The most-traded November copper contract on the SHFE traded at 50,270 yuan ($7,581) per tonne as of 03:42 BST, down 370 yuan from Tuesday’s close, with around 125,000 lots of the contract having changed hands so far.

SHFE base metal prices had risen earlier in the week, supported by large drawdowns in most base metals stocks at SHFE-registered warehouses as market participants stepped up procurement ahead of China’s week-long National Day holiday, which begins on October 1.

The increased possibility of a US rate increase at the end of the year will check the rebound of copper prices, China’s Minmetals Jingyi Futures said on Wednesday morning.

The speech by US Federal Open Market Committee chairwoman Janet Yellen on Tuesday was interpreted by markets as hawkish as she noted that it would be “imprudent” to keep monetary policy on hold until inflation reaches 2%, thus lending weight to the possibility of a US rate increase in December.

“While there remains concerns over China’s economic health in the second half of this year, the arrival of the peak period for demand will provide support for [copper] prices,” the Chinese broker added. The September-October period is traditionally the peak period for demand in China.

In copper data, China’s imports of refined copper rose 9.8% year-on-year but eased 10.1% month-on-month to 254,762 tonnes, while that for copper ores and concentrates fell 0.2% year-on-year but rose 2.9% month-on-month to 1.44 million tonnes in August.

Rest of complex lower, bar nickel

  • The SHFE November zinc contract fell 130 yuan to 25,480 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE November aluminium contract price decreased 110 yuan to 16,400 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE November lead contract price eased 195 yuan to 20,625 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January nickel contract price gained 200 yuan to 84,730 yuan per tonne
  • The SHFE January tin contract price slipped 400 yuan to 146,800 yuan per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases
  • The dollar index was up 0.02% to 93.05 as of 03:37 BST.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price gained 0.15% to $58.62 per barrel at 03:37 BST.
  • In equities, the Shanghai Composite index was recently 0.04% higher at 3344.84.
  • In data on Tuesday, the US CB consumer confidence came in at 119.8 for September, which was close to the expected print but below August’s reading of 120.4. US new home sales eased to 560,000 in August from 580,000 in July.
  • The economic agenda is light today with mainly US durable goods orders, pending home sales and crude oil inventories due later today.

SHFE snapshot at 1042 Shanghai time
Most traded SHFE contracts
  Price (yuan/t)  Change since yesterday's close (yuan)
Copper  50,270 -370
Aluminium 16,400 -110
Zinc 25,480 -130
Lead 20,625 -195
Tin  146,800 -400
Nickel  84,730 200

LME snapshot at 0342 London time
Latest 3M  LME Prices
  Price ($/t)  Change since yesterday's close ($)
Copper 6,430.5 17.5
Aluminium 2,125 -1
Lead 2,469.5 -18.5
Zinc 3,102 -14
Tin 20,655 -55
Nickel 10,530 50

Changjiang spot snapshot on September 27
  Range (yuan/t)  Change (yuan)
Copper  50,440-50,460 -390
Aluminium 16,140-16,180 -70
Zinc 26,250-27,050 -100
Lead 21,400-21,600 0
Tin  144,000-146,000 0
Nickel  84,900-85,900 -700