LIVE FUTURES REPORT 13/11: LME base metals firmer; nickel bounces back

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange were mostly firmer this morning, Monday November 13, with nickel and copper recovering from Friday’s declines.

The three-month nickel price was up 1.6% this morning while it looks to correct higher after a challenging week.

The metal has come under pressure recently on rising stainless steel stocks, falling stainless steel prices and weaker-than-expected stainless steel demand, China’s Galaxy Futures said. The price began to plummet once it hit the $13,000 per tonne mark two weeks ago.

Copper prices also followed higher, rebounding $33.50 per tonne while stocks at LME-listed warehouses continue to decline.

“A supply route to the Grasberg mine closed only temporarily, but a shooting incident that caused closure highlights increasing tension at the world’s second largest copper mine,” noted Marex Spectron’s morning note.

The three-month aluminium price was little changed this morning, it continues to trade sideways while the market awaits more news on the production cut status among Chinese smelters planning winter output cuts from November 15 until March 15, 2018.

“With the 15th nearing, smelters in [China’s Henan province] have started cutting production. But with no news of Shandong smelters cutting production, some doubts have crept in about the extent of production cuts in Shandong,” Minmetals Jingyi Futures added.

Following a lack of news on production cuts in Shandong, the broker has lowered its estimation of fourth-quarter Chinese aluminium production cuts to 1.7 million tonnes from 2.7 million tonnes.

Zinc and lead prices bucked the upward trend, falling $7.50 and $3 per tonne, respectively, but both are consolidating at current levels.

Base metals prices

  • The three-month copper price was up $33.50 to $6,819.50 per tonne. Stocks declined 1,875 tonnes to 258,275 tonnes.
  • Aluminium’s three-month price was up $1 to $2,102 per tonne. Inventories fell 3,050 tonnes to 1,165,325 tonnes.
  • Nickel’s three-month price increased $200 to $12,310 per tonne. Stocks were 2,430 tonnes lower at 380,094 tonnes.
  • The three-month zinc price dipped $7.50 to $3,211.50 per tonne. Inventories declined 2,975 tonnes to 232,250 tonnes.
  • Lead’s three-month price dropped $3 to $2,516 per tonne. Stocks dipped 425 tonnes to 146,375 tonnes.
  • The three-month tin price was up $90 to $19,515 per tonne. Inventories declined 20 tonnes to 2,080 tonnes.

Currency moves and data releases

  • The dollar index was most recently up 0.24% to 94.62.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price was down 0.59% to $63.27 per barrel.
  • The economic agenda is light today with mainly the German WPI of note. Investors will focus on a string of Chinese economic data due from Tuesday November 14 onward – these include industrial production, fixed asset investment, retail sales and foreign direct investment.
  • The US October inflation data due on Wednesday will also be keenly watched, with anything less than the expected 1.7% year on year reading on the core measure to prompt some renewed doubts on the US Federal Reserve raising US interest rates in December and hurt the dollar, National Australia Bank noted.
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