SHANGHAI, Apr. 2 (SMM) -- The US Labor Department announced on Friday that non-farm payrolls in March increased by 216,000, much higher than the forecast of 190,000 and setting a record high since May 2010. In response, the US dollar index climbed rapidly to an intraday high of 76.610. Later, the US Institute for Supply Management (ISM) announced that the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for manufacturing sector was 61.2 during March, slightly higher than market forecast of 61.0, and the bullish manufacturing data drove up US stocks. In addition, market expectations that the European Central Bank will raise interest rates next week became stronger. As a result, the US dollar index weakened rapidly and finally closed at 75.834, down 0.253 or 0.33% compared with the previous trading day.
LME aluminum prices opened at USD 2,640/mt, with prices struggling at the 5-day moving average in the morning session. Later, LME aluminum prices slid rapidly to below USD 2,600/mt as US dollar index strengthened during European trading hours. However, the US dollar index weakened again, and crude oil futures for May delivery climbed to USD 108/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange, both allowing LME aluminum prices to reverse some losses at the tail of trading and close at USD 2,634/mt finally, down USD 4.5/mt or 0.17% compared with the previous trading day. Total positions increased by 3,027 lots to 735,162 lots.
LME aluminum prices kept fluctuating at high levels recently, and SMM predicts LME aluminum prices will fluctuate between USD 2,620-2,660/mt next Monday as crude oil prices set new highs. The Shanghai Futures Exchange will be closed for the Tomb-sweeping Day holiday next Monday and Tuesday, and will resume trading on April 6th.
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