LONDON (Reuters) by Andy Home – (The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters.) Investors have fled the industrial metals markets as previous trading strategies have been overwhelmed by macro uncertainty. That’s the clear take-away from an analysis of last year’s trading volumes on the world’s three major exchanges. On the London Metal Exchange (LME), volume growth turned negative from July onwards, translating into only minimal trading growth over the year as a whole. The CME’s high-flying copper contract held out longer before seeing both volumes and open interest slide precipitously over the fourth quarter. As for the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE), 2018 wasn’t a good year for trading volumes, with only nickel and tin experiencing any significant growth at all. LME – A YEAR OF TWO HALVES For the LME, still the world’s foremost industrial metals trading hub, 2018 was a year of two halves. At the end of June volumes were up by more than 10 percent, helped by a surge in aluminum activity in April after the imposition of U.S. sanctions on Russia’s Rusal. However, average daily volumes turned negative in August and stayed negative through to the end of the year,… continue reading
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