SHANGHAI, Jan. 18 (SMM) – The US housing starts surged 12.1% in December, the highest since June 2006. Meanwhile, the US weekly jobless claims ending January 12 tumbled to 335,000, the lowest since January 2008. The boom in property sector and job market pushed US stock market and commodity prices up. However, Philadelphia Fed PMI slid unexpectedly to -5.8 in January, curbing gains somewhat. Despite positive economic data and rebound in base metals, LME aluminum prices were weak, still struggling at USD 2,050/mt, with strong resistance at USD 2,060/mt. Finally, LME aluminum finished at USD 2,050/mt, flat with the previous day. Latest LME aluminum inventories decreased 10,625 mt to 5,173,950 mt.
Market is optimistic towards China’s4Q GDP to be announced today, and this will send aluminum prices up mildly. LME aluminum should climb to USD 2,050/mt and fluctuate in the band of USD 2,040-2,070/mt on Friday. The SHFE 1303 aluminum contract is expected to open at RMB 15,150/mt, with prices between RMB 15,100-15,200/mt. Bearishness will dominated the sot aluminum market, with spot discounts expected between RMB 80-120/mt. Overall trading should be thin.