LIVE FUTURES REPORT 27/07: LME nickel price climbs 1% in positive opening; zinc, lead inflows continue

The three-month nickel price on the London Metal Exchange was higher during morning trading on Monday July 27, with price action continuing to trend higher amid steady buying momentum, while sizable inflows in both zinc and lead this morning failed to pressure the metals’ outright prices lower.

Nickel’s underlying price on the LME was recently seen at $13,790 per tonne, up by more than 1% from an opening price of $13,650 per tonne, while turnover was moderate at just over 2,500 lots exchanged as of 9.55am London time.

The metal’s three-month price pushed firmly beyond nearby resistance levels, reaching a morning high of $13,865 per tonne.

Yet nickel futures continue to ride momentum gained last week, when Tesla chief executive Elon Musk publically called for more global nickel mining, prompting a 4.5% spike in the metal’s three-month price.

Meanwhile, forward buying in LME nickel was also supported by a steady contango in the metal’s forward curve, with nickel’s benchmark cash/three-month spread recently trading at $44.96 per tonne contango, widening from $38 per tonne contango on Friday.

“The week is starting on a positive note with metals prices moving up and in particular nickel pushing to establish itself above $13,800 per tonne,” Kingdom Futures director and chief executive Malcolm Freeman said.

“This buying looks to be related to the US Senate agreeing in principle to the terms of the coronavirus aid bill, and the extending of the enhanced unemployment benefits until the year end which has sent the Dow and S&P futures into positive territory,” he added.

Elsewhere in the complex, a recent flurry of stock inflows in LME zinc and lead has seen more than 50,000 tonnes enter LME-registered warehouses for the latter this month, while LME zinc stocks continue their steady incline.

This morning, a total of 10,100 tonnes of lead were delivered into mixed locations, while some 4,950 tonnes of zinc were delivered into LME-registered warehouses in Singapore.

Total on-warrant LME zinc stocks now stand at 139,625 tonnes, while LME deliverable lead stocks now stand at 102,175 tonnes.

Still, price action in both LME zinc and lead futures remains little affected by the recent influx of material, with LME zinc’s outright price on the LME trading firmly above the $2,200 per tonne threshold, while LME lead’s three-month price also remains well supported above the $1,800-per-tonne support level.

Other highlights

  • In other commodities, Brent crude oil futures were down by 0.32%, recently trading at $43.49 per barrel.
  • The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was recently at $41.07 per barrel, a decline of 0.50%.
  • In data from the European Union this morning, the German Ifo business climate index for the July period was recorded at a level of 90.5, beating expectations set at 89.2.
  • Later, the United States will release data on durable goods for the July period.
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