Commodities were off to a mixed start on Monday morning as most of the nonferrous metals started the week in positive territory while crude oil prices came under pressure. Interestingly, statements by President Trump were widely cited as the source of both sets of moves.
On the one hand, the President announced that the March 1 deadline for the implementation of additional tariffs on Chinese imports will be now delayed. COMEX copper prices in New York briefly traded as high as $2.9765/lb. early this morning. Base metal prices in London were mostly firmer in early trading as well, with LME 3-mo. copper and nickel having reached as high as $6,540/mt and $13,175/mt, respectively, before easing back later in the session. Meanwhile, crude oil futures in New York dipped below $56.30 per barrel following President Trump’s tweet that OPEC needs to “relax.” According to Reuters, President Trump tweeted “Oil prices getting too high. OPEC, please relax and take it easy. World cannot take a price hike - fragile!” (And good luck to our friends in the commodity price forecasting business as they attempt to factor presidential tweets into their forecast models.) In foreign exchange trading the dollar was mostly weaker this morning with the euro buying $1.135 as the British pound firmed to $1.31 amid on-going Brexit uncertainty.
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