Metals start to shine as miners find new optimism – by Jon Yeomans (The Telegraph – October 29, 2017)

As an annual jamboree for metal traders kicks off in London, investors are daring to believe a change is in the air. “This will be the first time in five years that people will be coming with a spring in their step,” says Guy Wolf, head of market analytics at commodities broker Marex Spectron.

London remains the heart of the global metals trade. Last year $10.3 trillion (£7.8 trillion) of notional trades in metals such as copper, aluminium and zinc passed through the London Metals Exchange (LME).

LME Week, at the end of October, is a chance for metal traders and miners to take stock. For the first time in five years, they are confronted with a bull market for base metals, Wolf says.

After a vicious downturn brought many mining companies to their knees in 2015, metal prices have been in recovery mode. This year alone, zinc has soared 25pc, touching a 10-year high. Copper has risen 26pc. Aluminium has jumped 30pc.

Stronger prices have allowed miners to pay down debt and reward long-suffering shareholders with dividends and buy-backs. Expectations are high for 2018. “The outlook for next year is great,” says Simon Redmond, director of corporate ratings at S&P Global Ratings.

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