(MB) Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were broadly down during Asian morning trading on Friday January 11, extending the weakness experienced on Thursday following disappointing economic data from China. Lead and tin bucked the weaker tone observed in their peers this morning, with both metals finding support from tightened supply. Weaker-than-expected producer price index (PPI) and consumer price index (CPI) data from China continues to dent investors’ appetite for riskier assets, spurring a sell-off across most of the base metals on the SHFE, with nickel and copper leading the decline.

China’s PPI rose 0.9% year on year in December 2018, while the CPI rose by 1.9% in the same comparison – both indices hitting their lowest growth rates in over two years. Meanwhile, a marginally stronger dollar following a positive US jobless claims release overnight has also added to the bearish sentiment across the SHFE base metals. That said, comments from US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell reiterating the “waiting and watching, patient and flexible” message on Thursday capped any significant gains in the dollar index. The US dollar index had undergone a short rally overnight, reaching a high of 95.63 before retreating. The index was down 0.05% to 95.43 as of 10.20am Shanghai time and remains well below the psychological level of 96 following dovish rhetoric from US Federal Reserve officials.  The most-traded March copper contract price on the SHFE dropped to 47,170 yuan ($6,943) per tonne as at 10.19am Shanghai time, down by 340 yuan per tonne from Thursday’s close.

Nickel similarly fell sharply this morning, with the most-traded May nickel contract price down by 700 yuan per tonne at 90,860 yuan per tonne.

Lead and tin were the most resilient of the SHFE base metals this morning, both benefitting from a robust fundamental backdrop.

“Lead still has a robust fundamental backdrop, which has tightened in 2018 and these tightening elements should get more prominent this year, with global inventory levels already running low, depressed treatment charges (TCs) and another market deficit to boot,” Fastmarkets analyst Andy Farida said.

Fastmarkets assessed TCs for low-silver lead concentrate at $10-25 per tonne at the end of last month, the lowest since February 2018, down from $20-45 per tonne on September 28, 2018.

Similarly, tightening supply amid continued delays in shipments from Indonesia remain a strong supportive factor to tin prices.

“Tin exports from Indonesia totaled 5,150 tonnes last month, while there have been no trades on the Indonesia Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (ICDX) – a prerequisite to export – so far in January,” Fastmarkets analyst James Moore said.