Metals edge up but stormy economic waters lie ahead


All metals increased in price on the LME yesterday, but trouble may lie ahead.

Although copper was up in dollar terms (down in sterling due to weaker dollar) to $9,136 (£5,602) yesterday compared to $9,118 (£5,606) on Friday, it had actually reached $9,225 yesterday before collapsing on poor economic news.


The US Conference Board index of consumer confidence dropped heavily to 44.5 – its lowest level since April 2009. In July, it was 59.2 with a mark of 50 and above indicating positive economic sentiment.

Factory output in Japan slowed to growth of 0.6 per cent in July, which was the lowest since March. Analysts had expected around 1.4 per cent after Japanese factory output increased by 3.8 per cent in June.

On the LME, aluminium edged up to $2,393 (£1,467) from $2,367 (£1,455) on Friday. Alloy was priced at $2,300 (£1,410) on Tuesday from $2,270 (£1,396) on Friday.

Lead was up to $2,492 (£1,528) from Friday’s $2,460 (£1,485). Nickel was at $21,800 (£13,367) on Tuesday from $21,270 (£13,077) at the end of last week.

Tin was at $24,100 (£14,777) from Friday’s $23,750 (£14,602). Zinc was at $2,284 (£1,400) from $2,241 (£1,378) on Friday.

Steel increased to $585 (£359) from $580 (£357) at the end of last week.