SHANGHAI, Jul. 15 (SMM) -- LME nickel LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 24,050/mt and closed at USD 24,075/mt overnight, up by USD 55/mt from a day earlier, with the highest price at USD 24,225/mt and the lowest price at USD 23,775/mt. Daily trading volumes were 1,677 lots, down by 1,101 lots. Positions were 88,586 lots, down by 1,189 lots from a day earlier. LME nickel inventories were down by 210 mt to 103,644 mt.
During the earlier trading hours, data from the US showed that the US retail sales were up, while producer price index and initial jobless claim were down, lending support for base metals. However, the US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernake reiterated that the Federal Reserve has no plan to launch the QE3 when he attended Senate hearing, which boosted the US dollar and weighed on base metal prices to close with losses. LME nickel prices were volatile overnight, hitting a low of USD 23,775/mt, but pared certain losses at the tail of the trading, with prices finally closing with slight gains at USD 24,075/mt.
Moody's warned possible downgrade of the US AAA credit rating, further weakening market sentiment.
The lingering European debt crisis and concern over the US economic recovery continued to dampen market sentiment. Combined with uncertainties over macro economic condition, SMM expects base metal prices will continue to be volatile. SMM believes that LME nickel prices will continue to hover at high level, with current resistance at USD 25,000/mt, and support at USD 24,000/mt. SMM expects that Shanghai nickel spot prices will remain flat between RMB 174,000-175,000/mt on Friday.