SHANGHAI, Mar 8 (SMM) – SHFE nonferrous metals, except for aluminium, closed lower on Friday after China released gloomy trade data for February. Nickel saw the biggest loss of 3.27%, zinc dropped 2.28%, tin fell 0.94%, copper declined 0.71% and lead lost 0.37%.
The ferrous complex saw no better performance on the day. Coking coal tumbled 2.64%, coke sank 2.46%, iron ore slid 0.57%, hot-rolled coil slipped 0.51% and rebar dipped 0.05%.
Copper: The most active SHFE May copper contract fell to a near three-week low in afternoon trade as shorts loaded up their positions. It erased earlier gains to a low of 48,990 yuan/mt, the lowest since February 19, and finished the trading day 0.71% lower at 49,040 yuan/mt. With a five-day drop, the contract has completely fallen below the 20-day moving average, towards the middle Bollinger band. It is expected to try to hang on above the 49,000 yuan/mt level tonight.
Aluminium: The most liquid SHFE May aluminium contract fluctuated during the day as both longs and shorts cut their positions in lack of a direction. It inched up 0.19% on the day to end at 13,510 yuan/mt. The spread between the April and May contracts narrowed to 110 yuan/mt. We expect aluminium inventories in China to decline soon, with recovering downstream consumption. We remain bullish on aluminium prices in the medium term.
Zinc: The most traded SHFE May zinc contract extended overnight losses to a two-week low of 21,175 yuan/mt during the day. It ended the trading day 2.28% lower at 21,190 yuan/mt. Open interest for the contract gained over 25,000 lots on the day, as growing domestic inventories prompted shorts to add positions. The contract is expected to trade under strong pressure from the five- and 10-day moving averages tonight.
Nickel: As longs took profits, the most liquid SHFE May nickel contract continued overnight decline during the day and touched a one-week low of 102,000 yuan/mt. China’s disappointing trade data released today also hampered market sentiment. The contract lost 3.27% on the day to close at 102,100 yuan/mt and is expected to test support at the 20-day moving average tonight.
Lead: The most traded SHFE April lead contract traded rangebound around the daily moving average during the day, with pressure at 17,500 yuan/mt and support at 17,440 yuan/mt. It declined 0.37% on the day to close at 17,475 yuan/mt. The contract has fallen out of its recent trading range. It is likely to continue to fall if it fails to rebound to that range.
Tin: The most active SHFE May tin contract extended overnight losses to a near seven-week low of 147,100 yuan/mt during the day. It closed the trading day 0.94% lower at 147,140 yuan/mt. The contract has broken through the 147,500 yuan/mt level and is likely to continue to fall in the short run.