Copper and silver prices spike as governments decarbonize

Money is flowing into the markets for such materials as copper, silver and aluminum on growing demand thanks to a shift to renewable energy and electric cars.

The trend was triggered by solid demand in China, which brought the COVID-19 pandemic under control ahead of other countries. Now investors around the world are trying to get ahead of the curve on the so-called green cycle poised to lift the commodity markets over the long term.

Three-month copper futures on the London Metal Exchange, the global benchmark, hit a seven-year high earlier this month. With the price at $7,984.50 per ton as of Friday, copper futures have risen about 80% from a low in March when the coronavirus was wreaking havoc in China.

Ever since the spread of infections settled down there, the Chinese government has been propping up the economy through public works investment and other steps. “In China, there is a shortage of many industrial products, and this is spreading to materials,” said Naohiro Niimura, a partner at Japanese commodities consultancy Market Risk Advisory.

China’s monthly imports of copper ingots and related products are well above year-earlier levels in volume terms. Meanwhile, many mines in South America and elsewhere have been forced to cut output due to COVID-19 infections. (more…)

US weekly oil inventories -1632K vs -2850K expected

Weekly US petroleum inventory data

  • Prior was -4512K
  • Gasoline -3322K vs -1000K expected
  • Distillates +152K vs -1200K expected
  • Refinery utilization -0.1% vs +0.3% expected
  • Production unchanged at 10.7 mbpd
API data late yesterday:
  • Crude -4264K
  • Gasoline +4991K
  • Distillates -964K
Crude rose about 20 cents on the headlines to $42.79 per barrel. The headline isn’t as bullish as anticipated but the gasoline drawdown was larger.
US weekly oil inventories
The OPEC JMMC meeting is also taking place right now with Russia’s Novak stressing the need for full compliance.

DOE crude oil inventories for July 10 week -7.493M vs -2.098 million estimate

DOE crude oil inventories for the week of July 10, 2020

  • crude oil inventories -7.493 million vs. -2.1 million estimate
  • gasoline inventories -3.147 million vs. -1.3 million estimate
  • distillates inventories -0.453 million vs. 1.5 million estimate
  • Cushing OK crude inventories 0.949 million vs. 2 point to 0 6 million last week
  • US refinery utilization 0.6% vs. 0.5% estimate
  • crude oil implied demand 17637 vs. 17586 last week
  • gasoline implied demand 9248.4 vs. 9290.0 last week
  • distillates implied demand 5023.7 vs. 4380.1 last week
The private API data released near the close of yesterday’s trade showed a bigger than expected drawdown of -8.322. Today’s crude oil inventory data was below the API data by about 900 K. Below are the private data results:
DOE crude oil inventories for the week of July 10, 2020
Crude oil is trading at $40.50 just prior to the report. The current price is trading at $40.64

EIA weekly US oil inventories +7928K vs -1911K expected

Weekly petroleum inventories:

  • Prior was -4982K
  • Gasoline -724K vs +150K expected
  • Distillates +5495K vs +2500K expected
  • Cushing -3395K vs -5587K prior
That’s a big build but it was largely foreshadowed by the API report late yesterday. Oil is under some modest pressure and down 37-cents on the day to $32.44.
API numbers from late yesterday:
  • Crude +8731K
  • Cushing -3370K
  • Gasoline +1120K
  • Distillates +6907K

When Things Go Wrong

The trade falls apart. The stop loss gets hit, but your dealer doesn’t get you out of the trade. Or the spreads widen. Or you forget you have an order in the system and it triggers, and you’re on vacation, and you’re just having a great time until you are on the White Knuckler roller coaster ride and you think to yourself:

Trading is much like holding a fire in your hand.

At the same time, it’s beautiful and mesmerizing (for some of you at least). It hurts, too. When you have a bad trade, you are holding fire in your hands, so to speak. What are you going to do with it? Take a picture of it? Hide from it? Close your hand on it? Blow on it? Pour gasoline on top of it?

We don’t always react in the best of ways to the unexpected trade. Especially if the trade is a loser, or a mistake, we are likely to try to hide from it first. We flee from the scene of the crime.

If things don’t go your way in trading, tackle the situation. Get on top of it. Figure something out, and do it with friends, and do it sooner rather than later. You’ll be happy you put out the fire in your hand.

The Wyckoff Spark

On a recent plane trip, yours truly polished off “How I Trade and Invest in Stocks and Bonds” by Richard D. Wyckoff.

Originally published in 1924, this short little book is a classic — well worth revisiting — and will later get a full review in its own right. (There is just something wonderful about old trading books.)

For now, though, the below passage is excellent — a classic demonstration of utilizing all the principles of the game.

Next in importance to knowing what to buy is the question as to when it should be done. (more…)

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