Against the backdrop of US President Donald Trump imposing 10 percent tariffs on a further $200 billion worth of Chinese exports, the metal market no doubt saw relief it wasn’t higher as three-month base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange were for the most part firmer on Tuesday.
The precious metals were firmer with gold and silver prices up between 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, with spot gold at $1,199.45 per ounce, while platinum prices were up by 0.9 percent and palladium prices were up by 0.3 percent.
The exception to the stronger showing by the LME base metals was lead, which was down by 0.7 percent.
The rest of the complex saw gains of between 0.1 percent for tin and 0.7 percent for zinc, with copper up by 0.2 percent at $5,964 per tonne.
Volume across the complex has been above average with 9,815 lots traded in the early trading session.
In China, base metals prices were mixed on the Shanghai Futures Exchange as November copper and zinc were up by 0.7 percent and 1.5 percent respectively, copper at 48,480 yuan ($7,060) per tonne while the rest were down between 0.2 percent tin and 1.3 percent for nickel.
Spot copper prices in Changjiang were up by 1.3 percent at 48,710-49,030 yuan per tonne and the LME/Shanghai copper arbitrage ratio was at 8.11.
In other metals in China, the January iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange was up by 1 percent at 506.50 yuan per tonne.
On the SHFE, the January steel rebar contract was up by 0.6 percent, while the December gold and silver contracts were little changed.
In wider markets, spot Brent crude oil prices have weakened and were recently quoted at $77.67 per barrel, down by 0.33 percent early Tuesday.
The yield on US 10-year treasuries was at 3.0044 percent, and the German 10-year bund yield was at 0.4600 percent.
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