SHANGHAI, Jul. 18 (SMM) -- LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 24,050/mt and closed at USD 24,075/mt on Thursday, 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. LME nickel futures contract for delivery in three months fluctuated narrowly around USD 24,000/mt after opening at USD 24,050/mt during the Asian trading hours on Friday, with prices initially advancing but later slipping on higher US dollar. LME nickel prices continued to test sustainability at USD 24,000/mt. LME nickel inventories were down by 450 mt to 103,194 mt.
LME nickel prices only closed with slight gains on Thursday, and were weighed on Friday. In this context, spot nickel prices were also weak. Mainstream traded prices of nickel from Jinchuan Group were in the RMB 174,500-174,800/mt range, and mainstream traded prices of nickel from Russia were in the RMB 173,500-174,000/mt range. Volatile LME nickel prices dampened cargo-holders' confidence, resulting in cautious and quiet trading sentiment. Due to limited supply, transactions of nickel from Russia were relatively brisker, while purchasers tried to beat down prices of Jinchuan nickel. Downstream demand was soft during the seasonal low-demand period, and deals made by traders were also lackluster due to the absence of arbitrage opportunity.