The metals complex on the London Metal Exchange is down an average of 0.1%, with the exceptions of aluminium that is off 0.6% ($2,186 per tonne) and nickel that is up 0.8% ($13,775 per tonne). Copper prices are off 0.1% at $7,177 per tonne. Volumes have been light with 2,354 lots traded as of 07:53 am London time. This follows a mixed performance on Friday when aluminium and tin prices were up 2.1% and 0.9% respectively, nickel prices were down 3.4%, while the rest were off between 0.1% and 0.4%. Precious metals prices are firmer with the complex up an average of 0.6%, led by a 1.1% rise in platinum prices, while gold prices are up 0.1% at $1,347.38 per tonne – this follows a day of weakness for bullion prices with gold and silver off 0.5% and 1.4%, while platinum prices were up 0.3% and palladium prices closed up 2.5%. Exchanges remain closed in China for the Lunar New Year holiday and will not reopen until Thursday February 22. In wider markets, spot Brent crude oil prices are up by 0.38% at $65.10 per barrel and the yield on US 10-year treasuries has eased to 2.88%, as has the German 10-year bund yield at 0.72%. Equity markets in Asia are firmer – the Nikkei is up by 1.97%, the Kospi is up 0.87% and the ASX 200 is up by 0.64%. This follows continued rebounds in western markets on Friday, where in the United States the Dow Jones closed up by 0.08% at 25,219.38, and in Europe where the Euro Stoxx 50 closed up by 1.10% at 3,426.80. The dollar index is rebounding, it was recently quoted at 89.14, this after a fresh low of 88.25 on February 16. This has taken the bid out of other currencies with the euro at 1.2414, sterling at 1.4017, the yen at 106.53 and the Australian dollar at 0.7927. Economic data out today is limited – UK house prices climbed 0.8%, later there is data on the EU current account, there is a Bundesbank monthly report and Bank of England governor Mark Carney is speaking. The rebounds in the base metals have paused for now but prices are for the most part poised under recent highs and look well placed to continue to rally. Needless to say with China on holiday until Thursday trading activity may be subdued. We remain bullish overall and expect dips to remain well supported. A rebound in the dollar is creating a bit of a headwind for gold and silver prices, but gold generally seems in favor and the broad based sell-off from two weeks ago may be encouraging some rotation out of equities and bonds into gold. Platinum prices are looking well placed to challenge resistance above $1,000 per oz and palladium prices seem to be rebounding after their recent 15.8% correction.

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