Weekly Update: Miners Trade Mixed, Copper Prices Fell
The LME (London Metals Exchange) three-month copper contract fell 1.6% last week. Notably, copper fell on each trading day last week with the exception of Friday. On November 10, copper closed marginally higher compared to its closing on Thursday. Despite last week’s sell-off, copper is having a strong year like most of the other industrial metals. Copper has risen 23.8% in 2017 and built on its 2016 gains. Copper rose 17.4% last year and ended its five-year drought.
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Last week was mixed for copper miners amid falling copper prices. Looking at major copper miners, Glencore (GLEN-L) was the biggest loser in our select group of miners—it fell 4.2% last week. Antofagasta (ANTO) fell 2.4% last week. However, Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) rose 1.8%. Southern Copper (SCCO) and First Quantum Minerals (FM) rose 2.4% and 8.3%, respectively, last week.
While Freeport outperformed copper last week, the stock has trailed copper’s returns on a year-to-date basis. Even Freeport’s 3Q17 earnings beat failed to enthuse investors as markets await the resolution of its issue in Indonesia. Read Freeport-McMoRan’s Will-She-Won’t-She Moment with Indonesia for an overview of the various issues that Freeport faces in Indonesia.
In this series, we’ll look at the key developments that impacted copper prices last week. We’ll also look at the key events that copper investors should watch this week.