LIVE FUTURES REPORT 28/07: LME nickel price sees 2% correction in steady selling; fresh inflows pressure zinc

The three-month nickel price on the London Metal Exchange was lower during morning trading on Tuesday July 28, with selling pressure emerging during Asian trading hours, while a continued influx of material caused the LME zinc price to drop by 1%.

Nickel’s underlying price on the LME was recently at $13,530 per tonne, a decline of over 2% from a morning high of $13,995 per tonne. Turnover in LME nickel was particularly high, with more than 4,400 lots exchanged as of 9.45am London time.

Buying momentum for LME nickel remains volatile, with re-emerging end-use demand in electric vehicles through battery-grade nickel gathering momentum, but reduced steel consumption in China against seasonal rains has pressured the metal’s price in either direction.

This comes while LME nickel stocks continue to hold at recent levels, with little movement in the exchange stockpile against a steady contango in the metal’s forward curve.

Total LME on-warrant nickel stocks now stand at 178,470 tonnes, with the metal’s benchmark cash/three-month spread recently trading at $49.50 per tonne contango.

“It could be argued that prices were initially supported by a weakening US dollar index,” Kingdom Futures director and chief executive Malcolm Freeman said in a morning note. “From a neutral point of view the market looks as if there are some shorts trying to keep prices down.”

Elsewhere in the complex, the three-month zinc price was also lower over the morning, recently trading at $2,214 per tonne and down just under 1% on the morning. Turnover was also strong at more than 4,000 lots exchanged as of 10am London time.

Pressuring the galvanizing metal’s price lower, a fresh inflow of some 15,125 tonnes of material was delivered into LME-registered warehouses, with the bulk of material split between sheds in New Orleans and Singapore.

Total on-warrant zinc stocks now stand at 154,750 tonnes, up from 101,300 on July 15. The metal’s cash/three-month spread was recently at $8.50 per tonne contango.

Other highlights

  • In other commodities, Brent crude oil futures were up by 0.19%, recently trading at $43.99 per barrel.
  • The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was recently at $41.49 per barrel, a decline of 0.47%.
  • In economic data from the European Union, the Spanish unemployment rate for the July period was recorded at 15.3%, beating an expected level of 16.6%, but worsening from the prior reading of 14.4%.
  • Later, the United States will release data on its Conference Board consumer confidence index.
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