LIVE FUTURES REPORT 16/08: SHFE base metals prices mostly little changed to up; Ni climbs 2.4%

Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were broadly little changed to up during morning trading on Friday August 16, with nickel giving the best performance of its peers with a gain of 2.4%.

The most-traded October nickel contract price climbed to 126,670 yuan ($18,006) per tonne as at 11.30am Shanghai time, an increase of 2,970 yuan from Thursday’s close of 123,700 yuan per tonne.

The rest of the complex were broadly little changed to up; September lead was the second-best performer of the SHFE base metals with a gain of 0.8%, while October zinc was flat with the previous day’s close. Tin was the lone metal in negative territory, with the metal’s most-traded September contract price declining by 0.3%.

While concerns of a global recession linger, some strong data from the United States overnight suggesting that the world’s largest economy is rebounding, has helped allay some of these fears and boosted risk sentiment in commodity markets this morning.

US retail sales rose by the most in four months with a 0.7% month-on-month increase in July - up from the downwardly revised 0.3% rise in June and exceeding the expected 0.3% increase.

The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index was similarly better than expected with a print of 16.8 in August, down from 21.8 previously but significantly outstripping the forecast reading of 10.1. The Empire State Index, meanwhile inched up at a reading of 4.8 in August from 4.3 in July.

Alongside support from the positive US data, nickel continues to benefit from expectations that Indonesia will bring forward a proposed export ban on unprocessed ore, scheduled to take effect in 2022.

Other highlights

  • The dollar index was up by 0.02% at 98.18 as at 11.52am Shanghai time.
  • The Shanghai Composite Index was up by 0.68% at 2,834.85 as at 11.30 am Shanghai time.
  • In data on Thursday, the United Kingdom’s consumer price index (CPI) for July-August was better than expected at 2.1%, while its producer price index (PPI) also surpassed expectation at 0.9%.
  • US releases of note scheduled for Friday include building permits, housing starts and the University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment and inflation expectations.
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