SHANGHAI, Feb. 25 (SMM) -- LME nickel prices opened at USD 28,610/mt and closed at USD 27,775/mt, up by USD 50/mt from a day earlier, with the highest price at USD 28,610/mt and the lowest price at USD 27,130/mt. Daily trading volumes were 5,031 lots and positions were 101,458 lots. LME nickel inventories were up by 444 mt to 129,642 mt.
LME base metal performance was mixed on February 24. LME nickel prices recorded the largest decline by 4.1% to USD 27,775/mt. LME nickel prices fluctuated lower during the Asian trading hours and was near 30-day moving average. Later prices were boosted to certain extent from weaker US dollar, but overall losses in LME nickel prices were still considerable. LME nickel prices previously received support from the news that Vale shut furnace at one of its smelters, but the support began to wane and LME nickel prices fluctuated, triggering further correction.
Crude oil price slipped after climbing to above USD 100/bbl, easing market concern to certain extent. Investors mainly focused whether or not the Libyan unrest will spread to other major oil producing countries, which may further push energy price higher and finally slower global economy recovery.
However, market attention on a series of the US economic data released on Thursday was waned to certain extent. The decline in US initial jobless claim in the week ending on February 19th was higher than expected, while the new home sales data during January slipped significantly by 12.6%, with the previous estimation of 8.8%.
LME nickel prices fell below solid support level of USD 28,000/mt to around USD 27,000/mt. Base metal prices will continue to be weighed unless the tension in the Middle East is eased. At present, LME nickel prices receive support at USD 27,000/mt.
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