SHANGHAI, Jan. 4 (SMM) -- Last Thursday, LME nickel prices opened at USD 18,965/mt last Friday, with highest and lowest level at USD 19,025/mt and USD 18,501/mt, respectively, and finally prices ended at USD 18,848/mt. Total trading volumes reported 1,053 lots, and positions were 97,691 lots.
The US Department of Labor announced on December 26th that the number of initial application for unemployment benefits dropped to 432,000 during that week, lower than prediction of 460,000, boosting market confidence in economic recovery. The US stock markets showed weak performance, with trading sentiment lackluster near the end of 2009, and with closing prices down 1% on Thursday. The US dollar index stood above 78, and found support at this level after testing 77.5 twice, and the index is expected to move higher in the near term, and will remain strong in the long run once it stands above 78.5. Investors still paid more attention to copper and zinc prices after the Christmas holiday, resulting in weak performance of LME nickel prices.
SMM predicts LME nickel prices will continue to fluctuate due to a stronger US dollar and weak market fundamental today, with prices expected to move in the USD 18,400-18,900/mt range.
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