SHANGHAI, Aug. 15 (SMM) – LME lead prices overnight started at USD 2,217.3/mt, and then ticked up to USD 2,222.8/mt during the Asian trading session. The price of the soft metal fell to as low as USD 2,200.5/mt subsequently due to a series of negative economic reports, and closed at USD 2,201.3/mt. Trading volumes for the three month lead shed 250 lots to 3,920 lots, and positions gained 1,505 lots to 142,255 lots. Meanwhile, LME lead inventories held flat at 215,900 mt.
Lead for October delivery, the most active contract, dipped to a low of RMB 14,350/mt after opening Thursday’s night session at RMB 14,490/mt, and finished down RMB 170/mt at RMB 14,370/mt. During the night session, trading volumes for the SHFE 1410 lead contract totaled 24,262 lots, and positions added 2,108 lots to 34,706 lots.
US initial jobless claims for the week ending August 8 increased 21,000 to 311,000, hitting the highest in 6 weeks. The euro zone’s economy stalled in the second quarter. Germany’s initial GDP growth in Q2 was only 1.2% YoY, shy of the expected 1.4% and 2.3% in Q1, while the country’s GDP contracted 0.2% from the first quarter, down for the first time since 2012. France’s Q2 GDP remained unchanged. Meanwhile, the euro zone’s final CPI held in July at 0.4%, missing forecasts, while the European Central Bank (ECB) lowered its inflation outlook for the single currency area to 0.7% this year in its monthly report.
Iraq’s former Prime Minister Nouri Maliki resigned on Thursday to make way for Haider al-Abadi, ending political deadlock in Baghdad. Ukraine made a concession to allow the Russian convoy of humanitarian aid to enter its territory. Russian President Vladimir Putin also stated Russia should not “fence itself from the outside world” while protecting its interests. As a result, the geopolitical strains in Ukraine eased temporarily. Major European and US stock indices closed higher, helped by improving economic data.
China’s new loans tumbled in July. The General Office of the State Council released the Guidance of Cutting Corporate Financing Costs on Thursday, which enhanced the implementation and designated responsible departments. Nevertheless, analysts revealed that it needs to be watched closely how to implement these policies effectively in light of the complicated negotiation process.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) injected a total of RMB 14 billion into the financial markets after draining RMB 11 billion and RMB 20 billion in the previous two weeks. The Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate (Shibor) fell this week in a sign of loose liquidity among banks.
The US dollar index eased 0.03%, while the euro ended flat against the greenback. Major world shares rose, but the Shanghai Composite dropped. LME gold and silver climbed 0.04% and 0.32%, respectively. LME base metals finished lower across the board.
Bearish sentiment is expected to prevail in the base metals markets on Friday amid disappointing economic data released earlier and negative technical indicators. LME lead prices are set to hover between USD 2,180-2,210/mt, and the most active SHFE 1410 lead contract is projected to fluctuate between RMB 14,320-14,420/mt. In China’s physical lead markets, traded prices should be in a RMB 14,250-14,350/mt band on Friday.