Commodities

METALS-Copper spirals lower as bond rout spooks investors

Credit: REUTERS/Moritz Hager

Copper recoiled on Friday after touching successive multi-year peaks, falling more than 3% as risk-off sentiment hit wider financial markets after a spike in bond yields.

By Eric Onstad

LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Copper recoiled on Friday after touching successive multi-year peaks, falling more than 3% as risk-off sentiment hit wider financial markets after a spike in bond yields.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) CMCU3 had slumped 3.2% to $9,112 a tonne by 1135 GMT, having hit multi-year peaks in six consecutive sessions.

On Thursday, LME copper hit its highest since August 2011 at $9,617 a tonne, 5.6% short if its record high of $10,190 in February 2011.

Other metals, such as aluminium and nickel, were also hit as Asian shares suffered their heaviest fall in nine months amid a rout in global bond markets that sent yields flying. MKTS/GLOB

"The short-term outlook is probably one of caution, with risk-off deleveraging hovering over the market," said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen.

"What we are seeing is probably an overdue and healthy stage of consolidation at best or a correction at worst."

A lot would depend on the reaction of big Chinese players that have taken large positions, such as Shanghai Dalu Futures, which has amassed a $1 billion long position in copper contracts, Hansen added.

"The question is what kind of pain threshold those big whales in the Chinese market have," he said. "We could run into a cascading wave of long liquidation, but I think the fundamental reason for owning commodities will probably prevent a major correction."

The most-traded April copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SCFcv1 closed 2.1% down at 67,950 yuan ($10,507.68) a tonne, but marked its best month since November 2016.

* Peru's Southern Copper Corp SCCO.N plans to push forward new and pending projects as demand from China and constrained supply generally help to propel a global price rally, an executive said.

* LME aluminium CMAL3 fell 1.5% to $2,202 a tonne, zinc CMZN3 declined 1.8% to $2,839.50, nickel CMNI3 dropped 2.8% to $18,660, lead CMPB3 was down 1.6% at $2,124 and tin CMSN3 retreated 3.1% to $26,000.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click

TOP/MTL or MET/L

($1 = 6.4667 yuan)

(Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi Editing by David Goodman )

((eric.onstad@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 7093; Twitter https://twitter.com/reutersEricO; Reuters Messaging: eric.onstad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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