London copper prices slid on Monday, easing for a second session amid pressure from concerns over slowing factory activity in the world’s biggest industrial metals consumer China.
Trading was dampened by the week-long Lunar New Year holiday which has closed markets in China.
Asia stocks hovered near four-month highs on Monday after a mixed performance on Wall Street at the close of last week, while the dollar firmed against the yen following strong U.S. employment and manufacturing data.
COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.3 percent, to $6,119.50 a tonne by 0652 GMT.
FACTORY ACTIVITY: China’s factory activity shrank by the most in almost three years in January as new orders slumped further and output fell, a private survey showed, reinforcing fears that a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy is deepening.
HOLIDAYS: “There’s a lack of trading activity because of Lunar New Year holidays in China,” said Helen Lau, analyst, Argonaut Securities. “China’s slowing manufacturing is weighing on metals markets.”
TRADE DEAL: Expectations of a trade deal between Washington and Beijing kept a floor under the market. U.S. President Donald Trump said he would meet China’s Xi Jinping soon to try to seal a comprehensive trade deal, citing substantial progress.
JOBS DATA: A U.S. Labor Department report on Friday showed nonfarm payrolls jumped by a stronger-than-forecast 304,000 jobs last month, the largest gain since February 2018. That report, along with better-than-expected ISM manufacturing activity numbers for January, pointed to underlying strength in the world’s biggest economy.
DEAL: Top copper miner Codelco said it had struck a contract deal with the union of supervisors at its Gabriela Mistral mine in northern Chile, averting the threat of a strike.
CME: The CME Group has reinstated approved status for warranting aluminium produced by United Company Rusal after U.S. sanctions were lifted against the company on Sunday.