Iron Ore Marks Time As China Holidays
Gold and oil fell, copper and zinc had a good week and iron ore marked time as China holidayed.
Iron ore prices hovered around the $US62 A tonne level on Friday with traders waiting for China’s return this week from its National Day break.
The Metal Bulletin’s 62% Fe Iron Ore index ended at $US62.24 a tonne, little changed over a week of sporadic dealings because of the break.
The coming week also sees the release of Chinese trade data for September (and the quarter) on Friday which is likely to show an acceleration in export growth to 10% year on year reflecting the strong global economy and a slight rise in import growth to an annual rate 15%.
The figures for iron ore and coal imports will be closely watched to see if there has been any reduction because f the steel production cuts that started this month in some northern areas around Beijing.
Chinese money supply and credit data will also be released this week, along with car sales figures. Third quarter data will be out next week along with inflation and industrial production, investment and retail sales.
Meanwhile Gold prices ended higher Friday, reversing earlier gains as investors offered a mixed reaction to monthly US jobs data for September and comments from Federal Reserve officials for clues on the central bank’s plan for interest rates.
The jobs report, which included a mixed bag of revisions to recent months’ data and signs of rising wages, is seen supporting the US Federal Reserve from a gold-negative interest-rate hike in December, but Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said Friday that he remains undecided over whether to support a rate increase in December.
Comex December gold rose $US1.70, or 0.1%, to settle at $US1,274.90 an ounce, a weekly fall of about 0.8% after on top of the falls in each of the last three weeks.
Comex December silver added 15.2 cents, or 0.9%, to $US16.790 an ounce for a weekly gain of roughly 0.7%.
Comex December copper slipped 1.8 cents, or 0.6%, to $US3.029 a pound, but was still up around 2.4% for the week.
In London, LME copper registered its largest weekly gain since late August, underpinned by expectations of strong demand from top consumer China.
Three month LME copper ended down at $US6,667 a tonne after peaking at $US6,724.
That left it up 2.9% for the week and more than 20% for the year to date.
Three-month zinc closed 1.6% lower at $US3,235 a tonne, having reached a 10-year high of $US3,308.75 on Wednesday. That left zinc prices up for the week and more than 26% for the year so far.
Three-month aluminium ended down 0.8% $US2,154 a tonne while nickel finished with a 0.6% gain at $US10,600. Tin fell by 1.9% to $US20,550 by the close, with lead finishing 2.3% down at $US2,533.
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.
At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.