SHANGHAI, Mar. 17 (SMM) -- Yesterday, LME aluminum prices opened at USD 2,225/mt, with the highest level and lowest level at USD 2,268/mt and USD 2,225/mt, respectively, and finally prices ended at USD 2,258/mt. Total trading volumes reported 6,279 lots, and positions were 727,783 lots. LME aluminum inventories increased by 25,050 mt to 4,537,775 mt.
Yesterday, the US Federal Reserve (Fed) announced to keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record-low target of zero to 0.25 percent after the close of interest-rate meeting, and said it will keep rates at "exceptionally low" levels for "an extended period". The news depressed the US dollar index, and the US dollar index fell below 80 again, with the index fluctuating around 79.8. The US dollar index will remain firm, and may gain further upward momentum in the near future after the negative impact from the Fed’s interest rate decision faded, which will in turn restrict the upward momentum for base metals prices in the short term. At present, the recovery in operating rates at China’s downstream producers was slower than expected, and the support from market fundamentals in 1Q was weak, which will unlikely exert strong effect on base metals prices which fluctuated recently under the context of uncertain macro policies, so base metals prices will continue to fluctuate in the short term.
LME aluminum prices recovered yesterday, but failed to break through the previous high level, so domestic aluminum prices still lacked upward momentum, and SMM predicts SHFE 1006 aluminum contract prices will move in the RMB 16,650-16,900/mt range today.
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