Three-month base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) were positively higher on Thursday, with the complex up an average of 0.4 percent.
Leading the gains was LME copper, up 1.1 percent, followed by tin at 0.5 percent and lead and zinc both up 0.4 percent. Meanwhile, aluminium was up 0.1 percent, consolidating after Wednesday’s strong surge of 3.2 percent amid industrial action at Alcoa’s Pinjarra alumina refinery.
Having vaulted above $14,000 per tonne on Wednesday, the LME nickel price was unchanged at $14,035 per tonne on Thursday.
Trading volume early in the day was higher with 6,127 lots already traded, a further sign that buying interest toward the base metals complex is on the rise.
The buying theme also applied across the precious metals complex, with an average gain of 0.5 percent. Gold and silver prices were up by 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent, while platinum and palladium were both up 0.8 percent.
The surge in the LME aluminium price on Wednesday translated into a stronger Shanghai Futures Exchange aluminium price, up 2.2 percent to 14,805 yuan ($2,167) per tonne based on its most-traded October contract.
Lead prices were up 1 percent while nickel was up 0.7 percent, copper up 0.6 percent and zinc secured a 0.5 percent gain. Tin was the only exception, down 0.1 percent at the time of writing. Still, the base metals prices on the SHFE were up strong by an average of 0.8 percent.
In other metals on the SHFE, the October steel rebar contract was down 0.8 percent to 4,206 yuan per tonne. The most traded December gold and silver contract stood unchanged this morning.
Meanwhile, the January iron ore contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange is trading at 512 yuan per tonne.
Undermined by escalating trade tensions, spot Brent crude oil prices struggled to clear above $75.00 per barrel and are consolidating near recent lows this morning at $72.50 per barrel. In the bond market, US 10-year treasuries were weaker at 2.9504 percent, while the German 10-year bond yield has edged lower to 0.3900 percent.
Also, weakness in the dollar index is helping boost metals prices already this morning. The greenback has struggled to garner bids since the Monday high of 95.53. The index is down 0.02 at the time of writing and trades at 95.08.
Frontpage February 14, 2019