SHANGHAI, Mar 28 (SMM) – SHFE base metals closed mixed on Thursday. Zinc rose 1.2% and aluminium gained 0.4% while copper dipped 0.04%, tin edged down 0.2%, lead lost 0.4% and nickel fell 0.9%.
The ferrous complex also saw mixed performances. Hot-rolled coil and coke advanced some 0.2%, while rebar declined 0.5%, iron ore dropped over 1%. Coking coal closed flat.
Copper: With pressure from all short-term moving averages, the most traded SHFE May contract traded rangebound during the day, ending marginally lower at 48,360 yuan/mt. It remained above the lower Bollinger band. The contract is expected to struggle to break through 48,500 yuan/mt tonight.
Aluminium: The most liquid SHFE May contract traded rangebound to close the trading at 13,685 yuan/mt, up 0.44% on the day. Tight bauxite supplies lowered operating alumina capacity and stemmed declines in alumina prices. SMM reported on Thursday that social inventories of primary aluminium ingots in China shrank 56,000 mt in the week ended March 28, showing signs of recovering consumption. Those factors shored up aluminium prices. The SHFE 1905 contract is expected to remain firm and try to break through the 10-day moving average tonight.
Zinc: Following a rise in LME zinc, longs in Shanghai aggressively loaded up their positions. This speeded up gains in the most traded SHFE May contract in the last hour before closing, refreshing the peak of this year to 22,640 yuan/mt. The SHFE 1905 contract gained 1.19% on the day and ended at 22,570 yuan/mt. The spread between the May and June contracts widened to 295 yuan/mt from 240 yuan/mt at Wednesday’s closing. SHFE zinc is expected to stay at highs tonight, in anticipation of further inventory destocking.
Nickel: The most liquid SHFE May contract fell during the day and closed at 100,180 yuan/mt, losing 0.94% on the day. Open interest for the contract shrank 3,064 lots to 229,254 lots while that for the June-September contracts grew some 28,000 lots. The SHFE 1905 contract is expected to test support at 100,000 yuan/mt tonight.
Lead: The most active SHFE May contract weakened to a five-week low of 16,735 yuan/mt before it ended the trading day 0.39% lower at 16,760 yuan/mt. The contract continued its rangebound pattern, with the five-day moving average expanding downwards. It is unlikely to hang on above 16,800 yuan/mt tonight if its LME counterpart fails to tick higher.
Tin: As shorts added and longs covered their positions, the most traded SHFE May contract tumbled to 145,490 yuan/mt, the lowest since January 10, in afternoon trade. It recovered some losses to end the trading day 0.18% lower at 146,580 yuan/mt. SHFE tin still faces the risk for a decline as tax cuts approach. Support is seen at 146,000 yuan/mt with next support at 145,000 yuan/mt.