SHANGHAI, Mar 31 (SMM) – SHFE nonferrous metals, except for nickel, traded higher on Tuesday as market sentiment improved on better-than-expected data on China’s manufacturing activities in March.
Official data released on Tuesday showed that China’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for March came in at 52, returning to expansion and defying expectations of a contraction amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Activity across Chinese copper downstream industries also expanded in March, after registering a record contraction in the prior month, showed the latest SMM survey.
SHFE tin led the increases on Tuesday with a rise of 2.5%. Copper advanced 1.42%, aluminium added 0.13%, lead rose 1.28%, zinc climbed 0.46%, while nickel slipped 1.06%.
The ferrous complex closed mixed as iron ore grew 0.85%, stainless steel increased 0.34%, while rebar eased 0.71%, hot-rolled coil shed 0.74% and coke dipped 0.65%.
Copper: The most-liquid SHFE May contract broke up 39,000 yuan/mt on short-covering, but failed to stand above 40,000 yuan/mt, ending up 1.42% higher on the day at 39,150 yuan/mt. As the global spread of the COVID-19 and crude oil price war showed no signs of easing, the contract may face continued pressure from 40,000 yuan/mt and test support from 39,000 yuan/mt.
Aluminium: The most-active SHFE May contract traded sideways and closed at 11,570 yuan/mt, up 0.13% on the day, trimming declines from the previous session. Expectations of sluggish downstream orders both domestically and overseas for April may keep prices under pressure.
Zinc: The most-traded SHFE May contract moved higher to around the daily moving average and closed the day up 0.46% at 15,175 yuan/mt. This intensified a backwardation structure of the SHFE zinc contracts. Weak overseas demand will likely keep a lid on near-term prices.
Nickel: The most-active SHFE June contract relinquished gains from the previous day as investors added short positions. It lost support from the 10-day moving average and declined to session low of 91,800 yuan/mt before ending down 1.06% on the day at 91,830 yuan/mt. It may test support from 92,000 yuan/mt on Wednesday.
Lead: The most-liquid SHFE May contract strengthened while hovered in a narrow band around the daily moving average, closing up 1.28% on the day at 13,885 yuan/mt.
Tin: The most-traded SHFE June contract extended increase from the prior session as it recovered after dipped to an intraday low of 118,020 yuan/mt, and finished 2.5% higher on the day at 120,650 yuan/mt. It remains to be seen whether it could stay firm above 120,000 yuan/mt. Pressure above is expected from 123,000 yuan/mt.