SHANGHAI, Feb. 28 -- LME nickel prices opened at USD 27,600/mt and closed at USD 28,249/mt, up by USD 474/mt from a day earlier, with the highest price at USD 28,249/mt and the lowest price at USD 27,428/mt. Daily trading volumes were 2,599 lots and positions were 101,865 lots.LME nickel inventories were up by 780 mt to 130,422 mt.
Supported by stabilized crude oil price, LME base metal rallied across the board last Friday.LME nickel prices largely fluctuated widely between USD 27,500-27,900/mt and closed higher at the tail of the trading, with prices closing near 20-day moving average.
After hitting a 2.5-year high last Thursday, crude oil prices stabilized below USD 100/bbl. Given that oil supply from Saudi Arabia, a large oil exporter, increased, market concern over possible oil supply cut triggered by Libyan turbulence eased to certain extent.
As market was focused on Libya, a series of disappointing data released last Friday were ignored. According to data announced last Friday by the US Department of Commerce, the revised annual rate of US GDP in quarter four was up by 2.8% from a quarter earlier, lower than previous estimation of 3.3% and the previous reading of 3.2%. According to data from the Office for National Statistics of the UK, revised GDP in quarter four slipped by 0.6% from a quarter earlier, and the previous estimation was down by 0.5%.
The news of possible step-down of Libyan leader was gradually absorbed by investors, which may support base metal market and the US equity market. However, political unrest hasn't stabilized in Libya. If any change happens, base metal prices may be affected. Possibility for LME nickel prices fluctuate at high level is high, and SMM expects that LME nickel prices will test support at USD 28,000/mt.
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