SHANGHAI, Mar. 14 (SMM) – The industrial output in the euro zone fell 0.4% MoM in January, missing forecasts and dampening market sentiment. Despite a 1.1% MoM growth in the US retail sales in February, the US dollar index jumped above 83, weighing down base metals prices. LME aluminum rose to challenge resistance at USD 2,000/mt during early European session, but later gave back gains and lost support at the 10-day moving average due to downbeat economic data from Europe and a firm US dollar. Finally, LME aluminum closed down 0.50% at USD 1,972/mt. Latest LME aluminum inventories decreased 1,450 mt to 5,180,975 mt.
Aluminum prices will have little upward momentum due to a firm US dollar, but will show some resilience at the same time on news that the State Reserve Bureau will invite tenders to buy aluminum ingot on Friday. In this context, LME aluminum should be stagnant and fluctuate in the band of USD 1,950-1,990/mt on Thursday. SHFE 1306 aluminum contract prices are expected to open at RMB 14,900/mt, with prices between RMB 14,850-14,980/mt. Spot discounts are expected to narrow to RMB 40-80/mt due to approaching delivery date of SHFE current-month aluminum contracts. Overall trading should be light.