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Copper Prices Flat as Traders Await Chinese Factory Data

May 30, 2017 at 16:54 by Andrew Moran

Copper futures are trading flat as investors await Chinese factory data. With the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed for the Dragon Boat Festival, important Chinese industrial data will not be shared with the public until Wednesday. For now, copper volumes are remaining quiet on Tuesday.

July copper futures rose $0.003, or 0.12%, to $2.569 per pound at 16:39 GMT on Tuesday. Copper is in a quiet trade, but has been impacted by technical selling. The industrial metal declined by 1.2% on Friday, which is the largest loss in three weeks.

Year-to-date, copper prices have stayed relatively flat and have pared most of its early 2017 gains.

Chinese markets are closed on Tuesday for a public holiday. This means that much of the crucial economic data will not be published until Wednesday. That has not stopped analysts from making forecasts. PMI data is expected to highlight the slowest growth in Chinese factory activity since September. Experts believe that manufacturing will continue to be sluggish for the rest of 2017.

Beijing has been engulfed in negative economic news so far this year. Last week, Moody’s Investor Service, the global credit rating agency, downgraded China’s credit for the first time in three decades to A1. It also revised the nation’s economic outlook from negative to stable.

It was reported on the same day that China’s copper imports cratered by 41% last month.

Any gains made by copper on Tuesday were supported by a decrease in on-warrant stocks available to warehouses registered with the London Metal Exchange (LME). These stocks have dipped to 153,500 tonnes – stocks have fallen by one-third since the middle of April.

Supplies of the red metal have returned to normal as some of the world’s biggest mines have restarted operations following work disruptions.

It is a mixed bag for other metals. June gold futures tumbled $5.90, or 0.46%, to $1,265.50 per ounce. July silver futures jumped $0.06, or 0.39%, to $17.39 an ounce.

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