Base Metals Preview: Copper Tries To Recover As Focus Shifts On Mining Unrest

COMEX Copper futures fell further yesterday, testing near two week low before carving some gains as meida reports noted that workers at the Escondida copper mine in northern Chile will strike from next week. US equity markets were mixed. European markets declined after Bank of England (BOE) delivered a rate hike while Asian stocks tumbled on renewed US-China trade concerns. The red metal is currently trading marginally higher at $ 2.73 per pound. The counter tanked nearly 3% Wednesday. The MCX Copper futures closed at Rs 416.70 per kg, up 0.46% on the day after testing a low under Rs 413 per kg levels yesterday.

Central banking action seems to be hurting the Copper futures along with weak cues from Chinese economy. The Caixin China manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 50.8 in July, the lowest level in eight months, from 51.0 in June, Caixin Media Co. and research firm Markit said. The 50 level separates an expansion in manufacturing activity from a contraction. Subindices of output and new orders came in lower in July, with new export orders falling at the quickest pace in 25 months, Caixin said.

The US Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged but signaled another imminent rate increase. The Fed said the labour market has continued to strengthen and also noted that economic activity has been rising at a strong rate. Yesterday, the BoEs nine rate-setters were unexpectedly unanimous in their vote to raise rates to 0.75% from 0.50%, the level at which they have spent most of the past decade apart from 15 months after the Brexit vote when they were cut even lower.