SHANGHAI, Apr. 15 (SMM) – Major economic indicators released overnight were downbeat. China’s M2 balance in March rose 11.6% YoY, lower than the 12.4% expected. Informal financing also fell short of market expectations. Domestic railway freight volume in Q1 was down 9% YoY to 2010’s level. US March retail sales were up 0.9%, with the growth short of the 1.1% expected, weighing down base metals prices. Nonetheless, LME lead prices strengthened. LME lead prices opened at USD 1,974/mt during Asian trading hours, then fell to as low as USD 1,955/mt. During European trading hours, LME lead prices rallied and closed at USD 1,988/mt, up USD 11.5/mt. Trading volumes decreased 2,175 to 4,282 lots, and total positions grew 395 to 141,227. LME lead inventories fell 4,200 to 214,650.
SHFE 1506 lead contract prices edged up and closed at RMB 13,190/mt Tuesday evening, up RMB 115/mt. Trading volumes were 5,716 lots, and total positions fell 926 to 17,916.
LME lead prices should fluctuate between USD 1,960-2,000/mt today. SHFE 1506 lead contract prices will hover between RMB 13,100-13,250/mt, with spot lead prices in Shanghai between RMB 13,050-13,200/mt.