SHANGHAI, Mar. 4 (SMM) – LME lead prices started at USD 2,283/mt during Asian trading hours last Friday and moved around the level. Later, as the US president and Congress failed to avoid the automatic spending cuts, the US equities fell quickly, driving LME lead prices to dip to USD 2,225/mt, the lowest level this year. However, as ISM manufacturing index advanced from 51.3 to 54.2, well above expectation. ISM output index hit the highest level since April 2011 while ISM export orders data also presented a high never seen in May 2012, showing the accelerated expansion in US manufacturing sector and strengthening market expectation for the economic growth. As a result, LME lead prices regained some earlier losses to close USD 21.3/mt lower at USD 2,257/mt. Trading volumes were rose to 1,881 lots to 8,048 lots, and positions were down 2,738 lots to around 120,000 lots. LME lead inventories fell 50 mt to 287,225 mt.
The US dollar index hit a high of 82.5 to end at 82.28, while COMEX silver for May delivery closed at USD 28.69/oz, up USD 0.14/oz.
On March 4, SHFE 1304 lead contract price will likely move between RMB 14,800-14,950/mt after opening lower, with spot lead prices in China expected at RMB 14,600-14,750/mt.