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Metals cup half full

Sagging metals prices, despite a weaker US dollar, may see Asia Pacific markets turn sour today. Gains for the Euro and Yen and soggy European shares could weigh on the region. A lack of data releases today doesn’t help. The RBA will almost certainly keep interest rates at current levels after its meeting today, but the results of the US mid-term elections tonight may have greater market impact.

Copper, lead, zinc and tin were smoked in overnight trading. Weakness in Comex futures this morning suggests Shanghai metals markets will cede yesterday’s gains. This anti-growth move appears as the product of vacillating Brexit and trade war sentiment. Curiously in this risk off environment gold also edged lower as bonds received the benefit of save haven seeking.

Analysts are looking for the RBA’s response to lower than forecast unemployment, although no changes to its upbeat assessment are expected. The recent strength of the AUD may continue if there are no surprises in the central bank’s statement.

Futures are pointing to a mixed start for shares, with Hong Kong and Tokyo investors looking for opening gains, while Shanghai and Sydney are under pressure. Good reporting from US companies, especially oil and gas producers, may ease some concerns. Markets are remarkably complacent about the US mid-term elections. A change of control of the lower house of Congress is allegedly priced into current market levels, but some traders warn the lack of market reaction could be a product of denial.

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