Iron Ore Bucks Metals Sell-Off
Apart from iron ore, we saw a nasty sell off in metals prices last week as the fear in equities spread to other markets.
The 4% share slide on Friday in China and 10% for the week (in Shanghai) also battered confidence in commodities like gold and copper.
Not helping was the slump in oil as fears about rising US production battered confidence (see separate story).
But iron ore prices fell below $US77 a tonne China on Friday as interest slowed ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays later this week.
The Metal Bulletin’s 62% Fe Iron Ore Index fell 86 cents to $76.46 per tonne.
That was still up on the close the week before of $US74.39 a tonne, still down from the $US79.08 a tonne reached on January 11.
In New York Comex gold futures fell on Friday and suffered from their largest weekly loss in two months, as investors worried about volatility in global stocks and a the US dollar had one of its best weekly performance in more than a year.
April gold futures gave up $US3.30, or 0.3%, to settle at $US1,315.70 an ounce after hitting a high of $US1,325.
Gold futures fell 1.6% last week, the largest since the first week of December according to FactSet figures.
Comex March silver shed 20.2 cents, or 1.2%, to $US16.139 an ounce, for a larger loss of 3.4% on the week.
And Comex March copper ended at $US3.034 a pound, down 1.6% on the day and nearly 5% for the week.
That fall followed a sell off in London on the LME as copper hit an eight week low of $US6,750 and a fall of around 4% last week.
Three-month copper on the LME ended down 1.3 percent at $US6,755 a tonne.
The fall was largest weekly drop since 2016. Helping drive copper lower was the sell off in Chinese shares - down 4% in Shanghai on Friday alone and a massive 10% for the week.
Lead was the biggest loser among the major industrial metals, down around 7% last week and 1.1% on Friday. Nickel, zinc and tin all lost ground on Friday and last week.
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.