SHANGHAI, Feb. 21 (SMM) – US housing starts declined in January, but building permits rose to the highest level since June 2008. Besides, the January PPI in the US grew for the first time in four months. Nevertheless, the January meeting minutes released by the US Federal Reserve show that some members of the Congress proposed that QE3 should be ended before full recovery in labor markets. This triggered panic sentiment and drove the US dollar index above 81.8. In response, LME aluminum tumbled to USD 2,085.8/mt. Finally, LME aluminum closed at USD 2,104.8/mt, down 0.45%. Latest LME aluminum inventories decreased 5,500 mt to 5,151,950 mt.
A firm US dollar will cause aluminum prices to expand losses. LME aluminum should meet growing resistance at USD 2,100/mt and fluctuate in the band of USD 2,070-2,110/mt on Thursday. SHFE 1305 aluminum contract is expected to open lower at RMB 15,050/mt, with prices between RMB 15,000-15,100/mt. Bearishness in macro side and fundaments will depress aluminum prices, with spot discounts expected between RMB 130-170/mt.