SHANGHAI, Dec. 22 (SMM) – LME lead started last Friday at USD 1,865/mt and then advanced as high as USD 1,895/mt at the tail of the Asian trading session. The price of the soft metal finished up USD 27/mt at USD 1,882/mt. Trading volumes for three-month lead on the London Metal Exchange shed 878 lots to 3,214 lots, while positions shrank 3,489 lots to 111,222 lots. LME lead inventories decreased 300 mt to 220,500 mt.
Lead for February delivery on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, the most active contract peaked at RMB 12635/mt after opening last Friday’s night session at RMB 12,475/mt and ended up RMB 260/mt at RMB 12,410/mt. Trading volumes for the SHFE 1502 lead contract surged to 48,614 lots, while positions added 1,190 lots to 21,098 lots.
Chen Zhenggao, Minister of China’s Housing & Urban-Rural Development Ministry, stated last Friday that 4.8 million units of 7 million new urban low-income houses have been built and 2.6 million units of rural dilapidated houses have been renovated. The Chinese government will continue construction of low-income houses in the same pace next year. Construction on a total of 24.9 million units of urban low-income houses started from 2011 through 2013. As such, 38.9 million units of low-income houses are expected to be started in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan, well above 36 million targeted. Mr. Chen added that the property market remains vital in the Chinese economy despite some changes in supply and demand. This comment helped soothe concern over a drag on commodities markets from the depressed property market.
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams indicated that the Fed’s use of the word “patient” to describe its stance on monetary policy represents a “bridge” to a period of rising interest rates. Meanwhile, Narayana Kocherlakota, head of the Minneapolis Fed stated that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) was not doing enough to bring inflation back to 2%. In response, VIX, often referred to as the fear index or the fear gauge, closed down 1.90% at 16.49.
The US dollar index rose 0.44%, while the euro slipped 0.48% versus the greenback. Asian stocks climbed across the board, while European stocks were mixed. LME base metals except aluminum ended higher, with zinc and lead leading the gains.
LME lead is expected to test resistance at the 5-day moving average and move at USD 1,870-1,910/mt on Monday as shorts head for the exit. The most active SHFE 1502 lead contract is set to fluctuate at RMB 12,350-12,550/mt. Spot lead prices in China should range between RMB 12,550-12,700/mt on Monday.