LIVE FUTURES REPORT 31/12: LME base metals prices up on positive US-China trade developments

Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange were all up during Asian morning trading on Monday December 31 amid renewed optimism in the market after US President Donald Trump reported “big progress” in trade talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

In a tweet on December 29, Trump said that trade negotiations were “moving along very well” toward a comprehensive deal, while Chinese state media said that Xi believed both sides wanted “stable progress”.

“The latest phone talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart, Donald Trump, have demonstrated a shared good will to open up a new chapter of a coordinated, cooperative and stable China-US relationship,” Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua said.

“The conversation on Saturday boded well for the two countries’…. the latest phone call suggested that coordination and cooperation are the common aspiration of the two sides in searching for ways to achieve a generally stable bilateral relationship,” it added.

The positive sentiment stemming from the trade developments between China and the United States saw the three-month base metals prices on the LME all push higher this morning, despite the release of disappointing Chinese manufacturing data over the weekend – see data section below.

The Shanghai Futures Exchange is closed on Monday and Tuesday due to a public holidays in China.

Base metals prices

  • The three-month copper price stood at $6,034 per tonne, up $43 from Friday’s closing price.
  • The three-month aluminium price inched up by $4 to $1,851.50 per tonne.
  • The three-month nickel price increased $175 to $10,915 per tonne.
  • The three-month zinc price rose $24 to $2,471.50 per tonne.
  • The three-month lead price was up by $10 to $2,053 per tonne.
  • The three-month tin price climbed $35 to $19,465 per tonne.

Currency moves and data releases

  • The dollar index was up by 0.1% at 96.44 as at 10.39 am Shanghai time.
  • In data over the weekend, China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for December, at 49.4, was below a forecast reading of 50.0. It was also worse than November’s reading of 50.0. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while below that signals contraction. China’s non-manufacturing PMI for the same month stood at 53.8, better than expected and previous readings of 53.2 and 53.4 respectively.
  • There is no major data of note on Monday due to a number of countries celebrating public holidays.

London Metal Exchange, base metals prices