SHANGHAI, Nov. 22 (SMM) -- LME nickel prices fluctuated narrowly after opening at USD 17,745/mt during the Asian trading hours on Monday. During the early European trading hours, LME nickel prices accelerated declines to hit a low of USD 17,500/mt. Ongoing and expanding European debt crisis constantly fueled risk aversion sentiment, and the stronger US dollar weighed on base metal prices. LME nickel inventories were 83,940 mt, down 810 mt from a day earlier.
In the Shanghai nickel spot market, Jinchuan Group cut ex-works nickel prices by RMB 3,000/mt to RMB 129,000/mt. A small amount of nickel was traded in the RMB 129,000-131,500/mt range during the morning trading hours, but traded prices rapidly fell to RMB 128,000-130,500/mt following Jinchuan Group’s ex-works nickel price cut. Transactions were quiet bearish on Monday, due to sluggish performance of LME nickel prices and Jinchuan Group’s ex-works nickel price adjustment. During the afternoon trading hours, traders’ willingness to move goods was also low, with supply and demand both limited in the market.
Based on result of an SMM survey on market sentiment, surveyed enterprises all have bearish outlook towards this week’s nickel prices. Constantly weighed down by LME nickel prices, sentiment was extremely sluggish in spot market. Coupled with Jinchuan Group’s ex-works nickel price cut, spot nickel prices no longer stand firm. In addition, downstream demand for nickel is waning due to a large amount of output cut at steel mills. Therefore, SMM expects that nickel prices will fall further this week.