SHANGHAI, Mar. 14 (SMM) – China’s industrial value-added at above-scale enterprises during the first two months of 2014, urban fixed investment and retail sales all undershoot forecasts, fueling concerns over demand in the world’s top metal consumer. Despite positive US initial jobless claims and retails sales data, three major US stock markets still shed over 1.1%, dragging LME aluminum down to USD 1,731/mt after opening at USD 1,763.3/mt on Thursday. The light metal lost USD 28.3/mt or 1.6% to end the day at USD 1,735.3/mt. Trading volumes were up 738 lots to 15,736 lots, while positions tumbled 12,846 lots to 785,722 lots.
SHFE 1406 aluminum contract edged lower to RMB 13,130/mt after starting Thursday’s night session at RMB 13,190/mt, and ended the session at RMB 13,140/mt. Trading volumes during the night hours totaled 11,834 lots, and positions shrank 2,484 lots to 105,464 lots.
The most active SHFE aluminum contract should inch down to RMB 13,100-13,160/mt on Friday as investors may close long positions ahead of the weekend for risk aversion. In China’s physical market, spot discounts are expected between RMB 180-220/mt over SHFE 1403 aluminum contract prices.