Base metals prices on the London Metal Exchange were mostly lower during morning trading on Wednesday February 27, with a softer US dollar index and continued optimism over US-China trade talks failing to spur consistent price rallies across the complex.

That said, both copper and nickel futures have continued to hold the gains made over the last week, with the former trading near $6,500 per tonne while nickel futures remain just below $13,000 per tonne.  In copper, fresh cancelations and depleting stocks remain price supportive, while more than 80% of LME stocks – which are now at their lowest level since 2005 – are now canceled and increasingly indicative of a market squeeze.  Volumes traded were moderate over the morning, with the red metal’s 4,780 lots leading the complex as of 10:00am London time.  Elsewhere, lead futures benefitted from a fresh cancelation of 14,500 tonnes across various locations in Europe and Asia, taking the metal’s three-month price back above $2,100 per tonne.