SHANGHAI, Feb. 21 (SMM) – LME zinc opened at USD 2,154/mt overnight. During the Asian session, the US dollar index lost support at the 10-day moving average to 80.271. Most Asian stock markets drifted higher, pushing the US dollar index down further. LME zinc found its low at USD 2,149/mt, moving in the band of USD 2,150-2,160/mt for much of the session. The minutes of January interest rate meeting released overnight by the US Federal Reserve (Fed) indicated that members of the Monetary Policy Committee were divided about future policies, fuelling fears that the Fed may end QE3 early and triggering sell-off in base metals markets. News that China will expand property tax program also put downward pressure on LME zinc, which closed at USD 2,136/mt, down USD 17/mt or 0.79%. Trading volumes were up 1,461 lots to 10,932 lots, while positions were down 8,740 lots to 291,055 lots.
Zinc prices will come under downward pressure on fears that the Fed may end QE3 early and expectations that employment data and existing home sales in the US will be downbeat. LME zinc should move within USD 2,120-2,140/mt on Thursday. SHFE 1305 zinc contract prices are expected to fluctuate between RMB 15,750-15,950/mt. Demand for spot zinc should be slack, with spot discounts expected between RMB 310-350/mt.