SHANGHAI, Jan. 12 (SMM) -- LME nickel LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 19,400/mt and closed at USD 19,440/mt, down by USD 40/mt from a day earlier, with the highest price at USD 19,678/mt and the lowest price at USD 19,150/mt. Daily trading volumes were 2,792 lots, down 372 lots. Positions were 111,039 lots, up by 1,399 lots from a day earlier. LME nickel inventories were up by 306 mt to 92,844 mt.
LME nickel prices continued to advance slightly during the Asian trading hours owing to support from rebound in China’s stock market. During the Asian trading hours, the lower-than-expected GDP in the euro zone triggered market concern, weighing down LME nickel prices. Finally, LME nickel prices closed with slight losses at USD 19,440/mt overnight.
The US Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday that the US economy was recovering mildly, with increase in November and December consumer expenditure, slightly improvement in enterprise loan demand, better control of commodity price and expansion in manufacture industry, but the US real estate market was still sluggish. In addition, Germany’s 2011 GDP was also in line with market expectation, and the French government dispelled the rumor during the New York trading hours that France’s credit rating was cut down. Market sentiment was largely stable and most LME base metal prices extended upward momentum to close with slight gain. China will release CPI for December 2011. It is widely expected that China’s CPI will stabilize at 4%. If the outcome is in line with market expectation, base metal prices will gain support gain.
The negative news comes from the eurozone again and support from China stock market rebound is waning. In this context, SMM expects that LME nickel prices will continue to fluctuate at low levels between USD 19,000-19,400/mt on Thursday. In China’s spot nickel market, spot nickel prices will remain largely flat from a day earlier and will move in the RMB 134,000-136,000/mt range on Thursday.