United Kingdom

Peter Hobson

METALS- Metals tumble as arrest of Huawei executive revives trade fears

06 Dec 2018

LONDON, Dec 6 Most industrial metals prices fell on Thursday and copper hit a three-week low after the arrest of a top Chinese executive in Canada dampened hopes for a resolution to the U.S.-China trade conflict.

METALS-Zinc regains ground after plunging to 10-week low

28 Nov 2018

LONDON, Nov 28 Zinc prices rose on Wednesday as falling stockpiles and rising premiums for nearby metal highlighted a short-term supply squeeze, halting a slide to 10-week lows.

Platinum market set for big surpluses in 2018 and 2019: WPIC

28 Nov 2018

LONDON The global platinum market will be oversupplied by around half a million ounces both this year and next, an industry report said on Wednesday, suggesting little respite for producers facing prices languishing near 10-year lows.

Platinum market set for big surpluses in 2018 and 2019 - WPIC

28 Nov 2018

* Surplus seen at 505,000 oz this year, 455,000 oz next year * Fall in autocatalyst demand to slow next year * Jewellery, industrial and investment demand to rise in 2019 * Platinum supply-demand balance: https://tmsnrt.rs/2RdcdAF * 2018 asset returns: http://tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl By Peter Hobson LONDON, Nov 28 The global platinum market will be oversupplied by around half a million ounces both this year and next, an industry report said on Wednesday, suggesting little respite for producers facing prices languishing near 10-year lows. In its latest Platinum Quarterly report, the World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) revised its forecast for oversupply this year to 505,000 ounces from 295,000 ounces, blaming weak demand for platinum jewellery, and said 2019 would see a surplus of 455,000 ounces. "Supply will grow (in 2019) but demand will grow even more, and reduce the surplus slightly," said the WPIC's head of research Trevor Raymond. Platinum prices hit a 10-year low in August and are down 9 percent this year. The market flipped from deep deficit earlier this decade to surplus as falling use by automakers, jewellers and investors pushed demand from 8.5 million ounces in 2013 to an estimated 7.5 million ounces this year, said the WPIC, which is funded by platinum miners. Raymond said the decline in demand from carmakers would slow next year, while jewellery demand would expand for the first time since 2014, and consumption by industry and investors would grow strongly, lifting total demand by 2 percent. Demand from automakers -- which embed platinum in emissions-reducing catalytic converters and account for around 40 percent of platinum use -- will fall by 1 percent in 2019 after a 7 percent plunge this year as a decline in sales of diesel vehicles in Europe slows, the WPIC said. Carmakers use both platinum and sister metal palladium in autocatalysts, but platinum is used more in diesel engines whose popularity plummeted after Volkswagen was found to have cheated emissions tests in 2015. The WPIC said it assumed no significant substitution next year of palladium for platinum, which is trading at a roughly $300 discount to its sister metal after last year becoming cheaper than palladium for the first time since 2001. Demand for platinum in jewellery will rise by 1 percent in 2019 after a 2 percent decline this year, the WPIC said. Use in industry will increase by 4 percent in 2019 after an 8 percent rise this year and demand for platinum bars and coins for investment will double from 125,000 ounces this year. On the supply side, the WPIC said higher output at mines in South Africa and North America and increased recycling would push supply up 2 percent in 2019 after a 1 percent fall this year. PLATINUM SUPPLY/DEMAND ('000 oz)* Q3 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2017 2018(f) 2019(f) Mine supply 1,630 1,655 1,570 6,065 6,170 Recycling 485 480 480 1,910 1,935 TOTAL SUPPLY 2,115 2,135 2,055 7,975 8,105 Automotive demand 720 805 785 3,110 3,075 Jewellery demand 580 590 580 2,405 2,430 Industrial demand 450 470 425 1,830 1,895 Investment 60 -55 -10 125 250 TOTAL DEMAND 1,810 1,810 1,780 7,470 7,650 Balance 305 325 270 505 455 Above-ground stocks 2,665 3,120 * Source: World Platinum Investment Council, Platinum Quarterly Q3 2018 (Reporting by Peter Hobson; editing by David Evans)

