SHANGHAI, Mar. 4 (SMM) –The HSBC PMI for China hit a four-month low, but remained above 50, and was interpreted as a sign of stabilization for the Chinese economy. Markets were upbeat that the upcoming NPC and CPPCC meetings will introduce favorable policies, and this optimism allowed the Shanghai Composite Index to rebound by 2% after initially falling. SHFE copper prices also rose to around RMB 57,800/mt, up from RMB 57,000/mt, so the SHFE/LME copper price ratio rose to 7.28-7.30. Both trading volumes and positions experienced considerable increases as long and short investors tried to influence the market.
In spot markets last week, even though pre-holiday domestic copper stocks had not yet been consumed, imported copper supply increased since the SHFE/LME copper price ratio moved higher. Therefore, overall spot copper supply remained plentiful, causing copper discounts to expand gradually, especially at the month's end as cargo-holders sold aggressively to generate cash. Downstream producers gradually returned to markets and bought at lows following the Lantern Festival on February 24th. Speculators, however, were wary of purchasing before copper prices stabilized.
SMM believes SHFE copper prices will look for support at RMB 56,500/mt in the coming week and challenge resistance at RMB 58,000/mt.