SHANGHAI, Mar. 15 (SMM) – The initial weekly jobless claims in the US were 332,000, better than expected and boosting confidence over an improvement in jobs market. However, a rising US dollar index curbed gains of commodity prices. LME aluminum fell back after finding its high at USD 1,990.5/mt during European session as trading activity thinned. Although the US dollar index fell later, LME aluminum still failed to rebound. Finally, LME aluminum closed up 0.10% at USD 1,974/mt. Latest LME aluminum inventories decreased 8,025 mt to 5,172,950 mt.
Markets are awaiting the final result of the State Reserve Bureau (SRB)’s aluminum ingot buying today, which will push aluminum prices up slightly. LME aluminum should test resistance at USD 2,000/mt and fluctuate in the band of USD 1,960-2,000/mt on Friday. SHFE 1306 aluminum contract prices are expected to open higher at RMB 14,880/mt, with prices between RMB 14,850-14,980/mt. Spot discounts are expected to narrow to RMB 20-60/mt since SHFE 1304 aluminum contracts will become the current-month contract tomorrow. Middlemen should be active in buying out of optimism over the SRB’s aluminum ingot purchase.