Metals News
SMM Evening Comments (Feb 18): Shanghai copper steadied at 2-week high as investors weighed coronavirus impact
price review forecast
Feb 18,2020

SHANGHAI, Feb 18 (SMM) – Shanghai nonferrous metals closed mostly higher on Tuesday, with copper steadying at more than two-week highs, as a slowdown in the number of new virus cases, re-openings of factories in China and stimulus measures by Beijing calmed investor nerves.

On the SHFE, copper and nickel inched up less than 0.1% on the day, while aluminium rose 0.3%, lead and tin climbed more than 0.6%. Zinc edged down 0.03%.

The ferrous complex, except for iron ore, turned lower on Tuesday. Coke shed 1.2% to lead the losses, coking coal and rebar fell 0.7%, stainless steel declined 0.6%, and hot-rolled coil slipped close to 0.1%.

Dalian iron ore rose for a sixth straight day, gaining 1.4% on the day, as Rio Tinto lowered its outlook for the volume of full-year iron ore shipments from the Pilbara region after tropical cyclone Damien hit Australia's west coast.

The number of new cases from the coronavirus epidemic outbreak outside of the epicentre of Hubei in China has fallen for 14 consecutive days, according to data from the National Health Commission by the end of February 17.

Lingering concerns about the economic impact from the epidemic and the slow recovery of production, however, capped gains in prices of base metals.

China said on Tuesday that it would accept applications for new tariff exemptions for 696 products imported from the US including pork, beef, soybeans, liquefied natural gas and crude oil.

China’s futures markets have suspended night trading session until further notice.


Copper: The most-traded SHFE 2004 contract fluctuated to finish the day 0.06% firmer at 46,270 yuan/mt. The recent rally in SHFE copper appeared to run out of steam, and whether the contract could remain above 46,200 yuan/mt will come under scrutiny tomorrow.


Aluminium: The most-active SHFE 2004 contract rallied, gaining 0.33% on the day to end at 13,725 yuan/mt.


Zinc: The influx of shorts took the most-liquid SHFE 2004 contract to an intraday low of 17,150 yuan/mt, before the contract recovered some ground to close the day a tad weaker at 17,190 yuan/mt, snapping a three-day winning streak.


Nickel: The most-traded SHFE 2004 contract slipped to a two-week low of 103,420 yuan/mt, before it clawed back those losses to end the day 0.09% higher at 105,090 yuan/mt. SHFE nickel still remains in its recent range around 105,000 yuan/mt.


Lead: The most-liquid SHFE 2004 contract hit a new two-week high of 14,515 yuan/mt in afternoon trade, before it erased some gains to end the day 0.52% stronger at 14,450 yuan/mt. SHFE lead continued its rally today, but it is likely to see limited further upside room, in the face of a stiff resistance confluence of 14,600 yuan/mt, the 20-day moving average and the massive opening gap on the first trading day after the Lunar New Year holiday. The pull-back of its LME counterpart will also hamper upside potential in SHFE lead.


Tin: The most-traded SHFE 2006 contract climbed past the 20-day moving average to the peak of the year of the Rat at 136,660 yuan/mt in morning trade, before it eased to close the day 0.59% higher at 135,470 yuan/mt. SHFE tin is supported by the five-day moving average, but faces resistance at 137,000 yuan/mt.

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