Shanghai copper drifted lower on Friday as traders were away in Europe and parts of Asia for the Good Friday holiday, while the London Metal Exchange was closed.
Copper on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) saw only 100,934 lots change hands, less than two-thirds of the 30-day average trading volume. It closed down 0.4 percent on 49,530 yuan ($7,388.02) a tonne but still ended the week up 0.4 percent after positive macro data from top metals consumer China, whose first-quarter GDP growth beat expectations. Nickel, used to make stainless steel, was the worst performer in the complex, closing down 1.1 percent at 99,230 yuan a tonne, its lowest close since Feb. 19. The metal lost 2.1 percent this week, after falling 2.2 percent last week.
The pace of new ferro-nickel capacity coming into the market has increased, Industrial Securities said in a note. “Downstream, stainless steel stocks are higher and demand remains weak. On the whole, nickel prices will continue to be under pressure as macro optimism subsides,” the brokerage added.
* CHINA: China’s refined copper output came in at 705,000 tonnes in March, according to data published by the National Bureau of Statistics. The bureau said the number was up 10.2 percent year-on-year but it is the lowest monthly total in records on the bureau’s website since June 2016.
* COPPER: Chile’s Cochilco state copper commission held its estimate for the price of copper at $3.05 per pound, rising to $3.08 for 2020 on improving prospects for growth in China.
* COPPER: However, Yangshan copper premiums SMM-CUYP-CN have fallen to $50.50 a tonne, the lowest since April 2017, in a sign of weaker physical demand for the metal in China.
* ALUMINIUM: ShFE aluminium closed up 0.2 percent at 14,080 yuan a tonne for a third straight daily climb, supported by environmental inspections in China’s key smelting region of Shandong. It ended the week up 1.4 percent in its best week since the week ended Feb. 22. * WAREHOUSING: The LME is poised to deal with a loophole in its warehousing rules, exposed after commodity trader Glencore bought large amounts of aluminium earlier this year, sources familiar with the matter said.
* ZINC: ShFE zinc recorded a 3.6 percent weekly fall, after zinc shed 5.5 percent in London this week, its biggest weekly drop since August, driven by a recovery in inventories.
* STOCKS: Copper inventories in warehouses monitored by the ShFE CU-STX-SGH fell 3.4 percent from the previous week, the exchange said on Friday. Zinc stocks fell 12.6 percent.