SHANGHAI, Mar. 18 (SMM) – LME lead prices opened at USD 2,253.8/mt last Friday and moved around the level during Asian trading hours. Later, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index fell to 71.8 in March, the lowest level since December 2011 and well below expectations which was probably due to the automatic spending cuts. Besides, the NY Fed Manufacturing Index for March was also down from 10.04 to 9.24, while long-term capital inflow slipped from USD 64.2 billion to USD 25.7 billion in January. In Europe, a wide variance still existed with the EU summit coming to an end, and the political risk may still limit any increase in the euro. As such, market aversion was exacerbated, and LME lead prices fell back to finally end at USD 2,222/mt, down USD 28.8/mt, with support at the 10-day moving average. Trading volumes increased 352 lots to 3,837 lots, and holdings were down 1,275 lots. LME lead inventories fell 1,500 mt to 277,500 mt.
The US dollar index fell to 82.14, but still showed an upward trend. COMEX silver for May delivery settled at USD 28.9/oz, up USD 0.093/oz.
On March 18, SHFE 1305 lead contract price is expected to open lower and move between RMB 14,650-14,780/mt, and spot lead prices in China may be RMB 14,500-14,600/mt.