A swathe of industrial metal futures’ prices fell across the board on Wednesday with economic bellwether copper contracts diving to their lowest in roughly two months as a sharp uptick in inflation indicators had fleshed up possibilities of a tapering off fiscal support in a near term, while a constant increase in the prices of raw materials and supply shortage coupled with a rapid rise in delta cases had reinforced demand concerns ahead of a Central Bankers’ conference.
In point of fact, latest weakness in metal futures’ prices came against the backdrop of a downbeat factory output in China last month, while China’s retail sales had been hit with a hefty whiplash in July, eventually souring investors’ sentiment.
Apart from that, US retail sales were tanked last month and US housebuilding fell more than anticipated, stoking worries of a potential lag in demands, however, orders for US-borne core capital goods rose in July and manufacturing outputs remained upbeat, portraying a mixed picture across global metal markets.
On top of that, a sharp upswing in delta cases in major economies across the globe including the US, UK and EU, had prompted investors to harness a ‘wait-and-see’ approach.
Copper falls to two-month low amid demand concerns
Citing statistics, in the day’s commodity market wind-down, three-month copper futures in LME (London Metal Exchange) fell 2.3 per cent to $9,031 per ton, remarking a third straight day of decline in a row and the lowest level since June 21.
Among other industrial metals, LME aluminum faltered 1.4 per cent to $2,562 per ton, while LME nickel shed 1.7 per cent to $18,875 a ton. In tandem, Zinc lost 1.0 per cent to $2,984 per ton, while lead and tin contracts curbed 1.5 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively to $2,289 and $35,360 per ton.
Meanwhile, addressing to the annual Jackson Hole Conference of Central Bankers scheduled to be taken place on August 26-28 in Wyoming, a head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen, Ole Hansen said, “We’re seeing a breakdown in the technicals, the growth outlook from China is not supportive and the dollar is challenging key resistance areas.
It’s a wait-and-see kind of market. There could be potential for changing the stance on interest rates and tapering (of monetary stimulus) next week, so it’s keeping the market nervous”.