Lead and nickel prices led the rest of the complex lower with losses of 2.3% and 1.9%, respectively, with the latter’s prices coming under additional pressure from news of increased ore exports.

The SHFE’s most-traded January nickel contract stood at 93,790 yuan ($14,130) per tonne as of 03:00 BST, down by 1,810 yuan from the previous session’s close. This after the three-month nickel price on the London Metal Exchange dipped $120 to $11,745 per tonne at the close on Thursday.

Nickel prices have come under pressure following the news that Indonesian state-owned miner Aneka Tambang (PT Antam) has received clearance to export an additional 1.25 million tonnes of laterite ore over the next 12 months.

The news came just a day after China’s Jinchuan Group and Indonesian mining company WP & RKA jointly received approval to export 2.2 million tonnes of nickel ore from Indonesia.

Meanwhile, renewed dollar strength has been a headwind for the rest of the base metals complex this morning.

The dollar strengthened on Friday morning as the euro slumped to three-month lows after the European Central Bank (ECB) extended its bond purchases and reduced the probability that it would raise interest rates next year.

“Although the ECB’s policy announcement was as expected, the euro nonetheless fell 1% vs USD in response to the dovish undertone - as well as positive developments regarding [US President Donald] Trump’s tax-cutting proposals,” ANZ Research said on Friday.

Rest of complex lower

  • The SHFE December copper price slid by 230 yuan to 54,550 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE December aluminium price fell by 70 yuan to 16,420 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE December zinc price weakened by 275 yuan to 25,730 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE December lead price eased by 440 yuan to 18,670 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January tin price decreased by 980 yuan to 144,230 yuan per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases
  • The dollar index was up by 0.04% at 94.77 as of 05:33 BST - the index had reached as high as 94.87 earlier in the session, its highest since July 20.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price decreased by 0.13% to $59.32 per barrel and the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price was down by 0.17% to $52.61 per barrel.
  • In equities, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.34% to 3,419.31.
  • In US data on Thursday, unemployment claims came in around expectations at 233,000, while September wholesale inventories rose by 0.3% against an estimated 0.4%.
  • The economic agenda is fairly light today with German import prices and US data that includes US advanced gross domestic product (GDP) and revised University of Michigan consumer sentiment and inflation expectations.

LME snapshot at 0300 London time
Latest 3M  LME Prices

Price ($/t)  Change since yesterday's close ($)
Copper 6,958 -28
Aluminium 2,186 -4
Lead 2,455.5 -26.5
Zinc 3,191 -34
Tin 19,800 -50
Nickel 11,650 -100

SHFE snapshot at 1000 Shanghai time
Most traded SHFE contracts

Price (yuan/t)  Change since yesterday's close (yuan)
Copper
54,550 -230
Aluminium 16,420 -70
Zinc 25,730 -275
Lead 18,670 -440
Tin
144,230 -980
Nickel
93,790 -1810

Changjiang spot snapshot on October 27

Range (yuan/t)  Change (yuan)
Copper  54,680—54,700 -570
Aluminium 16,180—16,220 -50
Zinc 26,150—26,950 -370
Lead 19,100—19,300 -450
Tin  143,000—144,500 -750
Nickel  94,200—94,300 -1,700