EXPERT VIEW: What ever happened to the LME bull market?

It was all going so well for the London Metal Exchange metals at the turn of the year: Robust late-2017 price strength was initially carried through into January, with a commensurate increase in turnovers, and the words “bull market” were on many people’s lips.

But, as winter turns into spring and temperatures mostly rise, the heat has gone out of the market, and much of that bullish ardor has cooled while the important second quarter of the year draws nearer. Current prices tell the story only too well. The three-month copper price is back languishing around $6,750 per tonne, not far off its weakest for three months at $6,702 it hit early on Wednesday March 21. It started the year at $7,250 per tonne, but since then has been unable to re-test the late-2017 peak of $7,312.50, which was its best for some four years. Indeed, recent weeks have seen prices struggle to hold the $7,000 level. Aluminium, too has flattered to deceive this year. It kicked off 2018 at $2,276 per tonne, hitting $2,290 soon after, close to the best since March 2012. But now it is back around $2,080. Among the LME’s...


Martin Hayes

March 23, 2018

13:52 GMT