SHANGHAI, July 21 (SMM) -- LME base metals prices closed with gains last night, but LME aluminum prices were weak. LME aluminum prices opened at USD 1,968.5/mt, with the highest level and the lowest level at USD 1,992.5/mt and USD 1,947.5/mt, respectively, and finally ended at USD 1,972/mt. Total trading volumes reported 190,994 lots, and total positions were 748,666 lots, down 5,918 lots. LME aluminum inventories increased again by 48,275 mt to 4,417,100 mt.
The US housing starts in June dropped, but building permits increased unexpectedly, and corporate earnings turned out to be positive, improving expectations of future demand and boosting investor confidence. Steady recovery in global stock markets also gave a boost to market sentiment, and market concerns over a slowdown in the US economic recovery eased as a result. Base metals markets strengthened in response to bullish stock markets, but LME aluminum inventories posted the largest growth rate within four months, raising fears over aluminum consumption. As a result, LME aluminum prices only reported a slight growth.
SHFE aluminum prices opened slightly higher today, and special attention should be paid to China's stock market trends. SMM predicts SHFE 1010 aluminum contract prices will fluctuate between RMB 14,950-15,100/mt.
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