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Metal Stocks June 17, 2021 02:01:43 PM

Copper sinks to two-month low as dollar strengthens

Anil Mathews
ScrapMonster Author
Copper prices fell to their lowest in two months on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve brought forward its expectations for raising interest rates, sending the dollar higher and sapping demand for metals.

Copper sinks to two-month low as dollar strengthens

LONDON, June 17 (Reuters) - Copper prices fell to their lowest in two months on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve brought forward its expectations for raising interest rates, sending the dollar higher and sapping demand for metals.

Prices have also been weighed down by top consumer China’s plans to release industrial metals from its national reserves to curb surging commodity prices.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) fell 4% to $9,285 a tonne by 1600 GMT, after earlier hitting its lowest since April 20 at $9,276.

“The trigger for prices has been the Fed and the Chinese saying they will release copper, ali and zinc into the market,” said independent consultant Robin Bhar.

“The Fed indicated it may have to hike rates sooner than they had originally anticipated and that’s dealt a blow to gold and to the metals as well.”

The Fed signalled the changes to policy, which include raising interest rates and ending bond buying, may happen sooner than expected.

This pushed the dollar to its highest in two months, making commodities priced in the greenback more expensive and less appealing to holders of other currencies.

EXPLAINER: China is the world’s top metals consumer and a major release of reserves could significantly change global supply and demand balances.

INDEXES: China will issue new rules on the management of price indexes for commodities and services, it said on Thursday, as the government steps up scrutiny of the country’s commodity markets and battles to contain inflation.

INVENTORIES: LME on-warrant copper stocks MCUSTX-TOTAL rose to their highest in a year at 132,125 tonnes.

POSITIONING: Funds continued to reduce their long positions in LME copper. The LME net spec long in copper had fallen to 15% of open interest as of Monday, compared to 62% in February, according to broker Marex.

OTHER PRICES: LME aluminium shed 3% to $2,394 a tonne, zinc dipped 4% to $2,905, lead lost 3% to $2,133, tin gave up 1.8% to $30,645, while nickel slipped 2.5% to $17,180. 

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