Copper and zinc prices are expected to fall while gold will continue to strengthen, S&P Global Ratings says.

The global market intelligence firm said it that diminishing global trade flows and slower economic growth had led it to lower its price forecast for copper in 2020 from US$6500 a tonne to US$6000 a tonne.

Likewise, slowing growth along with the expectation of new low-cost production coming into the market, led to its reducing zinc price forecasts to US$2300 a tonne.

This comes as zinc prices rose to a two month high of US$2440 a tonne on concerns that the shutdown of Vedanta Resources’ Skorpion zinc operations in Namibia from early November to the end of February 2020 would impact supply.

S&P said the gloomier economic prospects and expectation of low rates should favour gold prices, leading it to increase its price assumption up to US$1400 per ounce in 2020 and 2021.

It added that Indonesia’s export ban has caused nickel prices to soar recently and that as a result, it is raising its nickel price assumption to US$15,000 a tonne in 2020.

The change in S&P’s price assumptions comes as the US and China reached agreements for the latter to increase its agricultural purchases while the US agreed to hold off on a planned increase in tariffs on about US$250 billion worth of Chinese imports.

While the trade war is far from over, US President Donald Trump’s comment that this is a “substantial phase one deal” opens the way for further deals to be reached.