SHANGHAI, Apr. 2 (SMM) -- The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) announced yesterday that the manufacturing index in March was 59.6, better than previous market prediction of 57 and February levels of 56.5, an indication of improving factories conditions in Europe and the US, which will boost market expectations of metal consumption. The US Department of Labor announced on Thursday that the number of initial application for unemployment benefits fell to 439,000 last week, with previous estimation of 440,000, and revised level for a week earlier at 445,000, and the slight recovery in employment also helped support the relief of strong economic recovery. The improving global manufacturing data drove up base metals prices strongly, and three-month LME aluminum prices opened at USD 2,320/mt, and later climbed after slight fluctuations, with the highest level at RMB 2,365/mt, and finally closed at USD 2,350/mt, up USD 25/mt, or up 1.08%.
The strong LME aluminum price movements will stimulate SHFE aluminum prices to open slightly high, but domestic market fundamentals remained weak, helping limit the upward room for aluminum prices to climb, and SMM predicts SHFE 1006 aluminum contract prices will move narrowly in the RMB 16,660-16,800/mt range today.
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