China Turns the Screw
Comment of the Day

June 08 2010

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

China Turns the Screw

The possibility that China will take some domestic coal and aluminium supply offline is a medium-term positive for other producers of these commodities, provided the demand side of the equation holds up.

Eoin Treacy's view Chinese authorities have signalled they are intent on curtailing speculation in the domestic property market and have targeted tightening measures towards this sector. The stock market has taken some collateral damage as a result, at least in part because of the high weighting the construction, banking and materials sectors occupy in the A-Share market. The recent strength of the US Dollar in tandem with worries centred on the impact of China's tightening have weighed on industrial resources prices, with most industrial metals and oil pulling back sharply. However, China's tightening is not a long-term initiative and it seems reasonable to expect that once they have succeeded in curtailing property speculation they will ease monetary and fiscal policy once more.

Aluminum hit a medium-term peak near $2500 in April and pulled back below the 200-day MA in May. It is now somewhat overextended in the short-term but a sustained move back above $2100 is needed to break the six-week and counting progression of lower rally highs and question the consistency of the correction.

Coal has sustained a progression of higher reaction lows since May 2009 and recently found support at the upper side of the previous range near $60. A sustained move below that level would now be required to question scope for some further higher to lateral ranging, while the 200-day MA would need to be taken out to question the medium-term bullish hypothesis.

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