LIVE FUTURES REPORT 30/04: LME base metals mostly up on positive Chinese data, easing geopolitical tensions

Base metal prices on the London Metal Exchange were broadly up during Asian morning trading on Monday April 30, following the release of positive Chinese economic data and an easing in geopolitical tensions.

The LME three-month copper price stood at $6,811.50 per tonne as at 10.19am Shanghai time, up by $14.50 per tonne from last Friday’s closing price. A total of 138 lots of the contract have been traded so far this morning.

The Shanghai Futures Exchange is closed on April 30 and May 1 due to public holidays in China.

On Monday, China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for April came in a 51.4, close to an expected reading of 51.3, while the non-manufacturing PMI for the same month was at 54.8, also close to a forecast print of 54.6.

China’s manufacturing sector continues to maintain steady growth with overall demand stable and high-tech manufacturing leading growth, the country’s Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.

Easing geopolitical risks should also see investor appetite for commodities improve, ANZ Research noted on Monday.

Political tensions in the Korean Peninsula showed signs of easing after a historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in last week at which Kim offered to relinquish his nuclear weapons if the United States commits to a formal end to the Korean war and pledges not to attack or invade North Korea.

In copper news, the International Copper Study Group forecasts the global refined copper market to rebound from last year’s 163,000-tonne deficit to record a modest 40,000-tonne surplus in 2018 before falling back to a 330,000-tonne deficit in 2019.

Aluminium volatility, however, remains elevated after Rusal’s owner Oleg Deripaska moved to help his company overcome sanctions-related barriers, financial broker IG said on Monday.

Deripaska has agreed, in principle, to reduce his shareholding in the EN+ Group to below 50% and resign from the company’s board, according to a company statement on April 27.

LME aluminium prices had dropped 2.2% last Friday with industry participants seeing the latest development as a decline in supply disruption risk in the aluminium market.

Rest of complex higher, except nickel

  • The LME three-month aluminium price rose $12.50 to $2,235.50 per tonne.
  • The LME three-month zinc price increased $16.50 to $3,137.50 per tonne.
  • The LME three-month lead price inched $1 higher to $2,347 per tonne.
  • The LME three-month tin price gained $110 to $21,010 per tonne.
  • The LME three-month nickel price eased $125 to $13,760 per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases

  • The dollar index was unchanged at 91.53 as at 10.17 am Shanghai time.
  • In other commodities, the Brent crude oil spot price decreased by 1.09% to $73.58 per barrel as at 10.17 am Shanghai time.
  • In equities, the Shanghai Composite closed 0.23% higher at 3.082.23 on April 27.
  • In US data on Friday, first-quarter advance gross domestic product rose 2.3% quarter on quarter, beating expectations for a 2% increase, while the employment cost index, also for the first quarter, rose 0.8% quarter on quarter, higher than the forecast 0.7% growth. The revised University of Michigan consumer sentiment for April was at 98.8, better than the expected 98.
  • A string of US economic data is due later today, including core PCE price index, personal spending, personal income, Chicago PMI and pending home sales.
LME snapshot at 03.19 am London time
Latest three-month LME Prices
Price ($ per tonne) Change since previous session’s close ($)
Copper 6,811.50 14.5
Aluminium 2,235.50 12.5
Lead 2,347 1
Zinc 3,137.50 16.5
Tin 21,010 110
Nickel 13,760 -125
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