BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
COPPER prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell to their lowest in two years on Monday following threats from the United States to impose tariffs on Mexican goods which sparked fears of weaker global growth and demand for metals.
Barclays Bank Zambia daily market update indicated that the prices were also affected by a weak Chinese factory data.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged up 0.2 percent to US$5,854 a tonne while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.3 percent to US$6,703.05 a tonne.
The bank also indicated that oil prices steadied on Monday, supported by Saudi Arabia’s comments indicating OPEC and its allies would continue to tighten the crude market following deep losses last week.
“Front-month Brent crude futures gained 1 cent to $62.00 a barrel. Brent crude prices have dropped almost 20 percent from their 2018 peak as global supplies tighten following output curbs by OPEC and Russia, as well as a reduction in Iranian and Venezuelan exports due to U.S. sanctions,” said the bank.
Prices for gold rose on Monday to their highest in more than two months, with investors seeking refuge in safe-haven assets as heightened Sino-U.S. trade tensions and Washington’s threat of tariffs on Mexico stoked worries of a global recession.
Spot gold was up 0.5 percent at US$1,311.15 per ounce, after touching its highest since March 28 at us$1,311.44. U.S. gold futures rose 0.4 percent to US$1,314.40 an ounce.
Meanwhile, the Zambian Kwacha slightly gained against the dollar on Monday to close the trading day at K13.10/13.15 compared to K13.15/13.20 seen on Friday.
The market was fairly quiet with the move in the currency pair mainly characterised by demand and supply.
“We should see the Kwacha continue to trade firm with a bias to strengthen on the back of increased dollar supply,” said the bank.