DJ Metals: Copper Drops as Mine Strike Continues

DJ Metals: Copper Drops as Mine Strike Continues

Copper prices fell on Monday as uncertainty around supply from major mines weighed on sentiment.

Copper for May delivery was recently down 0.6% to $2.6795 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The industrial metal suffered from weakness in Asian stock markets Monday, analysts at Commerzbank said. Stockpiles of copper in China also remain high, with total inventories rising 16% in February compared with the previous month, the largest increase since last March, according to metal analysts.

“[There’s] plenty of rhetoric around supply side issues versus China headwinds but in truth nothing has changed since last week…as such we are in ‘no-mans land’ here,” Matt France, head of institutional sales in Asia at brokerage Marex Spectron, said in a Monday note.

Workers striking over pay at the Chile’s Escondida copper mine, majority-owned by BHP Billiton Ltd., have said they have the funds to remain on strike for over two months. Meanwhile, Freeport-McMoRan Inc. remains locked in a standoff with the Indonesian government over permission to export copper concentrate produced at the Grasberg mine.

Gold prices edged higher Monday, with futures for April delivery trading up 0.1% at $1,260.10 a troy ounce. Prices are on track to close at the highest level since Nov. 11.

Gold has also benefited from political risks linked to the coming election in France and Britain’s efforts to leave the European Union, Commerzbank said in a note. Mixed expectations about whether the Federal Reserve will raise rates next month has also helped support gold, the bank said.

The gold market will be looking ahead to U.S. President Donald Trump’s first address to Congress on Tuesday, which

While we acknowledge the Trump-related upside risks for gold, we need to take into consideration that his actions did not have a negative impact on the economy and financial markets yet,” it added, noting that markets remain on solid footing.

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