SHANGHAI, Feb. 17 (SMM) -- The US Commerce Department announced on Wednesday that the housing starts in January rose by 14.6% to an annual rate of 596,000, higher than the expected level. The US Labor Department announced that the producer price index (PPI) in January increased by 0.8% from December level, generally flat at expectations. The positive economic data boosted commodities consumption but reduced demand for risk-aversion. As a result, the US dollar index opened at 78.56 and closed at 78.19, down 0.47%.
LME aluminum prices climbed slightly, with prices opening at USD 2,500/mt and later hitting a high of USD 2,526/mt. The weakening LME copper prices later caused LME aluminum prices to lose some gains, and LME aluminum prices finally closed at USD 2,504/mt, up USD 12/mt compared with the previous trading day. LME aluminum inventories fell by 2,300 mt to 4,597,925 mt.
Today, SHFE aluminum prices opened slightly higher, with prices struggling around the 5-day moving average. SMM predicts SHFE 1105 aluminum contract prices will move in the RMB 17,205-17,350/mt range today.
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