The most-traded June copper contract on the SHFE rose to 51,340 yuan ($8,160) per tonne as of 11.10am Shanghai time, up by 170 yuan from the previous session’s close.
Base metals had been supported by an easing in global trade tensions following the conciliatory tone struck by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his opening address at the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference on Tuesday, as well as his pledge to further open the Chinese economy.
Tensions eased further after US President Donald Trump tweeted his appreciation for Xi’s “kind words” on tariffs and the reduction of automobiles barriers, adding that the two “will make great progress together”.
“The risk rally accelerated after President Xi’s speech eased fears of a trade war and Trump took to twitter to express his appreciation,” ANZ Research said.
“The risk-on tone saw investor appetite for base metals return strongly,” the bank added.
“Market sentiment has improved, and open interest for forward month contracts have risen sharply over the past two trading days,” Citic Futures Research noted.
Putting a dampener on the more positive outlook for the base metals was the release of weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data this morning, which renewed fears of a broader slacking in the country’s economic growth this year.
China’s consumer prices were up just 2.1% year on year last month, beneath both expected and previous readings of 2.6% and 2.9% respectively, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics.
Meanwhile, China’s producer prices in March were also shy of forecasts, gaining an annual 3.1% against expected growth of 3.2% and a previous increase of 3.7% in February.
Zinc and nickel tick higher, others under pressure
Currency moves and data releases