Metals News
SMM Evening Comments (Apr 3): Shanghai base metals higher across the board on stimulus hope
price review forecast
Apr 3,2020

SHANGHAI, Apr 3 (SMM) – SHFE nonferrous metals rose across the board on Friday, as market sentiment rallied after China’s Ministry of Finance pledged to make an early allocation of the special-purpose bond quotas for transportation infrastructure construction. 

Zinc continued to lead the increase with a rise of 2.24%. Copper advanced 2.07%, aluminium added 1.67%, lead climbed 1.14%, tin rose 0.26%, and nickel increased 1.35%. 

The ferrous complex also traded higher as iron ore expanded 1.43%, rebar gained 0.76%, hot-rolled coil added 1.03%, stainless steel edged up 0.04%, and coke grew 0.25%.  

A Caixin survey on Friday showed that China’s services sector purchasing manager’s index (PMI) for March rebounded to 43 from 26.5 in February, beating expectations though still marking the second-lowest level since the survey began. 

February's reading was the lowest on record due to shop closures and public lockdowns amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Shanghai Futures Exchange will be closed on Monday April 6 for the Qingming holiday. 

Copper: The most-traded SHFE May contract extended its increase from Thursday, rising to a session high of 39,980 yuan/mt and closed the day 2.07% higher at 39,930 yuan/mt. Spot copper trades were active on Friday on rising expectations of tax cut stimulus measures. Intensified concerns about ore supplies also supported copper prices, after Rio Tinto said it could not supply contracted copper to its customers due to force majeure factors. Moreover, Peru has extended a state of emergency and Mexico has declared national public health emergency amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The SHFE contract is expected to test support from 40,000 yuan/mt next week, with pressure expected from the 40-day moving average. 

Aluminium: The most-liquid SHFE June contract rebounded from a session low of 11,445 yuan/mt and closed the day 1.67% higher at 11,545 yuan/mt, trimming decline from the previous day. Social inventories of primary aluminium slowed their increase this week, but this does not suggest significantly resumption of demand. The market continues to await more supportive measures from the government and potential output cut at smelters. Trading range next week is seen between 11,400-11,900 yuan/mt. 

Zinc: The most-active SHFE June contract strengthened on reduced bearish positions, as it returned above the 20-day moving average and closed up 2.24% on the day at 15,495 yuan/mt. The lockdown of foreign countries amid the pandemic threatens ore supply shortage, which will support near-term prices of zinc.  

Nickel: The most-traded SHFE June contract continued to move sideways between 92,000-93,000 yuan/mt today, closing the session up 1.35% on the day at 92,640 yuan/mt. Support was seen from the five- and 10- day moving averages. 

Lead: The most-active SHFE May contract rose in the afternoon session amid a broad rally of base metals, climbing to an intraday high of 13,840 yuan/mt and finished the day 1.14% higher at 13,810 yuan/mt. Support from fundamentals will weaken in April as the temporary supply tightness will ease with the recovery of production. 

Tin: The most-liquid SHFE June contract rose quickly near closing and ended the session 0.26% higher on the day at 120,580 yuan/mt. Pressure above is seen from 122,000 yuan/mt. 


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