SHANGHAI: Shanghai copper and nickel prices extended gains to a fourth session on Monday, as low inventories and hopes for additional stimulus in top metals consumer China outweighed pressure from a stronger dollar.
The most-active May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended daytime trading up 0.3% at 74,760 yuan ($11,738.84) a tonne, after rising to its highest since March 8 at 75,320 yuan ($11,826.78) in early Asian trade.
ShFE nickel climbed 1.8% to 225,280 yuan ($35,373.55), after rising to its highest since March 28 earlier in the day.
The London Metal Exchange was closed for Easter holiday.
“The expectations around more stimulus from China to cushion the economic slowdown and data showing strong GDP growth and industrial production are offering support,” said Jigar Trivedi, a commodities analyst at Mumbai-based broker Anand Rathi Shares.
China’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 4.8% in the first quarter from a year earlier, but the economy slowed in March as consumption, real estate and exports were hit hard.
The economy is likely to stay on its recovery track this year and Beijing will step up policy implementation to stabilise the outlook, said a spokesman for the country’s statistics bureau.
Copper inventories in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 8.2% from a week ago, while nickel stocks were down 12%, the exchange said on Friday.
FUNDAMENTALS COPPER: Last week, Barrick Gold said its copper production in the first quarter fell 19.8% compared to the previous quarter, hurt by lower output at its Lumwana mine.
DOLLAR: The dollar index held firm near two-year highs, making greenback-denominated metals more expensive for buyers using other currencies.
SANCTIONS: The deepening Russia-Ukraine crisis has lifted expectations around more sanction from the West and allies on Moscow, adding to existing supply risks.
OTHER METALS: ShFE aluminium rose 0.4%, zinc gained 0.8%, lead was up 1.1%, and tin shed 0.3%.
MARKETS NEWS: Oil prices rose as concerns grew about tighter global supply, with the deepening crisis in Ukraine raising the prospect of heavier sanctions by the West on top exporter Russia.