SHANGHAI, Jan. 15 (SMM) -- Yesterday, LME aluminum prices opened at USD 2,310/mt, with highest and lowest level at USD 2,367/mt and USD 2,288/mt, respectively, and finally prices ended at USD 2,340/mt. Total trading volumes reported 10,054 lots, and positions were 698,747 lots.
The US Department of Labor released on Thursday that the number of initial application for unemployment benefits rose to 444,000 last week, higher than the estimate of 437,000. The US Department of Commerce announced that the retail sales in December dipped by 0.3% compared with November levels, lower than previous forecast of a growth of 0.5%. The unfavorable economic data resulted in the weakening commodities prices, and crude oil prices declined to below 79 in response, and will test the support level of 78 today. LME copper prices closed down as well, but overall LME copper market sentiment improved gradually from earlier this week. LME aluminum prices have shown strong performance supported by constant declines in aluminum inventories and the high possibility of further gains. China's central bank issued RMB 50 billion in three-month bills in the regular open-market operations on January 14th, with the rate unchanged from a week earlier, suggesting the central bank intends to ease market expectations of tightening monetary policy in advance after released a series of measures to curb money supply. This move will further stabilize recent financial market and improve investor confidence.
LME aluminum prices showed a stronger performance than other metals, which is expected to stimulate SHFE aluminum prices today. SMM predicts SHFE 1004 aluminum contract has further upward momentum, and special attention should be paid to position changes and cash flow movements.
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