ing in the world’s sec­ond­largest econ­omy, while im­ports also un­ex­pect­edly con­tracted, fall­ing 7.6%.

“The head­line im­ports and ex­ports num­bers are be­low mar­ket ex­pec­ta­tion by a big mar­gin. The sen­ti­ment is not that great,” said an­a­lyst He­len Lau of Arg­onaut Se­cu­ri­ties, adding that China now might be more will­ing to make a deal with the US.

Three-month cop­per on the Lon­don Metal Ex­change fell 0.4% to $5,920 a ton by 0329 GMT, while the most-traded cop­per con­tract on the Shanghai Fu­tures Ex­change lost 0.6% to 46,870 yuan ($70,588.84) a ton.

China’s 2018 im­ports of un­wrought cop­per rose 12.9% from a year ear­lier to a record an­nual high of 5.3 mil­lion tons.

Lon­don nickel fell 0.5% while lead broke a six-ses­sion straight gain to de­crease 0.7%. In Shanghai, nickel reached its 6-week high in early trade but gains were capped fol­low­ing China data re­lease.

The sur­prise out­come of Congo’s elec­tion — a vote meant to bring clo­sure to years of tur­moil un­der Pres­i­dent Joseph Ka­bila — has done lit­tle to ease un­cer­tainty for min­ers and in­vestors in a coun­try cru­cial to the elec­tric ve­hi­cle rev­o­lu­tion. —

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