METALS-Zinc falls as weaker Chinese demand outweighs supply fears

26 Nov 2018

(Updates with closing prices) By Peter Hobson LONDON, Nov 26 Zinc prices fell for a second session on Monday as expectations of weaker demand from Chinese steel mills overpowered signs that the market is short of metal. Most other industrial metals also fell on caution over the outcome of trade talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping later this week that could influence demand for commodities. Benchmark three-month zinc on the London Metal Exchange (LME) closed down 1.3 percent at $2,487 a tonne after falling 2.4 percent on Friday. The metal used to galvanise steel was under pressure after demand concerns drove Chinese steel prices down more than 5 percent to a five-month low. Zinc fell 2.5 percent on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) , its biggest one-day drop since August. China is the biggest consumer of zinc and other industrial metals. But prices are supported by stockpiles at 10-year lows and shortages of immediately available metal, said ING analyst Warren Patterson. "Fundamentals (for zinc) are constructive, at least in the short term," he said. ZINC SPREAD: The premium of cash zinc to the three-month contract fell to $63 from last week's two-decade high of $97 but remains unusually high, suggesting a shortage of nearby supply. STOCKS: Stocks of zinc in LME-registered warehouses have halved to 121,550 tonnes since August, a 10-year low, while inventories in ShFE warehouses at around 35,000 tonnes are down from almost 160,000 tonnes in March. TECHNICALS: Zinc has fallen below its 50- and 100-day moving averages, worsening its technical picture. SPECULATORS: Speculative investors are neutral on zinc, with brokers Marex Spectron estimating their net short position at 1.4 percent of active contracts. DEFICIT: The roughly 13.5 million-tonne-a-year zinc market had a 305,000 tonne deficit over January-August, according to the International Lead and Zinc Study Group. SUPPLY: Zinc prices have fallen 30 percent from a February high as investors anticipated a surge in refined zinc output after a clutch of new mine openings. But delays in that new supply due to bottlenecks at smelters across Asia have put a floor under prices, helping them recover from an August low of $2,283 a tonne. CHINA GROWTH: Economic growth in China is expected to hit 6.6 percent this year and slow to 6.3 percent in 2019, economists from Beijing's Renmin University said. PRICES: LME Copper ended down 0.3 percent at $6,189 a tonne, aluminium finished up 0.1 percent at $1,951.50, nickel lost 0.4 percent to $10,875, lead slipped 1.3 percent to $1,943 and tin closed up 0.5 percent at $18,900. (Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in Singapore and Melanie Burton in Melbourne; Editing by Mark Potter, Jan Harvey and Adrian Croft)

METALS-Nickel tumbles to 13-month low on demand fears

23 Nov 2018

LONDON, Nov 23 Nickel prices on Friday touched their lowest since October last year, pulled down by worries about a supply surplus in 2019 and weaker demand from China, the largest consumer of the metal.

Gold worth $37 billion traded in London each day, new data shows

20 Nov 2018

LONDON Members of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) traded at least 30.2 million ounces of gold worth $36.9 billion (28.7 billion pounds) each day last week, the LBMA said on Tuesday, presenting new data that gives the most accurate picture yet of the London market.

METALS-Signs of tight supply push copper and zinc higher

16 Nov 2018

(Updates with closing prices) By Peter Hobson LONDON, Nov 16 Copper rose on Friday as signs of supply tightness supported prices, but worries about the outcome of the U.S.-China trade dispute limited gains. Supply shortages also powered zinc towards its biggest weekly gain since September. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange closed up 0.3 percent at $6,205 a tonne, 2.4 percent higher this week. Prices rallied after news that Chinese smelter Jiangxi Copper and miner Antofagasta had agreed lower treatment and refining charges for 2019, said ING analyst Warren Patterson. "This is showing that either there is a tightening in concentrate supply or too much spare smelting capacity in China. I think it's a mixture of the two," he said. China is the world's biggest consumer of metals. Metals received a further boost when the U.S. dollar weakened after Federal Reserve officials appeared to question the pace of interest rate rises and from strong U.S. manufacturing data. A weaker dollar makes metals cheaper for buyers who hold other currencies. But while supply-demand fundamentals were good for copper, uncertainty about U.S.-China trade talks -- which has helped push metals prices sharply lower since the summer -- were still weighing on prices, Patterson said. COPPER STOCKS: Headline copper inventories in LME-registered warehouses fell by 5,425 tonnes to 161,025 tonnes, nearing last month's 10-year low of 136,675 tonnes. SPREAD: Another signal of tight supply is the premium of cash copper over the three-month contract , which has drifted from a near four-year high of $47 last month to $18.50 but is still far above recent norms. TECHNICALS: Copper was holding above its technically important 50-day and 100-day moving averages around $6,160-$6,165. U.S.-CHINA TRADE TALKS: A senior White House official told Reuters a written response sent this week by China to U.S. demands for trade reforms was unlikely to trigger a breakthrough at talks. ZINC: Benchmark LME zinc closed 1.2 percent higher at $2,607 a tonne, up 3.5 percent this week, with stockpiles in the LME's warehouse system falling to a 10-1/2-year low of 125,400 tonnes. SPREAD: The premium of cash zinc over three-month metal has surged to $78.75, the highest since October last year, from a discount of more than $20 two months ago, suggesting a shortage of available material. OTHER METALS: LME aluminium finished up 0.6 percent at $1,940 a tonne, nickel ended 0.9 percent higher at $11,360, lead gained 3.6 percent to $1,998 and tin closed down 0.2 percent at $19,350. (Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen Editing by Edmund Blair, Dale Hudson and Kirsten Donovan)

Palladium zooms towards parity with gold for first time in 16 years

16 Nov 2018

LONDON Palladium <XPD=> is outgunning other precious metals, with a surge to record highs putting it within a whisker of parity with gold <XAU=> for the first time in 16 years.

Bank of France partners with JPMorgan to boost gold bullion services: sources

12 Nov 2018

LONDON The Bank of France has partnered with U.S. banking group JPMorgan to expand its range of gold bullion services for central banks, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

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