By David Hodari
LONDON--Copper prices slipped further Tuesday, after Monday's bounce gave rise to further profit-taking following weeks of sharp gains and speculative bullishness around the base metal.
The industrial metal fell 0.89% to $6,687.50 a metric ton in midmorning trade in London, with the rest of the base complex also pulling back.
Gold, too, continued to edge lower, falling 0.08% to $1,326.18 a troy ounce, with last week's belligerent back-and-forth between the U.S. and North Korea receding further into the background of geopolitical affairs.
The end of last week saw copper prices start to pull back after months of upward movement, which analysts said was based more on trader optimism about the state of the Chinese economy than it was on supply and demand fundamentals.
"Today we're really just seeing copper settling into that lower range. Friday's selloff was no surprise given how long the market was and it was only a matter of time before the pressure valve was released by some profit-taking," said Kash Kamal, a senior analyst at Sucden Financial.
Data for London Metal Exchange copper, released Friday, revealed that trader bets on copper prices continuing to rise were at their highest since 2004, according to broker Marex Spectron.
Now, though, "with sentiment and fundamentals now looking more aligned, it looks as though prices might consolidate on the previous resistance level of $6,670 where it traded earlier today," Sucden's Mr. Kamal said.
Meanwhile, Chilean data for July 2017 showed mined copper production up 5% for the month year-over-year, although that did little to move the needle on year-to-date production, which is still 7% down on-the-year, according to a note from ING, after strikes at BHP Billiton's mine at Escondida.
Peru's year-to-date output, meanwhile, has been slightly higher, according to Investec.
Traders were looking out for Chinese data on industrial production, expected Thursday, as well as credit and monetary supply data, also due this week.
Among precious metals, silver fell 0.06% to $17.80 a troy ounce, palladium gained 0.51% to $954.05 a troy ounce, and platinum fell 0.39% to $987.75 a troy ounce.
Among base metals, zinc fell 0.73% to $3,065.50 a metric ton, aluminum fell 0.09% to $2,119.50 a metric ton, tin fell 0.22% to $20,705 a metric ton, nickel fell 1.69% to $11,635 a metric ton and lead fell 0.50% to $2,267 a metric ton.
Write to David Hodari at [email protected]