LIVE FUTURES REPORT 24/06: Macro-sensitive LME base metals prices capped in lackluster trading

Three-month base metals prices traded on the London Metal Exchange were broadly range-bound during the morning session on Wednesday June 24, with the macro-sensitive complex unsure which direction to follow.

“To describe the current metals markets as dull would probably be regarded as an act of flattery and so far today we seem to have hit new levels of boredom,” Kingdom Futures chief executive officer Malcolm Freeman said in a morning note.

Price action for most metals remains capped by the ongoing Covid-19 narrative, with reports of growing infection cases in the United States and Europe after the announcement of fresh outbreaks in China dampening optimism which had given rise to rallies in preceding days.

But LME futures were not subject to substantial declines during morning trading, with some residual positivity for a US-China trade deal and forward demand for metal once Covid-19 subsides keeping them elevated despite a current weak fundamental outlook.

The LME three-month copper price was once more trading below $5,900 per tonne this morning, most recently down by 0.5% at around $5,874.50 per tonne from the previous day’s close of $5,905 per tonne.

A 2,400-tonne outflow of copper from global LME warehouses and a further 4,325-tonne fresh cancelation, mostly from Asian warehouses, failed to offer price support this morning.

Conversely, the LME three-month lead price was trading up by a marginal $4 per tonne this morning, most recently trading at around $1,751 per tonne from the previous day’s close of $1,747 per tonne.

A 1,900- tonne outflow of lead from European warehouses this morning and a further 475-tonne fresh cancelation, also across European sheds, offered some price support this morning. This more than offset the 250 tonnes entering sheds in Trieste, Italy.

Other highlights

  • The US dollar index was trading up by 0.14% at 96.82 during the morning session, further dampening upward price action across LME base metals.
  • Brent Crude oil futures were trading down by 0.12% at around $42.33 per barrel this morning in anticipation of the US crude oil inventories data out later today; inventories are forecast to have increased by 1.2 million barrels in the past week.