SHANGHAI, Mar. 26 (SMM) – Cyprus reached an agreement with the European Union and IMF on EUR 10 billion in bailout funds on Monday morning, triggering appetite for risky assets. The euro against the US dollar advanced above 1.3, lending support to LME zinc prices. LME zinc opened at USD 1,959/mt and moved within USD 1,955-1,960/mt during the Asian trading hours. However, the US dollar index rose sharply following the Asian trading session, a gain of 0.58% in a single day. Shorts flooded in, dragging LME zinc down to USD 1,940/mt. Head of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the Cyprus bank restructuring deal should be considered a template for the rest of the single currency bloc, fueling market worries. This sent the euro against the US dollar to a new low in four months and drove LME zinc down to USD 1,932/mt. Later, Jeroen Dijsselbloem took back what he said earlier, giving some support to LME zinc. Finally, LME zinc closed USD 10.8/mt or 0.55% lower at USD 1,944/mt. Trading volumes decreased 116 lots to 6,406 lots, while positions increased 83 lots to 251,387 lots. LME zinc inventories were down 4,675 mt to 1,189,150 mt, falling for a fifth straight trading day.
Uncertainty in the euro zone remains, which will continue to put downward pressure on LME zinc prices. On the other hand, new home sale and March Conference Board consumer confidence index announced by the US overnight beat forecast, and this will give a lift to LME zinc prices. LME zinc should move within USD 1,930-1,960/mt on Tuesday. SHFE 1306 zinc contract prices will open slightly lower, with prices between RMB 14,950-15,050/mt. In spot zinc market, downstream consumption should be sluggish, with spot discounts over the most active SHFE zinc contract expected between RMB 170-200/mt.