SHANGHAI, Mar. 22 (SMM) -- LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 26,600/mt and closed at USD 26,750/mt overnight, up by USD 50/mt from a day earlier, with the highest price at USD 26,950/mt and the lowest price at USD 26,301/mt. Daily trading volumes were 2,187 lots and positions were 105,226 lots.LME nickel inventories were down by 252 mt to 124,848 mt.
LME base metal largely ended with losses on Monday, as market concern over economy recovery was renewed due to decline in the US home sales data. LME nickel prices fell by USD 300/mt to USD 26,301/mt and later fluctuated higher during the Asian trading hours. Depressed by US home sales data, LME nickel prices fell again during the European trading hours, but pared certain losses at the tail of the trading and closed with gains.
The National Association of Retailers (NAR) announced on Monday that the annual rate of US existing home sales during the 2Q was 4,888,000, the lowest since November 2010, while the previous estimation was 5,150,000. The annual rate was down by 9.6%, while the expectation was down by 4.0%.The data indicates that the US real estate market was still sluggish.
Close attention should be paid to home price report due on Tuesday by the federal housing finance bureau. Global economy is weighed by many uncertainties like crude oil price hike, the Middle East unrest, tightening monetary policy from China and Japan's nuclear crisis. Investors closely watched these uncertainties, leading to relatively cautious trading sentiment at present. SMM predicts that LME nickel prices will struggle around 60-day moving average and may slip due to many uncertainties, with resistance at USD 27,000/mt and support at USD 25,700/mt on March 22.
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