Metals News
SMM Morning Review - 2010/3/19 Nickel Market
smm insight
Mar 19,2010

SHANGHAI, Mar. 19 (SMM) -- Yesterday, LME nickel prices opened at USD 22,325/mt and closed at USD 22,700/mt, with highest price at USD 22,800/mt and lowest price at USD 22,135/mt. Daily trading volumes were 1,696 lots and positions were 98,971 lots.

US Department of Commerce reported on Thursday that 4Q current-account deficit were 115.59 billion US dollar, and the proportion increased from 2.9% in 3Q to 3.2%. Meanwhile, the US Department of Labor reported on March 13th that initial jobless pension claim dropped to 457,000, echoing statement from the Federal Reserve after the interest rate meeting that US employment situation is stabilizing and suggesting more optimistic expectation on employment compared that in January. Whether or not US will withdraw loose money policy shall largely depend on employment situation, and the favorable employment figure boosted US dollar to rebound significantly above 80 again from the level of yesterday. US dollar index climbed for two consecutive days, indicating upward momentum of US dollar, but momentum for US dollar to rebound significantly was weak in the short term and will exerted limited pressure on LME nickel prices which were affected more greatly by strong fundamentals recently. Operating rates at stainless steel mills improved recently, and pushed up demand of nickel from downstream mills as a result. In this context, LME nickel prices may experience different performance compared with other base metal prices due to favorable demand recently.

It is expected that LME nickel prices will move in the USD 22,350-23,000/mt range today.

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