MORNING VIEW: Rebound in base metals continues after last week’s pullback

Rebounds were under way in the base metals in London and Shanghai this morning, Wednesday June 23, but we will have to wait to see how the metals react to today’s manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) data.

  • To reassure the markets, United States Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said: “We will not raise interest rates pre-emptively because we think employment is too high [or] because we fear the possible onset of inflation”…
  • …so far his words seem to be working.

Base metals
London Metal Exchange three-month base metals prices were up by an average of 0.5% this morning, with all the metals except lead showing gains. Copper led the upward drive with a 0.8% rise to $9,354.50 per tonne, while lead was unchanged at $2,870 per tonne.

The most-active Shanghai Futures Exchange base metals contracts were, for the most part, firmer. With the exception of July lead, which was unchanged, the base metals were up by an average of 2.1%. August copper was up by 2% at 68,560 yuan ($10,570) per tonne.

Precious metals
Spot precious metals were also saw some uplift on Wednesday morning, with the complex up by an average of 0.8% – although most of the heavy lifting was being done by the platinum (1,093.50 per oz) and palladium ($2,586.20 per oz), which were up by 1.3% and 1.7% respectively. Silver, at $25.88 per oz, was up by 0.5%, while gold, at $1,779.11 per oz, was up by 20 cents per oz.

Wider markets
The yield on US 10-year treasuries has pulled back again and was 1.47% this morning, compared with 1.51% at a similar time on Friday.

Asia-Pacific equities were mixed on Wednesday – the Nikkei was +0.07%, the CSI 300 +0.55%, the Kospi +0.43% and the Hang Seng +1.46%, while the ASX 200 -0.63%. was lower.

Currencies
Last week’s rebound in the US Dollar Index has run out of steam and it was recently at 91.81, having peaked at 92.41 on Friday.

Most of the major currencies were consolidating this morning after recent rebounds: Sterling (1.3938), the Australian dollar (0.7543) and the euro (1.1926), while the Japanese yen (110.77) remains on a back footing.

Key data
Data already out on Monday showed Japan’s flash manufacturing PMI dip to 59 in June, from 59.4 in May.

Later today, there will be flash manufacturing and services PMI data out across Europe and the US. Most services data is expected rise, while most manufacturing data is expected to show a decline – albeit with the overall numbers still high and showing manufacturing still expanding.

In addition to the PMI data, there is US data on the current account, new home sales and crude oil inventories.

And US Federal Open Market Committee members Michelle Bowman and Raphael Bostic, along with European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde, are scheduled to speak.

Today’s key themes and views
If last week’s weakness was the full extent of the much awaited correction, then it was relatively mild. Only copper and zinc breached previous pullback lows, with copper falling by the most with a 14.3% correction and zinc pulling back by 9.6%. For now, it is too early to say whether the full extent of the correction has been seen and prices may just be experiencing some initial bargain hunting. But with US Fed members stepping in to reassure the markets it may be that the underlying bullish sentiment has longer to run.


The sell-off in gold has been sharp, but given that the US Fed is not talking about raising rates until 2023 and bond yields have weakened again, then the reaction in gold seems a bit overdone –  especially considering the mounting inflationary pressures.

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