LIVE FUTURES REPORT 31/05: LME base metals consolidate gains; nickel, zinc prices dip

Base metals on the London Metal Exchange closed mostly higher on Thursday May 31, ending the month broadly supported with most metals trading in positive territory.

Despite falling 0.3% during the afternoon, nickel’s three-month price continues to trade above $15,000 per tonne after breaking above the nearby resistance level at Wednesday’s close. 

The metal’s consistent supply outflows are propping up prices, with upward moves further supported by the more enduring factors of strong stainless steel demand and electric vehicle developments. 

Similarly recording a marginal dip, zinc’s three-month price fell 0.9% during the afternoon, but it remains supported at $3,100 per tonne. 

Volumes traded on the exchange remain near the top of the complex at 14,350 lots.   

“Even though the relief rebound is underway [after a May 4 low of $2,970 per tonne], supported by its improving technical indicators, the metal still has to face an uphill battle due to recent large inflows into LME New Orleans,” said Andy Farida, analyst at Metal Bulletin.  

“In light of the recent stock inflow, we envisage LME zinc to consolidate lower from recent gains. We will let the selling run its course but remain a buy-the-dip strategy near key technical support levels,” he added. 

Comparatively, lead’s three-month price continues to trade higher and remains well supported, reaching a high of $2,467 per tonne during the afternoon. 

Elsewhere, copper’s three-month price rebounded to trade in the $6,800-$6,900 per tonne range after falling to a low of $6,727 per tonne on May 30.

On-warrant stocks for copper jumped 15.6% overnight, but prices have largely ignored volatile stock activity, with consistent drawdowns over the month having little effect.

Tin’s three-month price remains comfortable in the $20,600-per-tonne region, alternating either side of the support level throughout the day. 

Resumed production on the supply front, particularly in Indonesia, has resulted in an increase in tin exports, while its three-month price has rebounded from a dip below $20,000 per tonne earlier in the week. 

Climbing 0.9% during the kerb session, aluminium’s three-month price made a decent approach back toward $2,300 per tonne. But the metal’s ongoing volatility after sanction-related uncertainty has begun to settle.  

Base metals stay strong; nickel, zinc edge lower
  • The three-month copper price closed at $6,852 per tonne, recording an increase of $13. Copper stocks climbed a net 28,150 tonnes to 311,525 tonnes. Some 775 tonnes of material were freshly canceled in Port Klang and Rotterdam. 
  • The three-month aluminium price edged $22 higher to $2,292 per tonne. Stocks fell 4,425 tonnes to 1,205,875 tonnes. Approximately 2,450 tonnes of material were freshly canceled in Kaohsiung, Port Klang and Rotterdam.
  • The three-month nickel price fell $55 to $15,070 per tonne. Stocks fell 1,494 tonnes to 290,604 total tonnes. Some 2,928 tonnes of material were freshly canceled across multiple locations in Asia and Europe.
  • Zinc's three-month price edged $30 lower to $3,100 per tonne. Stocks were up 16,775 tonnes to 228,975 tonnes after a delivery of 17,000 tonnes into New Orleans in the morning. 
  • The three-month price for lead closed at $2,459 per tonne, up $24. Lead stocks were down 650 tonnes to 133,550 tonnes. 
  • Tin's three-month price increased $25 to $20,600 per tonne. Stocks were unchanged at 2,425 tonnes, with 40 tonnes of material canceled in Port Klang. 

Currency moves and data releases
  • The dollar index was down 0.01% at 94.03.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price was down 0.09% at $77.77 per barrel. 
  • In US data on Thursday, personal income in the US increased $49.5 billion - or 0.3% - in April, in line with forecasts.

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