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The Real Deal?

Oct. 14, 2019
The Copper Journal's John Gross says the world's equity and investment markets are counting on a positive outcome for the current U.S.-China trade negotiations.

The first sign of progress in trade talks in quite some time sent equity markets higher, with the S&P 500 closing at 2,970 on Friday, just 56 points shy of its record high 3,025.86 set on July 26. Nonferrous metals also got a boost last week, with support lines holding, and/or resistance lines being tested or overcome.

Coincidently, it seems that progress was also made in Brexit talks, and it’s a good thing too, because the October 31 deadline is just a few weeks away. In the "No Deal" category, however, the GM strike continues into its fourth week, with 46,000 union members and now several thousand nonunion workers at 55 locations in the US, and operations in Canada and Mexico are also affected.

And as this is being written, some 2,000 workers at Asarco voted to go on strike effective Sunday night unless a new labor agreement can be reached. About 170,000 mt of annual production will be affected should a walkout occur.

With the global copper market already in deficit, and inventories held in Comex, LME, and Shanghai warehouses representing less than one week of consumption, the stage could be getting set  for a move to higher ground. As you know, we’ve been here before over the past 18 months when things were looking up for trade talks, only to see the markets turn lower when negotiations broke down.

But maybe this time, the preliminary U.S.-China trade deal is indeed real.

John Gross, publisher of The Copper Journal,  is one of the metals industry's best resources on copper pricing trends. If you would like to learn more about how to manage your wire and cable inventory in this volatile market environment, email John at by clicking here or calling him at 631-824-6486.

About the Author

John Gross | President

John Gross is president of J.E. Gross & Co., Inc, the management consulting firm he established in 1987. In addition to his consulting activities, Gross has worked with global leaders in the metals industry over the past thirty-five years. He began his career in metals in 1973 when he joined U.S. Metals Refining Company, a division of Amax Inc., where he rose to become manager of administration. In 1981 he joined Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting as manager of trading and in 1983 became a futures broker with Johnson Matthey, specializing in metals on Comex and the London Metal Exchange.

He joined BICC Cables Corp. in 1985, now owned by General Cable, where he became V.P. of strategic metals for their North American operations. He was also director of metals management with Scott Brass, a producer and manufacturer of copper and brass strip products.

Gross is a graduate of Hofstra University, and is a highly decorated Vietnam Veteran. He has held memberships in several trade organizations; was a director of the American Copper Council, and served as a member of the Comex Advisory Committee. He is very active in industry affairs, and has written extensively on the metal markets, industry issues.

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