India Base Metals: Sharply down as concerns on coronavirus escalate

Wednesday, Feb 26


By Rituparna Ghosh


NEW DELHI – Futures contracts of base metals on both the Multi Commodity Exchange of India and the London Metal Exchange fell sharply today due to rising concerns about the impact of coronavirus on the global economy, analysts said. 


According to media reports, the virus has so far affected 80,000 people across the world and has been steadily spreading outside China, with a rising number of confirmed cases in South Korea, Italy, Iran, Spain, and Oman.   


World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the "sudden increase in new cases" outside of China was "deeply concerning".


Owing to the spread of the virus hitting consumption in China, investors fear that data on manufacturing in the country, scheduled to be released later this week, may show a drop to the lowest since the global financial crisis. 


"Some street analysts suggesting about two-thirds of small and medium Chinese companies only having enough cash on hand to survive for up to three months. Interest in base metals remains muted," Marex Spectron said in a note. 


Moreover, prices also came under pressure due to strength in the US dollar and rising stockpiles at LME and Shanghai warehouses.


Copper stocks at LME-accredited warehouses rose to 221,425 tn today from 160,250 tn on Tuesday, while those of lead were at 67,650 tn, zinc at 75,975 tn, aluminium at 1.1 mln tn, and nickel at 230,196 tn, data showed. 


Zinc stockpiles at Shanghai-monitored warehouses were at 85,375 tn, against 76,787 tn earlier, copper at 170,087 tn, aluminium at 204,775 tn, lead at 31,636 tn, and nickel at 35,317 tn, data showed. 


At 1730 IST, on MCX, the February futures contract of:

–aluminium was at 134.10 rupees a kg, down 0.9%
–copper was at 421.50 rupees a kg, down 1.4%

–lead was at 145.05 rupees a kg, down 0.3%

–nickel was at 907.2 rupees a kg, down 1.4%

–zinc was at 153.35 rupees a kg, down 0.9%



On the MCX, the February copper contract is seen at 420-432 rupees per kg. The same-month nickel contract is seen at 907-940 rupees per kg in the evening session. The February  contract of zinc is seen at 150-158 rupees per kg, and the same-month aluminium contract at 134-138 rupees, Angel Broking said in a note.  End


US$1 = 71.66 rupees

IST, or Indian Standard Time, is five-and-a-half hours ahead of GMT


Edited by Avishek Dutta


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