LONDON, Dec 15 (Reuters) – Copper came under pressure on Friday from profit-taking ahead of the holiday period, but expectations of strong demand in top consumer China after data showed firm industrial activity lent support to prices. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was little changed at $6,795 a tonne at 1128 GMT compared with Thursday’s near two-week high at $6,847. Prices are up more than 20 percent so far this year. “Copper is seeing some profit-taking, book-squaring, but it seems to have established a floor at $6,500 and fundamentals are pretty strong on the back of the global economy and China,” said Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar. “We may see some volatility over the new year and we may have to wait until after the Chinese new year in February to see clear where China demand is going.” INDUSTRY: China’s industrial output, highly correlated with copper prices, rose 6.1 percent in November from the same period last year, surpassing analysts’ estimates for a rise of 6.0 percent. HOLIDAY: Industrial activity in China typically slows ahead of the country’s Lunar New Year holiday, which in 2018 is on Feb. 15-21. INDICES: The first few working days of January will see a rebalancing of commodity indices, which given the rally in industrial metals this year may mean sellers dominate. SLOWING: However, analysts at BAML noted that activity in China had been slowing for a while. “Indeed, 3 out of 6 sectors are at present contracting and recent history suggests that a weakening of activity in one more sector would trigger year-on-year price declines. As such, we remain cautious copper into year-end,” they said in a note. TECHNICALS: Resistance on the upside is at $6,817, the 55-day moving average, and support is at $6,773, the 21-day moving average. Major support kicks in at $6,670, the 100-day moving average. ZINC: Prices were up 0.2 percent at $3,195 a tonne from an earlier $3,199, the highest since December 5 on concern the tightness seen this year would also be a feature of the market next year. ZINC SPREADS: However, on the LME market, receding concerns about availability have seen the premium for the cash over the three-month contract MZN0-3 fall to zero from above $90 a tonne in October, the highest since December 2006. LEAD: Prices were up 0.5 percent at $2,499 a tonne. It has been boosted in recent weeks by the expectation of strong demand from auto battery makers during the winter. OTHER METALS: Aluminium was up 0.6 percent at $2,061, tin rose 0.1 percent to $18,925 and nickel gained 0.9 percent to $11,250.

Cookie Consent Banner von Real Cookie Banner