SHANGHAI, Jan. 11 (SMM) -- Last Friday, LME nickel prices opened at USD 18,400/mt, with highest and lowest level at USD 18,500/mt and USD 17,950/mt, respectively, and finally prices ended at USD 18,075/mt. Total trading volumes reported 1,950 lots, and positions were 98,001 lots.
The US Department of Labor announced last Friday that the non-farm employment in December decreased by 85,000, but the Reuters predicted it would remain flat at November levels. Meanwhile, the non-farm employment in November was revised from a decline of 11,000 to a growth of 4,000. The lower-than-expected employment data greatly reduced the expectations of possible interest rate hikes, and the US dollar index fell as a result. However, although the employment data was lower than expected, the declines have narrowed steadily based on the trends in first several months in 2009, signaling the US economy has recovered significantly, which will help push up base metals prices further in the future before the government raises the interest rate.
SMM predicts LME nickel prices will stabilize at USD 18,000/mt today positively affected by slight declines in the US dollar index, with prices expected to move in the USD 17,900-18,500/mt range.
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