LIVE FUTURES REPORT 29/01: LME base metals prices rebound; aluminium lower following 30kt delivery in Port Klang

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange were mostly higher during morning trading on Thursday March 29 with the market gearing up for a long weekend.

Lead and aluminium prices bucked the trend, with the former dipping back to $2,025 per tonne following a large delivery into LME-listed warehouses.

30,075 tonnes of aluminium was delivered into Port Klang - meaning on-warrant stock there have now almost tripled since the start of 2018.

“Most of the base metals prices are rebounding, the exception is aluminium that remains depressed. The rebounds suggest bases may have formed and if that is the case then the metals look well placed to rally as bargain hunting takes advantage of the recent price weakness,” Metal Bulletin senior analyst William Adams said.

Nickel was the strongest performer this morning, recovering $160 per tonne and firming up back above the $13,000-per-tonne mark, while zinc continued to build on this week’s gains.

Copper prices recovered $51.50 per tonne with stock levels falling for the first time this week.

“Copper is again in focus with strong volumes (more than the rest of the complex put together) on steadily appreciating price action as we approach a long weekend for LME markets,” Marex Spectron noted on Thursday.

“The dollar is also softer, which should be supportive commodities… Given positioning across the complex (largely flat to short) would not be surprised to see some short-covering action into the long weekend ahead. However quarter-end flows and the potential for unexpected geopolitical headlines in the current climate creates an increased level of uncertainty,” it added.

The LME will be shut on Friday March 30 and Monday April 2 due to the Easter bank holidays.

Base metals prices

  • The three-month copper price was $51.50 higher at $6,716.50 per tonne. Inventories declined 5,100 tonnes to 383,075 tonnes, with 13,050 tonnes freshly cancelled.
  • Aluminium’s three-month price edged down $1.50 to $2,028.50 per tonne. Stocks increased 24,675 tonnes to 1,286,300 tonnes.
  • Nickel’s three-month price was most recently trading at $13,290 per tonne, an increase of $160. Inventories fell 1,650 tonnes to 320,586 tonnes.
  • The three-month zinc price climbed $28 to $3,312 per tonne. Stocks were 3,275 tonnes to 212,825 tonnes.
  • Lead’s three-month price decreased $5.50 to $2,419.50 per tonne. Inventories dipped 525 tonnes to 129,975 tonnes.
  • The three-month tin price was at $20,920 per tonne, an increase of $30. Stocks climbed 65 tonnes to 2,060 tonnes.

Currency moves and data releases

  • The dollar index was unchanged at 90.08.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price was down 1.60% to $68.70 per barrel.
  • The economic agenda is busy today with a host of data from the United Kingdom with current account, final gross domestic product and net lending to individuals of note. US data out later includes the core PCE price index, personal spending, unemployment claims, the Chicago purchasing managers’ index, revised University of Michigan consumer sentiment and inflation expectations and natural gas storage.
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