Lead was the outperformer this morning, leading the rest of the complex higher with a 1.6% gain, while aluminium was the sole metal in negative territory with a 1.1% fall.

The most-traded January lead contract on the SHFE stood at 18,695 yuan ($2,820) per tonne as of 10:45am Shanghai time, up by 285 yuan from the previous session’s close.

The base metals complex has been broadly supported by the released of positive economic data releases, soothing concerns of weakened demand from major consumer countries.

Chinese home prices rose in more cities in October, breaking a three-month decline and signaling that the market is stabilizing amid government efforts to curb property speculation.

New home prices rose in 50 of the 70 cities tracked by the government, up from 44 in September, China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on November 18.

Average new home prices in China rose 0.3% month on month in October, compared with a 0.2% increase in September. But, year-on-year growth slowed in October from the month prior. New home prices climbed 5.4% on an annual basis last month, slower than the 6.3% growth recorded in September.

In addition, US housing starts rose by 13.7% month on month in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.29 million units - marking the highest level since October 2016.

Other metals higher; aluminium dips
  • The SHFE January copper contract price inched up 90 yuan to 53,000 yuan per tonne.
  • The China Securities Regulatory Commission has approved an application from the SHFE to trade copper futures options.
  • Futures options for copper would be China’s first for an industrial product and serve as a risk management tool in non-ferrous metals derivatives trading.
  • The SHFE May nickel contract price rallied 680 yuan to 93,430 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January zinc contract price edged up 90 yuan to 25,205 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January tin contract price was up 390 yuan to 142,870 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January aluminium contract price fell 170 yuan to 15,230 yuan per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases

  • The dollar index was up by 0.25% to 93.96 as of 11:49am Shanghai time today.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price was down by 0.21% to $62.58 per barrel, and the Texas light sweet crude oil spot price decreased by 0.09% to $56.73.
  • In equities, the Shanghai Composite was down by 0.81% to 3,355.58.
  • The economic agenda is light today with mainly German producer prices, the monthly Deutsche Bundesbank report as well as CB leading indices from China and the US of note.
  • In addition, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi is speaking.

LME snapshot at 0248am London time
Latest three-month  LME Prices
  Price
($ per tonne)
 Change since Friday's close ($)
Copper 6,770 -7
Aluminium 2,088 -16
Lead 2,436 4
Zinc 3,164.50 -15.5
Tin 19,495 20
Nickel 11,535 -40
SHFE snapshot at 1045am Shanghai time
Most-traded SHFE contracts
  Price
(yuan per tonne)
 Change since Friday's close (yuan)
Copper  53,000 90
Aluminium 15,230 -170
Zinc 25,205 90
Lead 18,695 285
Tin  146,340 3,860
Nickel  93,430 680

Changjiang spot snapshot on November 20
  Range
(yuan per tonne)
 Change (yuan)
Copper  52,930—52,950 120
Aluminium 15,100—15,140 -130
Zinc 25,520—26,320 120
Lead 18,550—18,750 200
Tin  142,500—144,000 250
Nickel  93,250—93,550 350