Copper prices got off to a slow start in the new year, dropping 2.09% last week – hitting a low we haven’t seen since December 22. The red metal slid further on Monday, but firmed up a bit in early trading Tuesday thanks to the U.S. dollar losing a little luster; and, in part, to traders getting back in the swing of things after the holidays and spirited Chinese demand.
“All signs continue to point to higher highs for the base metal in 2018,” says Andrew Hecht of Seeking Alpha. “Copper is currently retreating from its latest high, but I continue to believe that this correction will take the base metal to yet another higher low on its journey to the upside. However, it is possible that the current correction could take the price back towards the $3 level over coming sessions. I would look to buy on a scale-down basis and would only become concerned if March copper futures fall below the early December lows at $2.9430 per pound.”
The year-end numbers here in the States may have had something to with the markets in general as the U.S. economy added 148,000 jobs in December. That is well below the expected 190,000 forecasted. The employment data showed fewer jobs created, but the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%. On a positive note, earnings rose by an annualized 2.5% in December.
A flurry of data is coming in the weeks ahead as China’s year-end numbers are expected to have a strong showing. Other reports due this week will give us a hint on how the start of 2018 is going to shape up – this includes spending here in the U.S., as well as Chinese trade at the end of 2017.
Thanks to our friends at www.investing.com, here is a quick overview of some of the events this week that will likely affect the markets and the price of copper:
Tuesday, January 9
Australia is to publish data on building approvals.
Germany is to report on industrial production and the trade balance.
The euro zone is to report on the unemployment rate.
Wednesday, January 10
China is to release data on producer and consumer price inflation.
The UK is to report on manufacturing production and the trade balance.
Canada is to publish figures on building permits.
The U.S. is to report on import prices.
Thursday, January 11
Australia is to produce data on retail sales.
The European Central Bank is to publish the minutes of its December policy meeting.
Canada is to release data on new house price inflation.
The U.S. is to publish data on producer price inflation and initial jobless claims.
Outgoing New York Fed President Bill Dudley is to deliver remarks at an event in New York.
Friday, January 12
China is to report on the trade balance.
The U.S. is to round up the week with what will be closely watched data on consumer inflation and retail sales.