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Metals Prices Lower on Trade Concerns; Nickel Drops on Steel Price Slump

CommoditiesSep 11, 2018 02:20PM ET
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© Reuters. Metals prices fell on Tuesday.

Investing.com - Nickel and zinc prices came under fire Tuesday on rising trade tensions and a steep slide in steel prices on expectations for higher inventories as China reportedly curbed its output-cut plans.

Steel rebar futures fell sharply, pressuring nickel, mostly used to make stainless steel, and zinc, mainly used for galvanizing steel, to eight-month and three-week lows, respectively, amid reports China could allow northern provinces to set their own production curbs over winter.

Nickel prices fell 1.57% to 12,212.50, while zinc prices dropped 2.12% to 2,321.50.

The steep drop in nickel and zinc was part of a wider move lower in metals as investors fretted about the impact on commodity demand amid little sign of an end to the U.S.-China trade war.

China told the World Trade Organization (WTO) Tuesday it wanted to impose $7 billion a year in sanctions on the United States, citing Washington’s non-compliance with a ruling in a dispute over U.S. dumping duties.

Copper prices fell 0.30% to $2.62, while aluminum prices fell 1.53% to 2,047.75.

Precious metals, meanwhile, traded mostly up, but gains were kept in a check by a stronger dollar, which followed bullish labor market numbers.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by $2.80, or 0.23%, to $1,202.60 troy ounce.

Silver futures gained 0.06% to $14.19 a troy ounce, while platinum futures added 0.13% to $791.00.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.07% to 95.19, from a session low of 94.84.

In a rising interest rate environment, investor appetite for gold weakens as the opportunity cost of holding the precious metal increases relative to other interest-bearing assets such as bonds.

Metals Prices Lower on Trade Concerns; Nickel Drops on Steel Price Slump
 

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