Industrial metals such as copper and aluminum of course have different supply/demand fundamentals. They intertwine in diverse ways with significant movements in interest rate and currencies, especially the United States dollar. The overall base metals complex often travels in the same fashion (direction) as precious metals. Yet focus on global stock marketplaces in relation to base metals “in general”. Significantly, from the later stages of the glorious Goldilocks Era to its dreadful decline, from the ensuing worldwide recovery up to the present, trends in base metals “in general” very often show the way or confirm trends in key global stock marketplaces.
Price trends in base metals indeed have been closely tied to the China growth story. Yet significant marketplace trend changes in base metals also fit those in emerging stock marketplaces as a whole. The voyage of the base metals complex since roughly mid to late 2007 closely resembles that of emerging marketplaces “in general”. What about in relation to America’s S+P 500? Since its high on 2/14/11 at 4478, the London Metal Exchange base metal index (“LMEX”) has been in a massive bear trend, falling about 35.0 percent to its 6./24/13 low. In contrast, the S+P 500’s glittering advance has continued up to a 1730 high on 9/19/13. But as before 2011, the timing of the S+P 500’s turning points from 2011 to the present in its overall upward climb generally fit rather closely to those in the LMEX index.
The sustained decline in the base metals battleground “in general” since first quarter 2011 continues to signal slower growth in emerging marketplaces in general and in China in particular. Note the continued lowering of growth estimates for China in recent months. In addition, despite the overall directional price trend divergence between the LMEX and the S+P 500, the sustained base metal weakness warns that growth probably will be weak in advanced nations, and that the glowing strength in the S+P 500 will not be eternal.
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Showing the Way- Base Metals (10-15-13)
Chart Analysis- LMEX Index (for the essay Showing the Way- Base Metals) (10-15-13)