LIVE FUTURES REPORT 11/07: SHFE base metals prices broadly up on dollar strength; nickel up on Indonesia supply concerns

Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were mostly up in morning trading on Thursday July 11 amid US dollar weakness following dovish comments by US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, while nickel rallied on reports of a possible ore ban by Indonesia.

The dollar index dipped by 0.07 to 96.98 as at 9.50am Shanghai time.

“The US dollar is on the back foot after Federal Reserve Chair Powell kept up the dovish rhetoric that has the market pricing in an interest rate cut in July,” according to morning notes from OANDA.

“In his testimony, Powell stressed various uncertainties that were weighing on the outlook, including trade tensions and concerns over the strength of the global economy,” according to ANZ Research’s morning notes.

“Powell also dismissed the recent strong employment report, noting that it didn’t change the policy outlook,” ANZ Research added.

Nickel was the best performer this morning session, with its most-traded August contract price standing at 102,890 yuan per tonne ($14,911), up by 880 yuan per tonne – or 0.8% – from Wednesday’s closing price.

The strength in the nickel price comes partly from macroeconomic confidence and partly over supply concerns following news that Indonesia might stop exporting nickel ore from 2022.

China is heavily reliant on ore imports from Indonesia, and the report on a possible Indonesian export ore ban has raised worries that a crimp in ore supply to China might develop. That, in turn, helped push the nickel price higher.

“Bambang Gatot, the Minister of Indonesia Energy and Mineral Resources said on Monday that Indonesia will stop exporting ores, including nickel ore, vanadium and iron ore in 2022,” according to a Shanghai-based analyst.

“So the outstanding performance in the nickel price since the publication of this news is down to future supply worries to certain degree,” according to the analyst.

Other highlights

  • The most-traded September tin contract price dipped to 135,960 yuan per tonne as of 9.50am Shanghai time, down by 600 yuan per tonne from Wednesday’s close.
  • In notable data today, the latest US Consumer Price Index  numbers and the Financial Stability Report from the Bank of England are set to be released.