The sell-off across the base metals complex has halted this morning, with most metals prices in positive territory. Copper prices have been supported by a decline in London Metal Exchange stocks.

The most-traded January copper contract on the SHFE traded at 53,060 yuan ($8,006) per tonne as of 10:16am Shanghai time, up by 210 yuan from the previous session’s close.

LME copper stocks declined by a net 3,350 tonnes to 255,450 tonnes on Wednesday, with 12,850 tonnes freshly cancelled.

Aluminium prices recover

  • The most-traded January aluminium contract price rose 115 yuan to 15,590 yuan per tonne.
  • Aluminium stocks at LME-listed warehouses recently hit their lowest since the first quarter of 2008. Stocks fell 4,050 tonnes to 1.16 million tonnes on Tuesday before increasing a net 4,550 tonnes on Wednesday.
  • “The focus of the aluminium market is still inventory levels,” Citic Futures Research said.
  • Supply-side reform in China’s aluminium industry continues to provide support to prices.
  • Though market participants have expressed doubt that Chinese winter capacity cuts will live up to expectations, the government’s continued determination to enforce supply-side reforms in the aluminium sector has renewed the positive outlook for light metal prices.
  • China’s supply-side reform policies, such as illegal capacity cuts, have guided the country’s aluminium industry this year, the vice chairman of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association said at the China Aluminium Forum on Wednesday.

Other metals higher; lead bucks trend

  • The SHFE January zinc contract price rose 105 yuan to 25,115 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January lead contract price lost 295 yuan to 18,425 yuan per tonne
  • The SHFE January nickel contract price gained 50 yuan to 93,900 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January tin contract price moved up 350 yuan to 143,360 yuan per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases

  • The dollar index was up by 0.03% at 93.87 as of 10:17am Shanghai time. This compares with a reading of 93.82 at roughly the same time on Wednesday.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price rose by 0.16% to $61.92 per barrel while the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price was up by 0.11% to $55.33 per barrel.
  • In equities, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.01% to 3,402.23
  • In US data on Wednesday, the October consumer price index (CPI) was in line with expectations at 0.1%, but down from the previous reading of 0.5%. Retail sales surprised to the upside with a 0.2% gain compared with an expected reading of 0.0%, though this was down from the previous month’s upwardly revised 1.9% increase. The Empire State Manufacturing Index came in at 19.4 for November, lower than the expected and previous readings of 25.5 and 30.2, respectively.
  • The economic agenda is busy today with CPI data from the European Union and host of data from the United States that includes unemployment claims, import prices, the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index, capacity utilization rate, industrial production and the National Association of Home Builders’ housing market index.
  • In addition, US Federal Open Market Committee Members Robert Kaplan and Lael Brainard are speaking.

LME snapshot at 0217 London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
  Price
($ per tonne)
 Change since yesterday's close ($)
Copper 6,771 -2
Aluminium 2,123 17
Lead 2,430 -6
Zinc 3,150 -1
Tin 19,470 135
Nickel 11,685 -5
SHFE snapshot at 0216 London time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
  Price
(yuan per tonne)
 Change since yesterday's close (yuan)
Copper  53,060 210
Aluminium 15,590 115
Zinc 25,115 105
Lead 18,425 -295
Tin  143,360 350
Nickel  93,900 50

Changjiang spot snapshot on November 16
  Range
(yuan per tonne)
 Change (yuan)
Copper  53,000—53,020 120
Aluminium 15,350 — 15,390 200
Zinc 25,530—26,330 0
Lead 18,400—18,600 -200
Tin  142,500—144,000 0
Nickel  94,300—94,600 -250