Industrial metals

Commodities make a comeback

Raw-materials prices rose sharply in 2017 – and they have made a strong start to 2018, too.

Chart of the week: cobalt’s rise will level out

Cobalt left other industrial metals “in the dust” in 2017. The price jumped from $30,000 a tonne to $75,000, and has tripled in two years.

Copper: now a precious metal

We usually think of gold and silver, and sometimes platinum and palladium, as precious metals. But increasingly, copper is a precious metal too.

This precious metal is rapidly losing status – which is a good time to buy

Upheaval in the car industry could affect demand for one precious metal commonly found in cars today. John Stepek explains why, and how to play it.

Chart of the week: red metal is red hot

Growth in China and the rise of the electric car sees copper prices rebound after several poor years.

Why “peak” arguments are always wrong

First we had “peak oil”, now electric cars will bring about “peak lithium”. But don’t worry, says John Stepek, “peak” arguments are always wrong. Here’s why.

Chart of the week: supply squeeze boosts aluminium

A stronger global economic backdrop has bolstered demand for aluminium, while in China, a clampdown on pollution and excess capacity after years of rampant growth is squeezing supply.

This stealth bull market is still in its early stages

The mining sector has performed extremely well in recent months, even as investors worry about the state of the wider market. But, asks John Stepek, can this bull market last?

How to invest as electric cars get the green light

As emissions caps choke demand for diesel vehicles, electric cars will start motoring. Buy lithium miners and battery makers to cash in, says Julie Boote of Pelham Smithers Associates.

How to profit from the mundane metals miners

A decade-long mining boom has ended. A lack of discoveries today means a shortfall – and price rises – tomorrow. Zinc and lead may not seem thrilling, but Dominic Frisby is getting excited.

Zinc is dull but useful, and it’s in short supply – it’s time to buy

Zinc, one of the most widely used metals in the world, is in short supply. That’s good news for investors. Dominic Frisby picks the best ways to buy in.

Chart of the week: the shine will come off palladium

Palladium, used mostly in catalytic converters in petrol engines, is 2017’s best-performing commodity with a 30% gain.

How much longer can China prop up commodities?

Donald Trump’s election gave commodities a boost last autumn. But now the trend has reversed, with metals especially weak. The culprit is the key driver of demand: China.

Chart of the week: the aluminium rally falters

Aluminium futures have charged ahead of those of other metals in 2017, hitting a 22-month high in early March, but the rally has now faltered.

Warning: don’t touch lithium with a ten-foot bargepole

Lithium is the fuel of the clean tech revolution. That’s sent the stocks of lithium producers soaring. But we’ve seen this story before, says Dominic Frisby. It never ends well.

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