LME metals robust; follow-through gains seen

Base metals prices posted across-the-board gains during London Metal Exchange pre-market trading on Tuesday October 24, with follow-through momentum seen from the previous day’s gains, traders said.

Copper was comfortably trading above the key-note $7,000 per tonne level – prices have been see-sawing either side of this point in recent sessions.

“We did see another attempt on the upside on Monday and there has been follow-through strength so far today. This does suggest the pullback in the metals prices from last week’s early show of strength has run its course,” Metal Bulletin senior analyst William Adams said.

As well, market observers also cited positive sentiment in the market ahead of major industry conferences and stricter regulations over scrap imports in China.

“There is upside for copper prices possibly up till early November as the upcoming industry conferences are fuelling positive sentiment,” a Beijing-based metals analyst said.

LME Week kicks off in London next week while Cesco Asia Copper Week takes place in Shanghai at the end of November.

For the rest of the session, prices look set to focus on the macroeconomic data flow, with a run of flash purchasing managers’ index (PMI) figures out across much of Europe and the USA.

Copper holds above $7,000/t

  • The three-month copper price traded at $7,083 per tonne, up $79 from the Monday close. Warehouse inventories declined a net 1,900 tonnes to 281,550 tonnes.
  • China is expected to tighten its scrap import policies with market participants estimating 300,000-1 million tonnes of China’s scrap copper imports could be affected by a ban.

Nickel and rest of complex higher

  • The three-month nickel price moved back above $12,000 again to trade at $12,055 per tonne, up $195. Stocks fell 672 tonnes to 385,284 tonnes.
  • Nickel continues to be supported by concerns over tightening Chinese nickel pig iron (NPI) production and nickel metal supply, and expected demand from Tsingshan Group’s Indonesia stainless steel mill as well as the global growth in electric vehicle batteries, industry watchers said.
  • The three-month aluminium price climbed to $2,156 per tonne, up $19 – inventories dropped 4,075 tonnes to 1,195,600 tonnes.
  • The three-month zinc price rose to $3,166 per tonne, an advance of $37. Stocks declined 1,500 tonnes to 266,125 tonnes.
  • The three-month lead price was $5 higher at $2,505 – inventories were up 175 tonnes at 148,750 tonnes.
  • The three-month tin price traded at $19,675, up $95. Stocks were unchanged at 2,110 tonnes.

 

Currency moves and data releases

  • The dollar index was up just 0.02% to 93.85 – it had risen as high as 94.02 on Monday, the highest since October 6.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price dropped 0.24% to $57.06 per barrel.
  • On the data side, the October flash manufacturing PMI was 60.5, against a predicted 60.1. The French reading for the same month was also positive at 56.7, compared with a forecast 56.2. The eurozone PMI was 58.6, against the expected 57.9.
  • Later, the US PMI and Richmond Manufacturing Index will be released.