LIVE FUTURES REPORT 14/09: LME base metals tick lower on trade jitters; ali price steady despite fresh 30,000-tonne cancelation

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange edged lower during morning trading on Friday September 14, consolidating lower amid continued trade disagreements between the United States and China, while fresh economic data indicates more stability in the Chinese economy.

Falling back below $6,000 per tonne over the morning trading session, the three-month copper price depreciated the most across the complex, shedding approximately 1% from its intraday high of $6,037 per tonne while stock levels pushed higher for the first time since September 4.

In aluminium, just under 30,000 tonnes of the light metal was booked for removal over the morning, but the move has had little influence on the metal’s outright price with continued consolidation at around $2,050 per tonne.

“The weak US dollar allowed metals prices to continue their recovery yesterday. They are still on the up this morning, albeit at a slower pace,” Commerzbank Research said in a morning note.

“The economic data published today in China tallied largely with expectations, though growth in fixed asset investments was lower than ever before at 5.3% in August. Overall, the economic data point to a stabilizing economy in China,” Commerzbank Research added.

Elsewhere, US-Sino trade relations could benefit from further talks before a third round of US-imposed tariffs on Chinese good take effect.

While commodity investment has dwindled as a result, volatile currencies from emerging markets have fueled recent surges in the dollar index, pushing it to a fresh 2018 high of 96.99 on August 15.

The three-month tin price continued to trade above $19,000 per tonne, while zinc has edged lower despite persistent stock outflows.

Lead was the only metal to trade positively over the morning, retaining gains made throughout the week and holding firmly above $2,000 per tonne.

Base metal prices lose ground; lead stays firm

  • The three-month copper price recently traded at $5,976 per tonne, a $57 fall from Thursday’s close. Stocks climbed by a net 775 tonnes to total 225,900 tonnes.
  • Aluminium’s three-month price fell $11 to $2,054 per tonne. Inventories dropped by 4,500 tonnes to 1,046,700 tonnes. Some 29,600 tonnes were freshly canceled across European, Asian and North American warehouses.
  • Nickel’s three-month price recently traded $10 lower at $12,595 per tonne. Inventories were down by 396 tonnes to 233,592 total tonnes, with 1,230 tonnes freshly canceled across Asia.
  • The three-month zinc price decreased by $16 to $2,344 per tonne. Stocks fell by 2,525 tonnes to 218,900 tonnes.
  • Lead’s three-month price recently traded at $2,039 per tonne, up $3 from Thursday’s closing price. Inventories were down by 500 tonnes to 118,925 tonnes.
  • The three-month tin price fell $10 to $19,015 per tonne. Inventories were down by 50 tonnes to 2,845 total tonnes.

Currency moves and data releases

  • The dollar index was down by 0.12% to 94.44.
  • In other commodities, Brent crude oil fell 0.04% to $78.38 per barrel.
  • In US data on Thursday, weekly unemployment claims were better than expected at 204,000, below the estimate of 210,000. The headline and core consumer price index (CPI) both disappointed with prints of 0.2% and 0.1% respectively – readings of 0.3% and 0.2% had been forecast.
  • In European data on Thursday, German final CPI month-on-month for the August-September period was flat across the board at 0.1%, while French final CPI in the same period was recorded at 0.5%, unchanged from the previous figure and in line with expectations.
  • In Chinese data on Friday, fixed asset investment slowed to 5.3% in the first eight months of the year, below a forecast of 5.5% and matching a record low in January-July. The country’s industrial output grew by 6.1% year on year in August, while retail sales rose by 9% in the same comparison, both beating expected increases of 6% and 8.8% respectively.
  • US releases expected later on Friday, include core and headline retail sales, import prices, capacity utilization rate, industrial production, business inventories and University of Michigan consumer sentiment and inflation expectations.
  • In addition, Bank of England governor Mark Carney is speaking at the Whitaker Lecture in Dublin, Ireland, at 11am London time.