LIVE FUTURES REPORT 17/10: LME nickel down 1.1% despite further drawdowns; Cu gains ground

The London Metal Exchange three-month nickel price shed 1% from the previous day’s close to trade at around $16,285 per tonne during the morning session on Thursday October 17, with the weakness coming despite further drawdowns leaving LME nickel stocks at 88,302 tonnes - the lowest since December 2012.

“Nickel has started to fall, on the one hand reflecting the lack of buyers in the physical market, but with yet another 4,000 tonnes of warrants cancelled leaving just over 50,000 tonnes of available stocks,” Kingdom Futures chief executive officer Malcolm Freeman said in a morning note.
And the prognosis for nickel futures looks bleak despite ongoing drawdowns and a tightening LME stock picture with 3,408 tonnes of material leaving LME-approved sheds as of 9am on Thursday versus just 648 tonnes arriving. At the same time, 654 tonnes were freshly-canceled.
“Citi Bank have issued an analysis paper saying nickel could be heading for $15,000 per tonne,” Freeman added.
Volumes are healthy, however, with just shy of 5,000 lots of nickel changing hands so far during the morning session, the largest turnover of the complex so far.
Nickel’s turnover is followed by that of copper, with buyers likely entering the fold on news of a strike at Antofagasta’s Antucoya copper project which started on Wednesday, with just over 4,200 lots being traded by 10am. The site produced 72,000 tonnes of refined material, mostly in cathode form, in 2018.
And the three-month copper price looks to be reacting positively, albeit moderately, trading up at $5,743.50 per tonne from the previous day’s close of $5,730 per tonne.
Other highlights
  • In data from Europe, the United Kingdom’s month-on-month retail sales figures are due for release on Thursday, forecast to drop one percentage point to 0.1%
  • The European Council will convene on Thursday and Friday to discuss a number of economic issues including long-term European budget strategy and Brexit
  • In data from the United States, Philly Fed Manufacturing index figures will be announced later on Thursday, forecast to be down to 7.3 from 12.0 previously.
  • US weekly crude oil inventories will be released, expected to fall by 200,000 barrels to 2.7 million barrels.

Amy Hinton

amy.hinton@fastmarkets.com

Published

Amy Hinton

October 17, 2019

10:41 GMT

London