LIVE FUTURES REPORT 29/05: Rebounding dollar pressures SHFE base metals prices; nickel drops 1.7%

Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were down across the board during morning trading on Wednesday May 29, with a rebound in the US dollar and US-China trade tensions weighing on investor appetite.

The US dollar index, at 97.94 as at 10.11am Shanghai time, is up by 0.4% from a low of 97.55 on Monday.

The rebound follows better-than-expected US data released late on Tuesday. The Conference Board’s reading of consumer confidence in the United States rose to 134.1 in May, up from 129.2 in April and surpassing the forecast reading of 130.1.

“Consumers expect the economy to continue growing at a solid pace in the short-term, and despite weak retail sales in April, these high levels of confidence suggest no significant pullback in consumer spending in the months ahead,” Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said.

The firmer dollar exerted downward pressure on the base metals traded on the SHFE this morning, with the complex all lower, led by a decline of 1.7% in nickel.

Nickel’s most-traded July contract edged down to 98,580 yuan ($14,266) per tonne as at 10.11am Shanghai time, down by 1,760 yuan per tonne from Tuesday’s close of 100,340 yuan per tonne.

This follows a similarly weak showing by nickel on the London Metal Exchange on Tuesday when the metal’s three-month price dropped by 1.9% by the close of trading.

Other highlights

  • Lead was also pressure by the bearish sentiment this morning, with the metal’s most-traded July contract dropping to 15,900 yuan per tonne as at 10.11 am Shanghai time, down by 55 yuan per tonne, or 0.3%, from Tuesday’s close of 15,955 yuan per tonne.
  • In European data, German Bundesbank President Weidmann will speak on Tuesday.
  • Data to be released from the US on Tuesday includes the Richmond Manufacturing Index.