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Metals Market Sending Mixed Messages (Again)

Sept. 17, 2018
The Copper Journal's John Gross says uncertainty in metals pricing because of tariffs, along with the resulting volatility, is taking a toll on the entire global metals industry.

Early last week, it seemed that trade tensions were easing, and sensing something of a thaw in the cold relations, metal prices picked up a bit. For sure, there it was, right on the front page of Thursday’s Wall Street Journal in big print: “U.S. Seeks New Trade Talks with China to Avoid Tariffs.”

The article went on to say/suggest that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin invited senior Chinese officials to restart talks in an attempt to sort out the issues. So base metals moved higher again on Thursday, with December copper on Comex trading up to $2.7175, and looking better than it had over the past few weeks.

But alas, hopes were dashed on Friday when it was reported that President Trump was going to proceed in putting new tariffs in place. And with that, copper retreated again, closing down 3.70¢ to $2.6460, and still lower in the aftermarket. To state the obvious, this is not good and the uncertainty, along with the resulting volatility is taking a toll on the entire global metals industry.

John Gross is publisher of The Copper Journal. If you would like to learn more about profitably managing your wire and cable inventory, hedging strategies or gaining additional insight into metals pricing, email John by clicking here or calling him at 631-824-6486.