SHANGHAI, Aug. 2 (SMM) -- LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 24,600/mt and closed at USD 24,893/mt last Friday, up by USD 243/mt from a day earlier, with the highest price at USD 24,898/mt and the lowest price at USD 24,380/mt.LME nickel prices were weighed after opening at USD 24,901/mt during the Asian trading hour on Monday, but surged to hit a high of USD 25,195/mt during the afternoon trading hours. During the European trading hours, LME nickel prices pared certain losses. The two parties finally reached a consensus on raising the US debt ceiling, easing market concern and boosting base metal prices to certain extent. LME nickel prices continued to test sustainability at USD 25,000/mt during the evening trading hours. LME nickel inventories were up by 558 mt to 103,098 mt.
Jinchuan Group raised ex-works nickel prices by RMB 3,000/mt to RMB 181,000/mt on Monday. Spot nickel prices were limitedly boosted by Jinchuan Group’s ex-works nickel price hike. As nickel prices rose too rapidly, wait-and-see sentiment began to prevail in the market. Transactions were limitedly in the morning trading hours, and were also quiet in the afternoon trading hours when traders were reluctant to move goods along with steadily rising LME nickel prices. Mainstream traded prices of nickel from Russian were in the RMB 180,000-180,500/mt range, and mainstream traded prices of nickel from Jinchuan Group were in the RMB 180,800-181,000/mt range.
Based on result of an SMM survey, around 50% market players believe LME nickel prices will continue to rise this week, as risk appetite grew and buying will increase along with eased concern over the US debt issue. Approximately 30% market players expects that LME nickel prices will fall, as a technical correction is possible after LME nickel prices rallying for several consecutive days. In addition, market lacks solid news to boost nickel prices to rise further. The remaining 20% market players believe that LME nickel prices will remain natural since competition between longs and shorts was fierce.