SHANGHAI, Mar. 3 (SMM) – LME zinc prices opened at USD 2,068.8/mt last Friday, then moved between USD 2,059-2,069/mt during Asian trading hours. During European and US trading hours, euro zone February CPI rose 0.8%, higher than expectations, and US Q4 GDP was revised downwardly to a 2.4% growth, dragging down the US dollar index to plummet below 80, and giving support to LME zinc prices to touch an intraday high of USD 2,075.3/mt. But Ukraine crisis refrained LME zinc price gains, closing at USD 2,065/mt, down USD 4.5/mt or 0.22%. Trading volumes increased by 1,216 lots to 9,313 lots, and total positions increased by 3,747 lots to 299,868 lots. LME zinc inventories fell by 4,125 mt to 761,275 mt.
SHFE 1405 zinc contract prices opened higher at RMB 15,175/mt last Friday evening, and then moved between RMB 15,145-15,170/mt, and finally closing at RMB 15,150/mt, up RMB 20/mt or 0.13%. Trading volumes decreased by 6,648 lots to 11,566 lots, and total positions increased by 2,808 lots to 225,208 lots.
China's official PMI in February slid to 50.2 due to the Chinese New Year holiday. Due to continuously falling LME zinc inventories, spot premiums against LME three-month zinc contract prices rose to USD 35/mt, which will give strong support to LME zinc prices. HSBC's PMI for China and final February manufacturing PMIs from Europe and US will be released today. LME zinc prices are expected to move between USD 2,055-2,085/mt today, and SHFE 1405 zinc contract prices will hover between RMB 15,120-15,220/mt, with spot discounts of RMB 220-260/mt against SHFE 1405 zinc contract prices.