Global markets stabilized on Tuesday amid easing trade tensions as three-month base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange consolidated after their weakness on Monday.
Copper, nickel and zinc were all up by 0.2 percent, while aluminium and lead were the stragglers, down by 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent respectively.
On an average basis, the base metals were unchanged this morning, in contrast to the 1.5 percent decline logged on Monday.
Volume was below average with 5,494 lots traded as at 6.09 am London time.
In the precious metals, gold, silver and platinum prices were struggling with losses of 0.3 percent, 0.2 percent and 0.2 percent respectively.
The looming death cross in gold’s technical chart did not bode well for the yellow metal as the 50-daily moving average (DMA) crossed below the 200-DMA.
But palladium managed to eke out a gain of 0.3 percent to $944.70 per oz due to its more industrial background.
In China, base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were weak.
The most-traded September nickel contract led the decline, down by 2 percent, followed by August aluminium and August zinc, with declines of 1.1 percent, while August copper and September tin were both down by 0.7 percent.
The July lead contract was an exception to the broad-based weakness with a small gain of 0.3 percent to 19,720 yuan ($3,031) per tonne.
On average, the SHFE base metals complex was down by 0.9 percent.
In other metals in China, the most-traded October steel rebar contract on the SHFE was down by 1.6 percent, while the SHFE December gold and silver contracts were little changed.
The most-traded iron ore contract on Dalian Commodity Exchange was down 0.6 percent to 461.50 yuan per tonne.
Ongoing trade spats, driven primarily by the US, continue to fuel fear and uncertainty, leading to sell-offs in global equity markets.
US President Donald Trump raised his protectionist stance against China and the European Union, slapping fresh tariffs on both and considering the imposition of additional ones, leading to a further deterioration in trade relations.
The base metals are generally under pressure due to escalating trade tensions between the US and its key trading allies.
All metals have struggled to sustain the upside momentum since the rally in early June, with most giving up the gains they had made earlier in the month.
Copper is trading below $7,000 per tonne again, aluminium continues to shed the gains earned during its Rusal sanction, while zinc is battling its own negative fundamental backdrop and fresh Indonesian exports are weighing on tin prices.
Nickel and lead are holding up better than the other base metals, but these two are being dragged lower as fear and uncertainty continue dominate the complex.
Frontpage February 28, 2019