Money Market Guru — The prices of Copper regained confidence for the second consecutive day in a row. The benchmark contract ended at Rs 388 per kg. The prices managed to move past Rs 390 during the day which is a good sign, though closure was still below those levels. Copper tested a high of Rs 391.15 per kg, and a low of Rs 387 per kg.
The Statistics Bureau of China said on Tuesday industrial production led by the steel industry jumped 6.3% in January and February of 2017 (released together to smooth out distortions in the data caused by the Chinese New Year).
Fixed asset investment shot up by 8.9% compared to 8.1% for 2016 as a whole thanks to strong private sector investment. China consumes some 46% of the worlds copper and the price of the metal is influenced by broader economic trends thanks to its widespread use in a variety of industries.
Meanwhile, Cerro Verde trade union workers began their indefinite strike last Friday (March 10th) because they had opposite views with employers about their family health benefits and more share of mines profits. They had negotiations but not reached an agreement yet.
In the preliminary ruling on union demands, Perus Ministry of Mines disagreed with the stop of mine production. Based on Perus law, if the governments final ruling went against the strike, this strike would take one week only.
The strike at the BHP Billiton operated mine is already in its 34th day. The previous labour strike in 2006 ended after 25 days while the current wage deal was signed four years ago when copper was trading around $3.40 a pound.
In its annual financial results BHP said it expected full-year production at Escondida of 1.07 million tonnes, which gives the mine a nearly 5% shares of global primary copper production. — Money Market Guru — Pia