SHANGHAI, Aug. 18 (SMM) – LME lead prices hovered above USD 2,200/mt in Asian and European trading sessions, and later rose to close up USD 18.75/mt, or 0.85%, at USD 2,220/mt. Trading volumes shed 666 lots to 3,254 lots, and positions lost 559 lots to 141,696 lots. LME lead inventories contracted 125 mt to 215,775 mt.
US industrial output growth reached 0.4% MoM in July, higher than the expected 0.3% rise, while the country’s capacity utilization rate was also above the estimated 79.1%. Nevertheless, the New York Fed Manufacturing Index for August dropped unexpectedly to a refreshed 4-month low of 14.69, well below the forecast 20 and July’s 25.6. The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index tumbled to 79.2 in August, shy of the expected 82.5 and July’s 81.8. These negative economic reports weighed down the US dollar index. Meanwhile, Ukraine reported that it destroyed Russian military equipment that entered its territory and that its forces came under attack from Russia on last Friday. In response, European Union (EU) foreign ministers warned at a meeting that they will increase sanctions on Russia should the conflicts in Ukraine continue to escalate.
European and US stock indices were mixed. LME base metals prices all rose slightly.
Investors should be cautious on Monday ahead of a slew of major news due for release during the second half of this week. LME lead prices are expected to move between USD 2,200-2,230/mt, and the most active SHFE 1410 lead contract is set to fluctuate between RMB 14,430-14,580/mt. In China’s physical lead markets, traded prices should be mostly in a RMB 14,250-14,400/mt band on Monday.