Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were mostly drifting lower during morning trading on Friday, with the complex coming under pressure from a combination of US-China trade tensions and a firmer dollar.

Weakness was the dominant theme across the SHFE base metals complex this morning with only aluminium and zinc managing to secure any gains, albeit marginal ones. Labor unrest has spread throughout South America and threatens to envelop the entire continent and flip the copper market back into a sustained deficit after a strike vote at Chile’s largest copper mine (by production).

Mergers and acquisitions in the metals and mining sector may have slowed overall but battery metals deal activity has begun to accelerate, according to a report by consultancy EY.

China’s steel consumption is expected to grow by 1-2% in 2018, major steel producer ArcelorMittal said in an earnings report on Wednesday.

The pig iron export market in the Commonwealth of Independent States has softened on falling scrap prices, sources told Metal Bulletin on Thursday.

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