Gold prices were steady early on Wednesday, supported by expectations of fewer rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve next year, while palladium traded at a premium to gold. The dollar held near a one-month high against its peers on Wednesday, supported by a rebound in U.S. yields and weakness of the pound as its battering from uncertainty about Brexit continued. Asian stock markets edged ahead as U.S. President Donald trump sounded upbeat about a trade deal with China. China has agreed to cut tariffs on U.S.-built cars and auto parts to 15 percent from the current 40 percent, a Trump administration official said on Tuesday, setting the stage for new talks aimed at easing the bitter trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
Short-covering pushed LME copper to the day’s highs of $6,194.5/mt on tuesday. The contract relinquished some gains to close at $6,146/mt as the US dollar gained. The SHFE 1902 contract climbed to a high of 49,370 yuan/mt overnight after a higher open. It came off to close at 49,240 yuan/mt. We expect upward momentum in copper prices to wane today. LME copper is expected to trade at $6,120-6,170/mt with the SHFE 1902 contract at 49,000-49,400 yuan/mt. Spot premiums are seen at 80-220 yuan/mt. As the US dollar surged, LME nickel tumbled to close lower at $10,745/mt overnight, down from the day’s highs of $10,945/mt.
Oil prices climbed by more than 1 percent on Wednesday, lifted by expectations that an OPEC-led supply cut announced last week for 2019 would stabilise markets as well as hopes that long-running Sino-American trade tensions could ease. Disruptions to Libyan oil exports after local militia seized the country’s biggest oil field, El Sharara, were also buoying prices, traders said. The higher prices came amid a broader increase in Asian stock markets after U.S. President Donald Trump told Reuters in an interview that trade talks with China were taking place to defuse the trade disputes between the world’s two biggest economies.
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