Base metals prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were up across the board during Asian morning trading on Monday February 18, with market sentiment boosted by positive trade developments and data releases at the end of last week.

“Positive signs in the US-China trade talks helped boost sentiment across markets, with base metals benefiting in particular,” Kishti Sen, international economist at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), said in a morning note.

“China Central Television reported that China had reached consensus in principle on the main topics with the US. President Trump said on Friday that a trade deal with China is a lot closer and that he might extend the date [on a sharp rise in punitive tariffs on Chinese imports] to allow a deal to be reached. Sentiment in the metals markets was also boosted by data showing China’s credit growth exceeded expectations in January,” Sen added.

China’s new yuan-denominated loans totaled 3.23 trillion yuan ($477 billion) in January, up by 328.4 billion yuan year on year, according to the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). The amount of new loans more than doubled from 1.08 trillion yuan in December last year.

The country’s M2, a broad measure of money supply that covers cash in circulation and deposited in banks, increased by 8.4% year on year to 186.59 trillion yuan at the end of January, PBOC said.

A weaker US currency added to the more risk-friendly tone in the market; the dollar index stood at 96.72 as at 11.32am Shanghai time, once more retreating below the 97 mark. At a similar time last Friday, the index had been at 97.06.

Against a more positive backdrop in the market, the base metals traded on the SHFE have had a strong start to the week.

In copper, the most-traded April contract on the SHFE climbed to 48,700 yuan per tonne as at 10.41am Shanghai time, up by 1% or 500 yuan per tonne from last Friday’s close.