SHANGHAI, Feb. 22 (SMM) – LME zinc opened slightly lower at USD 2,135/mt overnight on growing fears that the US Federal Reserve (Fed) may stop bond buying sooner than expected. During the Asian session, the US dollar index continued to rise. All Asian stock markets fell, with Chinese stock market leading the losses. The Shanghai Composite Index gave back gains booked over the past one month, sinking blow the 20-day and 30-day moving averages, and down 2.97% in a single day. LME zinc also lost support at the 30-day moving average. Economic data from the US, announced overnight, was downbeat. US initial jobless claims rose to 362,000 in the week ending February 16 and Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index continued to deteriorate in February. Adding to concerns was that three Fed officials reiterated that bond purchases should be scaled back. As a result, LME zinc tumbled to its lowest for the day at USD 2,095/mt. Finally, LME zinc closed at USD 2,114/mt, down USD 22/mt or 1.03%. Trading volumes were down 843 lots to 10,089 lots, while positions were up 737 lots to 291,792 lots.
Markets are eyeing Germany’s 4Q GDP, which is due today. LME zinc should continue to test support at USD 2,100/mt and move within USD 2,100-2,120/mt on Friday. SHFE 1305 zinc contract prices are expected to fluctuate between RMB 15,500-15,700/mt, with spot discounts expected between RMB 280-310/mt.