SHANGHAI, Apr. 14 (SMM) – LME lead prices last Friday initially crept up to USD 2,138.5/mt after starting at USD 2,110.25/mt, but later pulled back to end down USD 27.5/mt, or 1.3%, at USD 2,087.3/mt. Traded volumes added 392 lots to 5,938 lots, positions gained 132 lots to 147,926 lots, and LME lead inventories kept flat at 202,400 mt.
The US PPI posted a 0.5% monthly gain during March, its biggest in six months, while the core PPI rose 0.6% on the month, hitting a three-year high. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index was 82.6 for April, the highest in seven months, and beating the 81 forecast and March’s 80. However, the S&P 500 lost the most since last June due to falling tech stocks and disappointing performance reported by JPMorgan Chase, while the Nasdaq fell below 4,000.
In other major news, the Governor of the European Central Bank warned of additional easing policies to guard against lower inflation, causing the euro to weaken. In Ukraine, official buildings were reportedly taken over in two other cities, increasing the risks of military conflicts between the Ukrainian government and protesters and “gas war” between Russia and Ukraine.
In China, CPI was up 2.4% in March, and PPI dropped 2.3% YoY, down for a 25th month in a row. The Ministry of Finance planned to issue RMB 28 billion of book-entry treasury bonds last Friday, but failed to sell all bonds, which was the first failure seen this year.
US and European stocks mostly closed lower. All base metals on the London Metal Exchange, except for nickel, dropped.
Investors should focus on US March monthly retail sales, the eurozone’s February industrial production and Italy’s March CPI on Monday. LME lead prices are expected in the USD 2,075-2,105/mt trading range, facing resistance at the 60-day moving average, while SHFE 1405 lead contract prices are set to move between RMB 13,690-13,780/mt. In China’s physical lead markets, traded prices should be mostly between RMB 13,650-13,750/mt on Monday.