Monthly Metal Review
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
China’s manufacturing surged in August, fueled by domestic demand. Output also improved at Euro-pean factories and services companies. The preliminary China purchasing managers index (PMI) by HSBC and Markit Economics jumped from 47.7 in July to August’s 50.1 reading. Markit’s Eurozone preliminary manufacturing PMI rose to a 26-month high of 51.3 from July’s 50.3. Readings above 50 indicate expansion. Markit said the surveys show modest, still-fragile return to growth.
Eurozone industrial production rose by 0.3 percent on-year in June after six declining quarters, data released in August show. Growth was largely due to solid, 0.7-percent growth in Germany and a 0.5-percent bounce in France’s output. Contraction in Italy, Spain and Greece slowed and Portugal grew by 1.1 percent. Manufacturing in Germany, France, and Italy accounts for two-thirds of the bloc's output.
The London Metal Exchange (LME) along with the Hong Kong Exchanges (HKEx) reportedly has chosen Garry Jones, former chief executive of NYSE Liffe to be at the helm of the LME. He will be succeeding outgoing CEO Martin Abbott by year’s end. According to Charles Li, HKEx chief executive, Mr. Jones’s job will be to, “steady the ship and bring it up to the next level”.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, owner of the LME, reported a 10-percent rise on-year in second-quarter net profit to $151 million on rising average daily turnover value and revenue streams from the LME. First-half net profit was up 5 percent. HKEx CEO Charles Li said LME’s base-metals contracts maintain an 80- to 90-percent market share. YTD average daily volume was 685,965 lots daily, up 8 per-cent on-year.
The UK economy posted 0.6 percent second-quarter growth. The Markit/CIPS UK services PMI jumped from June’s 56.9 to 60.2 in July, highest since 2006. Britain’s construction sector grew in July at the fastest rate in three years; factories showed the strongest reading since 2011.
U.S. homebuilder confidence rose in August to the brightest level since 2005, Bloomberg reported, despite July’s on-month 13.4-percent drop in the rate of new single-family home sales. The fallback was blamed largely on reaction to higher mortgage-interest rates. On-year sales were 6.8-percent higher. New-home construction climbed in July; housing starts, led by multifamily projects, rose 5.9 percent to an annual 896,000-unit rate. Housing starts surged on-year 20.9 percent. Building permits were up 2.7 percent. Long-term interest rates rose by more than a point in three months. Unemployment dropped to 7.4 percent in July from 7.6.
BHP Billiton cut long-term bonuses for its management committee and chief executives by 35 percent. It said net profit for fiscal 2013 (ending June 30) plunged 29.5 percent to $10.88 billion year-over-year. Revenue fell 8.7 percent to $65.97 billion as weaker commodity prices and slower global growth more than offset cost reductions.
Australia’s high court upheld a minerals resource rent tax (MRRT), rejecting a challenge by Fortescue Metals. The MRRT imposes a 22.5-percent tax on profits over $75 million derived from extraction of iron ore and coal.
Vale’s second-quarter profit plunged on $2.78 billion in foreign-exchange losses on currency derivatives and debt. Net income tumbled 84 percent to $424 million against $2.6-billion profit a year ago.