Managed money position: Latest CFTC data shows that money managers reduced their net long in COMEX gold by 7,114 lots over the last week leaving them with a net long position of 277,968 lots as of last Tuesday. There was clearly some profit taking, with the gross long position falling by 6,546 lots, while the gross short increased by just 568 lots. The underlying fundamentals remain unchanged and until trade and currency uncertainties ease, money managers may continue to hold onto longs in gold. Similarly, the managed money net long in silver fell by 11,772 lots last week, with the majority of change coming in the form of longs liquidating, with gross longs falling by 10,138 lots. For base metals, net speculative shorts in COMEX copper declined by 6,052 lots leaving them with a net short of 68,545 lots as of last Tuesday. Trade and macro uncertainty is likely to keep copper under pressure in the near term.
Philippines nickel: The head of the Mine and Geoscience Bureau in the Philippines said that the SR Languyan mine, one of the major nickel ore producers in the country, could shut down by the end of the year as ore deposits are nearly depleted. The high-grade mine supplies around 300-400kt of nickel ore to Chinese buyers, and the mine closure is likely to impact nickel shipments from the country. The Philippines supplied nearly 55% of Chinese nickel ore imports over the 1H19, and lower shipments are likely to tighten the Chinese nickel ore market over the next year. There has been plenty of uncertainty in the nickel ore market recently, with speculation that Indonesia plans to bring forward a ban on ore exports to 2020/21.