Monthly Metal Review
- December 2018
- November 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- August 2018
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
China-Japan relations frayed and old grievances resurfaced as tensions rose over disputed islands in the East China Sea. Some Japanese plants and businesses in China closed after mass demonstrations and violence. Japanese auto sales in China fell sharply and a trade war loomed. China threatened to sell Japanese debt just as the BoJ began economic stimulus, adding $127 billion to its quantitative-easing program.
Despite a 22-percent mineworker wage hike that ended a strike at Lonmin's platinum operation in South Africa, labor-management strife countrywide continues. Strikes have spread to gold mines and other platinum mines. Gold Fields, Anglo American Platinum, AngloGold Ashanti, and Xstrata operations were impacted.
India's Goa state banned all mining after a com-mission said the province has lost more than $6 billion to illegal mining. The government-backed panel said mining-area water and air pollution was not being controlled.
Spain's 10-year borrowing rate rose to 6.8 per-cent in early September but then fell to 5.666 percent, the lowest rate since January, in a late-month treasury auction of bonds worth $6.27 billion. Investor confidence has increased since European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said it will buy Spanish and Italian government bonds in unlimited quantities, if necessary.
Markets rallied late in September, reinforced by America's QE3 plan. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stated the Fed will pump an extra $40 billion into the U.S economy each month. He indicated the bail-out would not stop until labor markets improve. Gold hit a six-month high, breaking the $1,700 barrier.
Chalco dropped a $926 million bid to buy an up-to 60 percent stake in Mongolia-focused coal producer SouthGobi Resources from Turquoise Hill, formerly Ivanhoe Mines. The state-controlled Chinese aluminum giant faced strong opposition from Mongolian officials and regula-tory approval was doubtful. Chalco's April bid prompted a law capping foreign ownership at 49 percent for companies in mining and other stra-tegic sectors. Mongolia suspended SouthGobi's mining license in June.
China's industrial production grew 8.9 percent in August on year, down from July's 9.2-percent factory output. This was less than expected and helped usher in September's economic stimuli. Copper hit a four-month high in early September on news of that $158-billion infrastructure program of rail projects, highways, waterways and water-treatment plants. The Chinese government also approved 25 subway-building and urban-rail projects worth billions of dollars.
Inflation climbed to 2 percent in China, pri-marily on higher food prices, from July's 1.8 percent. The China Development Bank began selling $1.6 billion in asset-backed securities in the first such deal since China barred securitisa-tion in 2009. Regulators set a 2012 $7.9-billion limit on banks converting assets into securities.