SHANGHAI, Mar. 11 (SMM) – According to data announced by China Customs on March 10th, China reported a surprise trade deficit of USD 7.3 billion in February due to plunging exports during the Chinese New Year holiday in early February, its largest in seven years. Meanwhile, China's passenger vehicle sales experienced significant declines in February on a monthly basis due to the holiday factor, despite of a 2.6% increase on a yearly basis, the smallest growth in 23 months. The US crude oil prices remained high, and the intense geopolitical conditions further raised concerns over economic recovery. Furthermore, the disappointing US initial jobless claims depressed market sentiment. After the release of the data, the US dollar briefly narrowed its gains against the euro, but the US dollar index still moved higher to 77.35, weighing down copper prices. COMEX copper futures prices closed at a new low since mid December 2010. Finally, LME copper prices finished lower USD 84/mt at USD 9,191/mt.
During Friday's Asian trading hours, the US dollar index is expected to move between 77.05-77.3, and LME copper prices will fluctuate in the USD 9,190-9,310/mt range, and SHFE three-month copper contract prices will move between RMB 69,000-70,100/mt.
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