Shanghai copper hits 2 month peak over gas shortages

BEIJING – Shanghai copper prices rose 0.7 percent on Monday to a two-month peak as smelters in China cut production amid natural gas shortages in some parts of the country.

    “Due to tight gas supplies in northern China, such as in Hebei and Shandong, some copper processors have been cutting output,” CITIC Futures analysts said in a note in Mandarin.     The impact on copper output may last into early next year, as big copper enterprises are still in talks with gas suppliers, the CITIC analysts said.

SHFE COPPER: The most-traded February copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 0.7 percent to 54,700 yuan ($8,347) a tonne on Monday. The contract hit a peak of 55,280 yuan during the session, its highest since Oct. 25.

LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.7 percent to $7,136 a tonne on Friday, hitting a two-month high at $7,139 per tonne. LME is closed on Monday for the Christmas holiday.

U.S. ECONOMY: U.S. President Donald Trump signed Republicans’ massive $1.5 trillion tax overhaul into law on Friday, cementing the biggest legislative victory of his first year in office, and also approved a short-term spending bill that averts a possible government shutdown.

U.S. DOLLAR: Speculators pared net short U.S. dollar bets, pushing them to their lowest level since mid-November, according to calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.

CHINA: Beijing must proactively but gradually reduce debt in the economy to prevent the buildup of financial risks, state news agency Xinhua quoted the central bank’s deputy governor as saying on Saturday.

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