SHANGHAI, Mar. 29 (SMM) – The United States Labor Department announced overnight that initial jobless claims in the week ending March 23 rose to 357,000, falling short of market expectations. The Chicago PMI index was 52.4 in March, down 4.4 points from February. Coupled with worries over the European debt crisis, all base metals prices fell last night. LME aluminum tested support at USD 1,900/mt, and failed to rebound even after the US dollar index retreated from 83. Finally, LME aluminum ended the day down 0.99% at USD 1,903/mt. Latest LME aluminum inventories increased 6,750 mt to 5,237,400 mt.
The financial and stock markets in the US and Europe are closed on Good Friday. Downbeat economic figures from the US and China’s tighter control on banks’ wealth management products will keep SHFE 1306 aluminum contract in check within RMB 14,550-14,650/mt after a low opening at RMB 14,600/mt on Friday. In spot markets, both suppliers and buyers will be little interested in entering the market against tight liquidity on the last trading day of the first quarter, with spot discounts expected between RMB 30-70/mt.