LIVE FUTURES REPORT 09/10: LME nickel futures breach $15,000/t on strong buying; zinc clears $2,400/t

The three-month nickel price on the London Metal Exchange was the standout performer during morning trading on Friday October 9, with strong buying activity pushing the metal above nearby resistance levels, while high-volume trading saw LME zinc futures clear $2,400 per tonne in a 2.1% upsurge.

Nickel’s outright price on the LME was recently trading at $15,010 per tonne on Friday morning, climbing by more than 2.5% from Thursday’s closing price of $14,662 per tonne, while turnover was strong at some 3,600 lots exchanged as at 10.20am London time.

Supporting this, LME nickel’s forward curve remains in contango, with the metal’s benchmark cash/three-month spread recently trading at $39 per tonne contango.

The return of Chinese participants following the country’s weeklong National Day holiday is also driving an increase in trading volumes this morning.

LME zinc futures climbed by more than 2% this morning, recently trading at $2,431 per tonne, climbing from Thursday’s closing price of $2,362 per tonne, while turnover topped the complex this morning at more than 8,000 lots exchanged as at 10.30am London time.

Zinc’s forward curve on the LME was similarly trading much wider over the morning, with the metal’s benchmark cash/three-month spread recently at $18 per tonne contango, widening from $12 per tonne contango earlier in the week.

In economic data this morning, the Caixin services purchasing managers’ index rose to 54.8 in September, from 54.0 in August, reflecting a continued improvement in the Chinese services sector.

In Europe, Italy’s industrial production improved considerably over September, with the country’s month on month level for September improving by 7.7%, according to data released this morning.

“While the metals are suffering from what appears to be a bout of short-term euphoria, let us not forget the major congress in China at the end of this month that will see the laying out of the long-term plan for a non-US export-based economy,” Kingdom Futures director and chief executive Malcolm Freeman said in a morning report.

“That will more probably be when the markets can see the way forward and to a certain extent irrespective of who wins the US presidential election,” he added.

Other highlights

  • Elsewhere in the complex, the three-month tin price was well-supported above $18,200 per tonne, while its cash/three-month spread has flipped to $15 per tonne backwardation, from $30 per tonne contango earlier in the week.
  • In other commodities, Brent crude oil futures declined over the morning, falling by 1.33% and recently trading at $42.88 per barrel.
  • The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil price was recently at $41.02 per barrel, similarly falling by 1.61%.
  • The US dollar index was recently trading at 93.39, down by 0.18% and now trending lower.
  • In economic data released from the United Kingdom this morning, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) month on month for the September period climbed by just 2.1% from an expected 4.6%, and declined from the prior month’s increase of 6.4%.
  • Meanwhile, UK manufacturing production on a month on month basis climbed by just 0.7%, while industrial production was just 0.3% higher over September. Construction output over the period climbed by 3%, but missed out on the expected level of 5.1%.