Copper prices recorded daily gains at the close of trading on
Tuesday May 1, rallying in line with US equities after quiet
European and Asian sessions.
China and several European markets were closed for public
holidays on Tuesday, leading base metals prices to tread water
throughout the day.
Intraday trading ranges remained narrow as the close of trading
approached, but copper achieved a new high of $8,454 per tonne
shortly before the bell, responding to a strong opening in US
equities markets driven by positive manufacturing data from the
world's largest economy.
The ISM purchasing managers' index hit 54.8 in April, up from
53.4 the previous month.
The red metal finished the kerb at $8,440 per tonne, up from
$8,400 per tonne a day earlier. The cash-to-three-month spread
eased moderately throughout the day and was evaluated in a
$97-per-tonne backwardation, compared with $134.5 a day earlier
The lack of interest in the markets on Tuesday was compounded
by the run-up in prices seen last week, which prompted
questions about the sustainability of the putative rally, a
category II broker said in a note.
"All the metals had traded up to good resistance areas and thus
are consolidating as players try to determine if it was short
covering in nature or indeed a change in trend," he said.
All base metals are stuck within congested trading ranges, with
copper attempting to break out to the upside, while nickel
looks prone to a move lower, a category I broker told Metal
"I'm still bullish long-term on base metals but the short-term
outlook is not the best. They've all hit trend lines, and
nickel in particular is trying to go lower," he said.
Copper stocks in LME-listed locations stood at 241,550 tonnes
on Tuesday, down by 6,800 tonnes after withdrawals from stores
across Asia, Europe and the USA.
Nickel prices closed for the day at $17,705 per tonne, down from $17,895 per tonne a day earlier
The alloying metal briefly traded at a high of $18,050 per
tonne earlier in the session before sliding to an intraday low
of $17,531 per tonne.
Nickel stocks in LME-listed locations stood at 103,902 tonnes
on Tuesday, unchanged from a day earlier.
Three-month aluminium closed at $2,123 per tonne, virtually
unchanged from the previous close of $2,119 per tonne
Aluminium stocks dropped by 10,400 tonnes after withdrawals
from Vlissingen, Detroit, New Orleans, Johor and other
locations, taking total stocks to 5,014,500 tonnes.