SHANGHAI, Mar. 11 (SMM) -- Moody’s Investors Service cut Spain’s credit rating from Aa1 to Aa2 on Thursday, and the outlook is negative, weighing down the euro and pushing up the US dollar index to test the resistance at 77. Later, the US Labor Department announced that the first-time claims for jobless benefits rose to 397,000 last week, showing the US job markets remain weak. However, the tumbling crude oil prices again boosted the US dollar index to break through the resistance level of 77, with the index finally closing at 77.237, up 0.501 or 0.65% compared to the previous trading day.
The unrest in Middle East and North Africa and stronger US dollar dampened investor confidence, and LME base metals prices were mixed last night. LME aluminum prices kept fluctuating narrowly after opening at USD 2,580/mt, with strong support reported at USD 2,570/mt, and finally prices ended at an intraday high of USD 2,585/mt, up USD 4/mt compared to the previous trading day, or up 0.15%. Total positions increased by 2,325 lots to 714,477 lots.
The stronger LME aluminum prices helped SHFE aluminum prices open slightly higher today, and will help push up SHFE aluminum further, but due to weak spot aluminum market fundamentals, SMM predicts SHFE 1105 aluminum contract prices will fluctuate between RMB 16,750-16,900/mt today.
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