SHANGHIA, Feb.23 (SMM) -- LME nickel prices opened at USD 29,250/mt and closed at USD 28,450/mt, down by USD 950/mt from a day earlier, with the highest price at USD 29,300/mt and the lowest price at USD 28,450/mt. Daily trading volumes were 2,978 lots and positions were 100,160 lots. LME nickel inventories were up by 498/mt to 129,720 mt.
LME base metal prices slumped on February 22nd, as tension in Libya led to oil price hike. Market concerned that turbulence in Libya may disturb global economic recovery pace, thus may investors stood at the sideline and adopted a wait-and-see attitude. LME nickel prices slumped along with other base metals after brief rally in the morning trading session, with prices down by 3.23%.
Violent confrontations between protesters and government supporters in Libya made oil price surge, as concern that oil output may be negatively affected triggered speculative buying. NYMEX crude oil contract for delivery in three months closed 6.4% higher to USD 91.74.
The US Conference Board announced on Tuesday that the US Consumer Confidence Index for February was the highest since February 2008.However, S&P/Case-shiller December home price index after seasonal adjustment fell for sixth consecutive months, suggesting relatively strong resistance for economy recovery.
The oil price hike raised concern over possible higher interest rate, dampening market sentiment in base metal markets. It is expected that base metal prices will experience corrections in the short time and dip-buying will support prices to certain extent. Some dip-buying occurred when LME nickel prices slipped. SMM expects that LME nickel prices will receive support at USD 28,000/mt on February 23rd.
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