SHFE base metals mostly lower on profit-taking; copper prices down as longs liquidate

Base metal prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were mostly lower during Asian morning trading on Tuesday December 5 amid bouts of year-end profit-taking, with copper prices falling as longs liquidate.

The most-traded January copper contract on the SHFE stood at 53,220 yuan ($8,038) per tonne as of 10.59am Shanghai time, down by 330 yuan from Monday’s close, with around 80,000 lots changing hands so far.

Open interest of the contract was at around 143,000 positions as of 10:05 am Shanghai time, down from 144,672 positions at Monday’s close.

Tight funds among investors typically at the end of the year could see liquidation and thinner trading at this time of the year, market observers noted.

The euphoria around US tax cuts could see investor demand for commodities weaken over coming days, ANZ Research noted on Tuesday as well.

On Sunday, the US Senate passing its tax reform bill had helped boost the equities and commodities markets on Monday. The House-Senate conference committee will now work to resolve the differences between the House and Senate tax bills.

Aluminium, lead edge higher; rest lower

  • The SHFE February aluminium contract price rose by 65 yuan to 14,710 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE May nickel contract price dipped by 1,240 yuan to 91,130 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January lead contract price increased by 40 yuan to 18,990 yuan per tonne
  • The SHFE January zinc contract price slipped 205 yuan to 25,350 yuan per tonne.
  • The SHFE January tin contract price decreased by 300 yuan to 141,400 yuan per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases 

  • The dollar index fell by 0.04% to 93.06 as of 11.08am Shanghai time.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price rose by 0.15% to $62.52 per barrel as of 11.08am Shanghai time.
  • In equities, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.03% to 3,307.87.
  • In Chinese data on Tuesday, the Caixin services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for November came in at 51.9, higher than expectations of 51.5 and up from 51.2 in October.
  • “New business expanded at a rapid pace while input costs and prices charged continued to rise… The Caixin PMI readings in November showed the economy has maintained stability and there was no imminent risk of a significant decline in its growth rate,” Zhengsheng Zhong, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group said.
  • In data from Monday, UK construction PMI for November came in at 53.1, above forecast of 51.2. US factory orders fell 0.1% in October – compared to growth of 1.7% in the previous month – but beat the forecast of a 0.3% decline.
  • A string of services PMI data from across Europe and the United States, as well as ISM non-manufacturing PMI and PBD/TIPP economic optimism from the US.