SHANGHAI, Sept. 20 -- Last Friday, LME nickel prices opened at USD 21,750/mt and closed at USD 21,505/mt, down USD 310/mt from a day earlier, with the highest price at USD 22,000/mt and the lowest price at USD 21,495/mt. On Monday, market concern over global economy fueled risk aversion sentiment. The higher US dollar also dragged down base metal prices. In response, LME nickel prices fell to hit a low of USD 21,045/mt after opening at USD 21,600/mt during the Asian trading hours. LME nickel inventories were 98,082 mt, up 432 mt.
In the Shanghai nickel spot market, Jinchuan Group cut ex-works nickel prices by RMB 3,000/mt to RMB 157,000/mt. Hit by LME nickel price decline and Jinchuan Group’s downward adjustment of ex-works nickel prices, Shanghai nickel spot prices fell. Mainstream traded prices of nickel from Russia were in the RMB 156,000-157,000/mt range, and mainstream traded prices of nickel from Jinchuan Group were in the RMB 157,800-158,000/mt range. Traded prices were relatively high in the morning trading hours, but transactions and prices both fell during the afternoon trading hours along with LME nickel price decline. Comparatively speaking, Jinchuan nickel prices were relatively firmer than Russian nickel price.
Based on result of an SMM survey, 45% market players believe that nickel prices will be neutral. Although market sentiment was still haunted by macro uncertainties, panic sentiment has eased to great extent, leaving limited room for base metal prices to slip further. 40% market players expect that nickel prices will continue to fall. Market expectation over FOMC meeting result was not optimistic, and risk aversion sentiment may trigger further decline of base metal prices. Current LME nickel prices receive support at USD 21,000/mt. The remaining 15% market players believe that LME nickel prices are expected to rebound to USD 22,000/mt, as technical correction and announcement of FOMC meeting result will ease risk aversion sentiment, and LME nickel prices are expected to bottom out.