SHANGHAI, Mar. 26 (SMM) – LME lead prices overnight inched up to USD 2,070/mt after starting at USD 2,066.3/mt in Asian trading hours. During the European and US trading session, the metal rose as high as USD 2,095.3/mt and finished up USD 11/mt at USD 2,082.75/mt.
US February new home sales and March Richmond Fed manufacturing index released overnight both missed expectations. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for March, however, was reported at 82.3, a fresh six-year high and well above market forecasts. The US economy is expected to gain further momentum, pushing up the country’s stocks to close higher across the board. In addition, markets responded little to speeches by several US Federal Reserve officials which released no much new cue on the monetary policy.
The euro was continuously subdued versus the US dollar in early European trading hours, affected by relatively dovish comments by Deutsche Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, and European Central Bank Governing Council member Jozef Makuch and Erkki Liikanen. The single currency later rallied to pare most losses after ECB President Mario Draghi lowered market expectation for easy monetary policies by asserting the rise in the euro was due to market confidence recovery and instability in other regions.
Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, held the first meeting with Ukrainian Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrii Deshchytsia on Ukraine’s outlook and current situation at the nuclear security summit in The Hague on March 24. The further de-escalation in the Ukraine crisis lent some support to global stock markets.
The US dollar index closed up 0.02%. The euro eased 0.1% against the greenback. Global stocks ended higher broadly. LME base metals prices, except for LME nickel prices, finished with gains.
Base metals markets are experiencing corrections following previous oversold conditions, while some European and US economic data also came in positive. These, combined with expectations for stimulus measures by the Chinese government, should push lead prices up further on Wednesday. LME lead prices are set to move between USD 2,070-2,100/mt, and the most active SHFE lead contract price is expected to hover between RMB 13,750-13,850/mt. In China’s physical lead markets, traded prices will be RMB 13,650-13,750/mt on Wednesday.