Base Metals Flat For Week; Focus On U.S. Debt Ceiling, Chinese Data

NEW YORK (Oct 18)  Base metals are finishing the week not far from where they left off last Friday after offsetting factors, says BNP Paribas. Markets fretted part of the week over whether U.S. political leaders would extend the debt-ceiling limit to avoid a default, before a deal was reached although only until February. Data on Friday showed that China’s economy grew 7.8% in the third quarter. “It was not pretty but Congress just about managed to kick the can down the road before China then obliged with solid, in-line economic data,” BNP Paribas says. “These outcomes have allowed base metals to end the week flat overall, with USD losses helping a little (albeit inverse correlation is weak at present)….The U.S. fiscal fiasco may be pushing back market expectations of Fed tapering towards our house view of March 2014. This is supportive for base metals, but evidence of rapid copper supply growth continues to mount.” Bellwether base metal copper finished with a gain of $15 a metric ton to $7,245 on Friday, rising $45 for the week.