Investors have tracked the price of copper as a shorthand for the economy (remember Dr. Copper?) for years but the other key industrial metals are also clues to the strength of the global economy. With infrastructure spending on the rise in China and expected in the U.S. under the Trump Administration, a look at some longer-term charts seems in order.
In this 10-year weekly chart of LME three-month aluminum, below, we can see that the long-term downtrend line has been broken and that prices are above the rising 40-week moving average line. I am not sure how high prices could go but the advance is likely to last well into the first half of 2017.
It looks like it is still early in the "game" but this LME three-month nickel chart going back 10 years, below, also shows the major downtrend line being broken. Nickel prices may take their time going up but the bear looks to be in hibernation for several months at the very least.
In this 10-year chart of LME three-month zinc, below, we can see that the major downtrend line has been broken and prices are above the rising 40-week moving average. Zinc prices look extended but I would not anticipate much of a downward correction.
Copper is traded in London but we show the NY continuation futures contract below. Copper futures tested the downtrend line several times over the past six years and the recent trend line break is significant. Copper prices may surprise on the upside.