Iron ore and gold prices fell heavily overnight Thursday, placing pressure on the share prices of leading miners when trading starts later today.
Overnight trading saw the ASX 200 futures up 20 points after the physical market eded with a 25 point gain on Thursday.
Wall Street ended higher with the Dow and the S&P 500 up around 0.29% and the Nasdaq up around half a per cent.
According to the Metal Bulletin iron ore prices plunged more than 5% to the $US65-per-tonne-cfr-China mark on Thursday after a big drop in China’s steel and futures markets.
The Metal Bulletin’s 62% Fe Iron Ore Index $US65.70 a tonne: down 5.2% or $US3.66 per tonne. That was after a 4.4% slide on Wednesday.
Chinese trade data for November will released later today and will tell us if the steel production cuts which started last month, have had any impact.
Iron ore export data for Por Hedland showed an unchanged 35 million tonnes of ore was shipped to China. That was more than 6% above the figure for November 2016.
The news will put more pressure on the share prices of BHP (down 0.2% on Thursday), Rio Tinto (up 0.8%) and Fortescue down 0.4%. But the fall was ignored by futures traders overnight.
Gold futures sold off in New York (because of the gathering bubble in bitcoin?)
Comex Gold prices dropped 1% overnight Thursday to settle at their lowest since late July. February gold lost $US13, or 1%, to settle at $US1,253.10 an ounce. Gold prices continued to dip in early Asian trading where they fell under $US1,250 an ounce.
Comex silver also sold off, losing 14.5 cents, or 0.9% to $US15.81 an ounce. March copper futures rose less than a penny, or 0.3%, to $US2.97 a pound, the second small gain in a row after the 4.7% slide earlier in the week.
US crude oil futures saw a rise with January up 73 cents, or 1.3%, to settle at $US56.69 a barrel after falling 2.9% on Wednesday. Brent crude in Europe rose by around 1.4% to just over $US62 a barrel.