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How Did Base Metals Perform amid the PMI Releases?

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Mar. 8 2016, Updated 7:06 p.m. ET

How did copper react?

In COMEX, copper gained 0.61% on March 1. It gained 0.45% in the LME (London Metal Exchange). Even though copper started the day with a slight weakness and drifted to a low of $2.0975 per pound—1.64% lower than previous day’s close, the decline in China’s manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) failed to trigger selling in copper. This suggests that the market discounted the impact of poor Chinese data on the price considering disappointing economic data in the past from China. It also considered the disappointing outcome of the G20 meeting last weekend. The US data exceeded the expectations. Later in the day, the US PMI data boosted copper prices and resulted in gains. As a result, copper in the LME closed at $4,716 per metric ton—the highest day close since the beginning of 2016. The price level of $4,800 per metric ton is the next prominent resistance level for LME Copper.

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Why did nickel rise?

LME Nickel rose 1.88% on March 1—the biggest gain out of the base metals. It closed the day at $8,680 per metric ton. The increased demand from the base metal makers along with the supporting US PMI data boosted nickel prices on March 1. The price level of $9,000 per metric ton is the next prominent resistance level for nickel in the LME. LME Aluminum also showed similar price moments to copper on March 1. Aluminum traded between $1,587 and $1,557 per metric ton. It settled at $1,573 per metric ton—the same close as the previous day. The price level of $1,600 is the next prominent resistance level for aluminum.

Similar to other base metals, LME Zinc also gained. It closed the day at $1,785 per metric ton—a gain of 1.2%. This is the highest day close for zinc since mid-October 2015. The next resistance level for zinc is $1,800. Tin and lead gained 1.23% and 1.43% on March 2. The same positive sentiment was seen in base metal miners like Freeport-McMoRan (FCX), Glencore (GLNCY), BHP Billiton (BHP), and Rio Tinto (RIO). They gained 1.7%, 2%, 3.76%, and 3.3%, respectively. The SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) gained 1.8% on March 1.

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