SHANGHAI, Dec.7 (SMM) -- LME nickel prices opened at USD 18,220/mt and closed at USD 18,386/mt overnight, up USD 18/mt from a day earlier, with the highest price at USD 18,500/mt and the lowest price at USD 17,950/mt. Daily trading volumes were 3,056 lots, down 1,043 lots. Positions were 109,853 lots, up 1,074 lots. LME nickel inventories were 91,056 mt, up 600 mt from a day earlier.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced on Tuesday to lower the cash rate from 4.5 percent to 4.25 percent, effective Dec. 7, which was in line with market expectation, a reflection of tight liquidity in the market. In addition, no progress was reported for the European debt crisis. Standard and Poor’s put EFSF 3A credit rating on negative watch. It was also reported that the euro zone was discussing to expand rescue fund scale, and might lift or cancel the EUR 500 billion rescue limit. LME base metal prices closed mixed overnight, as market lacked direction amid cautious sentiment before release of EU interest rate result and China’s CPI data.
LME nickel prices fluctuated in a narrow band for most of the time and were largely weighed below USD 18,200/mt overnight, which was mainly due to the warning that Standard and Poor’s may cut credit rating of euro zone members and owing to concern over economic slowing down in China. During the New York trading hours, LME nickel prices advanced to hit a high of USD 18,500/mt, which was boosted by Germany’s better-than-expected manufacture orders for October. LME nickel prices finally closed at USD 18,386/mt, up USD 18/mt from a day earlier.
It is expected that market will not fluctuate widely before release of Friday’s EU summit result and China’s CPI data. SMM expected that LME nickel prices will continue to remain fluctuation trend to move around USD 18,000/mt on Wednesday. In China’s domestic nickel spot market, spot nickel prices are expected to move in the RMB 128,500-130,000/mt range on Wednesday.