LIVE FUTURES REPORT 26/06: LME nickel price gains 1.5% in steady incline; lead drawdowns continue

The three-month nickel price on the London Metal Exchange was higher during morning trading on Friday June 26, topping gains across the complex despite thin turnover, while the ongoing drawdown of LME lead stocks saw the heavy metal’s underlying price stay elevated.

Nickel’s outright price on the LME was recently seen at $12,665 per tonne, more than 1.5% higher than Thursday’s closing price of $12,440 per tonne, while turnover was low at just over 1,200 lots exchanged as of 10:15am London time.

Strong buying across the Asian trading hours prompted the uptrend in nickel futures, with European appetite subdued amid an uptick in re-emerging regional Covid-19 cases.

Meanwhile, the metal’s forward curve remains at $45.50 per tonne contango after narrowing from $60 per tonne contango on Thursday afternoon, with little stock activity recorded this week.

After falling to a total of 257,831 total open positions, open interest in LME nickel remains unprecedentedly low, with the five-year average being close to 300,000 open positions.

“The metals have certainly taken on the meaning of dull with the only apparent driver being where the Dow Jones Industrial Average is at any given moment,” Kingdom Futures director and chief executive Malcolm Freeman said in a morning note.

“Given this and the likelihood is that in these thin volumes exacerbated by the absence of the Chinese and as if there is no dramatic news that the funds will try to push up prices for month end valuations,” he added.

Elsewhere in the complex, the three-month lead price was supported over the morning session, consolidating near Thursday’s closing price of $1,786 per tonne, while turnover was strong over the morning at just under 1,000 lots exchanged as of 10:30am London time.

Meanwhile, further stock drawdowns were in effect this week, with today’s 3,175-tonne removal taking place across mixed locations, while warehouses in Rotterdam continue to see the most withdrawals.

LME lead’s forward curve remains wide, supporting storage costs, with the metal’s cash/three-month spread recently seen at $13.98 per tonne contango.

Other highlights

  • In other commodities, Brent crude oil futures were up by 0.53%, recently trading at $41.62 per barrel.
  • West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was recently at $39.32 per barrel, marking an incline of 0.05%.
  • In economic data from the European Union this morning, the M3 money supply index on a year on year basis climbed by 8.9%, beating an expected rise of 8.6%.
  • Later, the United States will be releasing data on personal spending, core personal consumption expenditure (PCE) price index and its University of Michigan consumer sentiment index.