SHANGHAI, Mar. 4 (SMM) – Worse-than-expected economic figures from the euro zone and expectations for lower interest rate in the region pushed the euro down against the US dollar. February manufacturing PMI in the US suggested that the US economy is continuing to recover, driving the US dollar index above 82 and weighing down commodity prices. In this context, LME aluminum dropped all the way to USD 1,956/mt after opening at USD 2,008/mt last Friday. Finally, LME aluminum ended the day down USD 32.8/mt or 1.63% at USD 1,974/mt. Trading volumes increased 2,732 lots to 26,680 lots, while positions decreased 3,246 lots to 698,155 lots. Latest LME aluminum inventories were up 10,500 mt to 5,172,550 mt.
With the US dollar index hovering high, LME aluminum should continue to meet resistance at the 5-day moving average and fluctuate in the band of USD 1,950-2,000/mt on Monday. SHFE 1305 aluminum contract is expected to open lower at RMB 14,600/mt, with prices between RMB 14,550-14,700/mt, due to worse-than-expected manufacturing PMI in China, a new round of control measures over domestic housing markets and falling LME aluminum prices last Friday. In spot markets, aluminum inventories are growing steadily, but downstream consumption has yet to pick up, with spot discounts expected between RMB 80-130/mt.