SHANGHAI, Apr. 18 (SMM) – LME lead prices overnight essentially hovered between USD 2,140-2,145/mt, and closed up USD 0.25/mt, or 0.01%, at USD 2,142.25/mt. Traded volumes shed 1,246 lots to 3,927 lots, positions lost 2,408 lots to 137,146 lots, and LME lead stocks decreased 1675 mt to 200,400 mt.
US initial jobless claims rose slightly last week to 304,000, but were still better than the 315,000 expected, with the four week average hitting its lowest since September 2007 at 312,000, while continued jobless claims also fell to a low last seen in December 2007. The US Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing index climbed to 16.6 in April, higher than both the 9.8 expected and the 9.0 in March. General Electric and JPMorgan performed better than expected in Q1 according to their financial reports, sending US stocks up.
Markets were still distressed by the Ukraine crisis. Russia’s minister of foreign affairs said the EU, US, Russia and Ukraine have reached an agreement in Geneva to calm the tension in Ukraine, but US President Obama said he was not sure whether the agreement could be observed.
China’s FDI dropped 1.5% YoY in March and grew 5.5% in the first quarter, well below the 10.44% rise for the first two months. In addition, China Banking Regulatory Commission and the People’s Bank of China jointly issued a notice on cooperation between commercial banks and third party payment platforms.
Major indices in the US and European stock markets posted increases Thursday. On the London Metal Exchange, copper and nickel outperformed other base metals.
The US and European countries will suspend trading on Friday for the Good Friday, with no major news expected. Without the guidance from LME lead prices, the most active SHFE 1405 lead contract price is expected to hold steady between RMB 13,740-13,800/mt, and spot lead prices between RMB 13,700-13,800/mt on Friday.