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Copper Futures Flat Despite Positive Trump-Kim Summit

June 12, 2018 at 16:41 by Andrew Moran

Copper futures are trading flat on Tuesday after a positive meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un. The industrial metal is trying to find a direction following the historic summit as well as potential supply disruptions in Latin America.

July copper futures dipped $0.003, or 0.09%, to $3.254 per pound at 16:20 GMT on Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Copper prices have had a strong start to June as they are up about 6%, but the red metal is still down 2% year-to-date.

Despite a positive outcome from the Trump-Kim summit on Monday, copper investors shrugged off the developments. The two leaders signed an agreement that would prompt Pyongyang to denuclearize, continue open relations between the two sides, and suspend U.S.-led military exercises in the Korean Peninsula. This was not enough for traders to help copper muster up a rally.

Last week, copper prices had touched a four-year high on concerns that a strike may unfold at BHP’s Escondida mine in Chile over wage disputes – the union is demanding a salary bump of 5% and a $34,000 bonus. The company issued a statement to calm traders, explaining that executives want to reach a “mutually beneficial agreement” by negotiating the “different points of interest.”

New data coming from China shows copper imports climbed to a 17-month high of 475,000 tonnes in May, up 22% from the same time a year ago. In the first five months of 2018, copper imports hit 2.15 million tonnes, also up 16.7% from 2017.

Copper also could not take advantage of a lower US dollar as the greenback slipped 0.07% to 93.54. A weaker buck is typically a boon for commodities priced in dollars because it makes it cheaper for foreign investors to purchase. Year-to-date, the US dollar is up more than 1.5%.

Other metal commodities are in the red. August gold futures slid $1.70, or 0.13%, to $1,301.50 per ounce. July silver futures fell $0.01, or 0.06%, to $16.95 an ounce. July platinum futures plunged $4.10, or 0.45%, to $902.30 per ounce. July palladium futures shed $0.30, or 0.03%, to $1,016.20 per ounce.

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