SHANGHAI, Apr. 28 (SMM) – LME lead prices started last Friday at USD 2,174.75/mt, and then fell to the USD 2,160-2,170/mt trading range before closing down USD 17/mt, or 0.78%, at USD 2,161/mt. Traded volumes lost 76 lots to 3,408 lots, positions added 22 lots to 133,512 lots, and LME lead inventories decreased 1,500 mt to 193,275 mt.
The most active SHFE 1405 lead contract price hovered mostly at USD 13,925/mt during last Friday’s night session, with traded volumes only at 36 lots.
Last Friday, the tension in Ukraine intensified after pro-Russian forces seized a bus carrying OSCE observers. The EU and the US condemned Russia for its failing to abide by the agreement reached at Geneva meeting and claimed that they were ready to impose further sanctions on Russia on Monday at earliest. Rating agency S&P thus cut Russia’s credit to BBB-, one notch above “junk”. Russia’s central bank unexpectedly raised interest rate by 50 basis points to 7.5% to deal with the depreciating Ruble.
In other news, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index was finalized at 84.1 for April, its highest since July 2013 and exceeding the 83 estimate. However, US stock prices were dragged down by worse-than-expected performance reported by Amazon and Ford.
Reports from China also turned out mixed. China’s large industrials posted a 10.1% rise in total profit during the first quarter, accelerating 0.7 percentage point from just the first two months. Their profits in March alone increased 10.7% YoY, up 1.3 percentage points from the growth in the first two months. In addition, China Securities Regulatory Commission unveiled the list of another 25 companies that have disclosed their IPO plans, adding the total number to 122. IPO listing may be resumed as early as in May.
US and European stocks closed lower. LME copper and nickel prices ended higher, but other base metals all posted losses.
With a number of economic releases expected later this week, investors should remain wary on Monday. LME lead prices are set to move between USD 2,150-2,175/mt, and the most active SHFE 1405 lead contract price is forecast to fluctuate between RMB 13,880-13,980/mt. In China’s physical lead markets, traded prices should be largely between RMB 13,800-13,950/mt on Monday.