LONDON, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Copper prices moved lower on Monday as a currency crisis engulfing Turkey rippled across markets and prompted investors to dump riskier assets. Industrial metals, global stocks and currencies including the Chinese yuan all fell while the dollar surged to a 13-month high, ramping up pressure on metals priced in the U.S. currency by making them more expensive for buyers with other monies. “It’s very much a macro trade,” said Deutsche Bank analyst Nick Snowden. “The risk from a broader emerging markets currency perspective is a key driver of (metals) prices.”
COPPER: Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 1.3 percent at $6,113.50 at 1014 GMT, moving towards a one-year low of $5,988 hit in July. The metal used in power and construction has tumbled around 17 percent since early June as investors fret that a U.S.-China trade dispute will damage economic growth and metals demand.
PECULATORS: Speculators have expanded bets on lower prices. In Comex copper the net short position is the highest since September 2016, while on the LME it is rising towards July’s peak, brokers Marex Spectron said.
CHINA: China, the world’s largest metals user, continued moves to stimulate its slowing economy. Banks issued more new loans than expected in July and the state planner approved $11.45 billion of urban railway projects in a northern city.
CHILE STRIKES: A vote by workers at Chile’s Caserones copper mine to strike from Tuesday failed to lift prices. Caserones produced 122,800 tonnes of copper last year, less than the 464,000 tonnes made at Chile’s El Teniente, where unions said on Friday they had accepted a pay offer.
Investors were looking to the outcome of talks this week at Escondida, also in Chile and the world’s largest copper mine with output of 903,000 tonnes last year.
ZINC: LME zinc was down 1.1 percent at $2,518.50 a tonne, moving the metal used to galvanise steel back towards July’s 13-month low of $2,473.85.
ZINC STOCKS: Zinc stocks at LME-registered warehouses rose by 14,775 tonnes, back towards levels held in June and July.
ZINC SPREAD: The premium of cash zinc over the three month contract meanwhile plummeted to $3 from more than $50 a week ago, signalling greater availability of nearby metal.
DOMINANT HOLDINGS: But ongoing concerns over tight supply have been bolstered by data showing one entity holds 50-79 percent of LME copper warrants and one entity controls 50-79 percent of LME zinc warrants.