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Base Metals: Winners and Losers

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Mixed performance

Base metals showed a mixed performance on February 1. On Monday, copper, nickel, and tin fell on the LME (London Metal Exchange), while other metals gained. Base metal miners Glencore (GLNCY), Alcoa (AA), BHP Billiton (BHP), and Rio Tinto (RIO) fell by 2.4%, 1.1%, 0.82%, and 0.61%, respectively.

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Copper and aluminum losing strength

LME 3M (three-month) copper prices fell by 0.02% on Monday and remained almost unchanged from the previous day’s close. LME copper declined to a low of $4,496.50 on Monday and closed at $4,560 per metric ton. Last week, LME copper gained 2.7%. Since the beginning of 2016, copper has fallen by 3.1%. The price level of $4,600 per metric ton is the nearest resistance level for LME copper.

On February 1, copper on COMEX fell by 0.56%. LME 3M aluminum gained for the second consecutive trading day. On Monday, LME 3M aluminum rose to 0.13% and closed the day at $1,521 per metric ton. The price level of $1,550 per metric ton is the next resistance level for aluminum. It drifted to a low of $1,450 per metric ton on January 12 and rose 4.9% from that low. Since the beginning of 2016, LME 3M aluminum has risen by 0.93%.

Nickel trading at a two-week low

LME 3M nickel fell by 1.9% on Monday and ended the day at $8,460 per metric ton. This is the lowest day’s close for LME 3M nickel since January 15, which makes it a two-week low. Since January 19, LME 3M nickel has been consolidating near the price level of $8,500 per metric ton. On Monday, nickel broke this price level and drifted lower. LME 3M zinc gained for the second consecutive trading day. On February 1, LME 3M zinc gained 1.5% and ended the day at $1,648 per metric ton. This is the highest day’s close for zinc since November 6, 2015, which makes it a two-and-a-half month high. The price level of $1,700 per metric ton is the nearest prominent resistance level for zinc.

LME 3M lead gained 0.81% on Monday and closed at $1,732 per metric ton. LME tin fell by 0.3% on Monday to $14,805 per metric ton. The PowerShares DB Base Metals ETF (DBB) gained 0.51% on February 1.

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