SHANGHAI, Jan. 7 (SMM) -- LME nickel prices closed up, at USD 19,025/mt on January 6th, driven up by increasing purchases by long positions. Market players predict nickel demand will continue to improve along with gradual recovery of economy. The strong global manufacturing data, the better-than-expected 2009 December factory orders in the US, as well as steady investment demand from the start of 2010, will all help drive up metals prices. LME nickel inventories declined by 36 mt to 158,388 mt yesterday, showing signs of improving market consumption. SMM predicts nickel prices will advance slightly in the near term.
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