LIVE FUTURES REPORT 20/08: LME Al price continues to climb but copper, tin dip

Base metals prices were trading broadly higher on the London Metal Exchange Wednesday September 20 although copper closed in negative territory.

The three-month aluminium price continued to rise, closing up $53 per tonne after it earlier hit its highest since January 2013.

Lead prices also continued to strengthen, finding support from supply tightness amid continuing environmental inspections in China.

“The growing market deficit and declining refined-lead stocks should continue to underpin the bullish momentum and help erode overhead resistance at $2,500 per tonne,” Metal Bulletin analyst Andy Farida said.

“As such, we remain cautiously bullish towards lead and will not rule out a new 2017 high if buying pressure persists,” he added.

The three-month nickel price recovered further thanks to improved buying in the stainless steel sector. But copper and tin both edged lower.

Market participants are awaiting the conclusion of the US Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) September meeting later today and its economic projections, statement, rate decisions and press conference.

Copper dips

  • The three-month copper price declined $12 to close at $6,527 per tonne. 
  • LME stocks increased a net 13,225 tonnes to 313,850 tonnes, with most deliveries into Busan and Gwangyang. This follows more than 100,000 tonnes of deliveries into LME-listed warehouses last week. 
  • As well, 20,150 tonnes of copper was also re-warranted today, reflecting the benchmark cash/three-month contango remaining at a wide $43.50 per tonne. 
  • “We remain bullish for copper’s fundamentals but prices had started to look overstretched in the short term so some profit-taking seemed probable, which is now unfolding,” Metal Bulletin senior analyst William Adams said.

Base metals

  • The three-month aluminium price rose around 2.5% to end at $2,177 per tonne. Stocks fell 2,725 tonnes to 1,303,925 tonnes. 
  • Nickel’s three-month price was up $240 to $11,380 per tonne at the close. Inventories dipped by 2,766 tonnes to 380,736 tonnes. 
  • The three-month zinc price ended $27 higher at $3,133 per tonne. Stocks fell 1,275 tonnes to 266,250 tonnes. 
  • Lead’s three-month price concluded at $2,460 per tonne, an increase of $40. Inventories nudged 125 tonnes lower to 162,575 tonnes. 
  • The three-month tin price closed $25 lower at $20,626 per tonne after stocks rose 105 tonnes to 2,035 tonnes.

Currency moves and data releases

  • The dollar index was recently down 0.10% at 91.73.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price was up 1.43% at $56.16 per barrel. 
  • In data, US existing home sales for August disappointed at 5.35 million, below the forecast of 5.46 million.

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