SHANGHAI, Jul. 20 (SMM) -- LME nickel LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 23,850/mt and closed at USD 24,105/mt overnight, up by USD 335/mt from a day earlier, with the highest price at USD 24,290/mt and the lowest price at USD 23,820/mt. Daily trading volumes were 1,970 lots, down by 380 lots. Positions were 86,058 lots, down by 2,006 lots from a day earlier. LME nickel inventories were down by 768 mt to 101,586 mt.
LME nickel prices were largely stable during the early Asian trading hours, and fluctuated narrowly after advancing to USD 24,000/mt from decline in the US dollar in the afternoon trading hours. In the evening trading hours, stronger euro and robust home data from the US further boosted LME nickel prices to USD 24,290/mt. At the tail of the trading, LME nickel prices closed at USD 24,105/mt, up by USD 335/mt from a day earlier.
Improved risk appetite in global financial markets significantly pushed base metal prices higher and investors were more optimistic that European leaders will reach a consensus on Greece bailout at an emergency meeting to be held on Thursday. Germany's finance ministry said on Tuesday that talks between euro zone governments and private creditors over a second bailout package for Greece were going ahead in a "constructive" manner. In response, the euro advanced and the equity market also rebounded.
The US Ministry of Commerce announced on Wednesday that the US new housing starts in June were up by 14.6% from a month earlier, the highest since January 2011. The annualized rate of June’s new housing starts was 629,000, higher than estimation of 575,000. The release of house data also lent strong support for base metals.
LME nickel prices hit USD 24,000/mt overnight, but failed to stand firmly above this level. SMM expects, LME nickel prices will test sustainability at USD 24,000/mt on Wednesday. Shanghai nickel spot prices are expected to advance slightly to between RMB 174,500-175,000/mt on Wednesday.