METALS-Copper rebounds from 3-month low after Yellen comments

Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:42am EST

Related Topics

* Tin trade picks up on Indonesia ICDX exchange

* China consumers eye $6,950 level for copper buys-trader

* Coming Up: U.S. international trade at 1330 GMT

By Melanie Burton

SINGAPORE, Nov 14 (Reuters) - London copper bounced on Thursday from three-month lows hit in the previous session after dovish comments by Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen soothed concerns that the United States could begin tapering its huge bond-buying programme this year.

Copper on Wednesday finally crashed out of the $7,000-$7,420 a tonne range that it had been in for the past three months as rising risk aversion and growing supply blunted appetite for metal.

Its rebound, however, appears lukewarm and traders said short-term technical indicators have turned bearish, paving the way for further selling.

"People are in a bit of a state of confusion over the timing of tapering," said analyst Alexandra Knight of National Australia Bank (NAB) in Melbourne.

"The U.S. jobs data came out earlier in the week, which swung expectations towards tapering this year, but maybe Yellen's comments have pushed it back a bit the other way," she added.

Yellen, President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Federal Reserve, thinks the U.S. central bank has "more work to do" to help an economy and a labour market that are still underperforming.

Loose monetary policy tends to support commodities because liquidity is more easily available for businesses and investors.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange climbed 0.37 percent to $7,006 a tonne by 0703 GMT, paring the 2 percent fall in the previous session.

Copper prices fell as far as $6,956 a tonne on Wednesday, the lowest since Aug. 7.

The most-traded January copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dropped 0.7 percent to close at 50,450 yuan ($8,300) a tonne, also touching a three-month low.

"Chinese consumers are waiting patiently under $6,950 - I've not seen too many panic and pay up this morning," said a trader in Singapore.

Growing supply is a overhang for the copper market.

In one example of a major new mine project, Rio Tinto is set to submit a mine plan to U.S. authorities this week for its $6 billion Resolution project in Arizona, which could become the largest copper producer in North America.

"We do think it will be in surplus next year, but it will be a small surplus. We are definitely expecting more supply to come on line which could put some downwards pressure on prices," said Knight of NAB.

New regulations in top tin exporter Indonesia forcing local producers to trade on a domestic exchange before export have crimped availability of tin metal, which is being reflected in LME spreads and also in rising physical premiums.

"Supply has definitely tightened up, even for low purity tin in the past month. A lot of people are looking for alternative sources of supply," said one physical trader in Singapore.

He quoted premiums for low lead tin around $300, up around $100 from late September.

On the LME, cash tin prices rose $36 higher than benchmark three-month prices on Wednesday, the loftiest since early September, while LME tin stocks have dropped to their lowest in about one year.

Volumes of the Indonesia's tin contracts have picked up in the past two days, although they remain at low levels, trading around 140 lots, equivalent to 700 tonnes that will be available for export.

PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Three month LME tin

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.