Base Metals Trading at Multiyear Lows



Copper and aluminum started the week in losses

On November 17, the performance of LME base metals was disappointing with zinc being the biggest loser of the day. Demand woes have been keeping the pressure on base metals, and the surge in the US dollar on November 17 made the situation worse.

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LME 3M Copper fell by 0.13% on November 17 and ended the day at $4,684 per metric ton. On Tuesday, LME Copper traded at the price level of $4,590 per metric ton, its lowest since May 2009. According to the data released by US Commodity Futures Trading Commission at the beginning of this week, the short positions in copper rose by 39%, the highest rise since January 2014. Since the beginning of 2015, copper fell by 25% and seems to be heading lower.

LME 3M Aluminum remained almost unchanged by rising 0.23% on Tuesday. It ended the day at $1,474 per metric ton. After consolidating in the previous week, aluminum started this week with a loss and fell by 1.1% in the first two trading sessions. LME Aluminum has been in a complete downtrend since the beginning of May because of weak global demand. Since then, it fell by 25%.

Nickel and zinc trading at multiyear lows

LME Nickel fell by 2.2% on November 17 and ended the day at $9,105 per metric ton. This is the lowest day close for LME Nickel since 2008. The price level of $9,000 per metric ton is the psychological support level for nickel. LME Zinc fell by 2.5% on Tuesday and closed the day at $1,548 per metric ton. This is the lowest price level for zinc since 2009.

LME Tin and LME Lead remained unchanged on November 17. Tin closed at $14,700 per metric ton, or the same as the previous day’s close, whereas lead fell by 0.09%, marking it as almost unchanged. This weak performance of base metals resulted in the fall of Rio Tinto (RIO), Alcoa (AA), and BHP Billiton (BHP). The PowerShares DB Base Metals Fund (DBB) and the SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) fell by 1.6% and 3.2%, respectively, on November 17.


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