SHHANGHAI, Jan. 19 (SMM) -- LME nickel prices opened at USD 19,475/mt and closed at USD 19,560/mt overnight, up USD 85/mt from a day earlier, with the highest price at USD 19,630/mt and the lowest price at USD 19,255/mt. Daily trading volumes were 2,019 lots, up 247 lots. Positions were 96,814 lots, down 4529 lots. LME nickel inventories were 91,908 mt, down 126 mt from a day earlier.
LME nickel prices fell to certain extent during the Asian trading hours on decline in China’s stock market, but advanced to close at USD 19,560/mt during the European and New York trading hours from positive result of Portugal’s government bond auction.
Yields of Portugal’s government bond rose to record high of 14.54% on Wednesday. In addition, the Fitch may cut Italy’s sovereign credit rating by two notches and Germany also cut economic growth expectation for 2012, weighing on market sentiment. News from the US reported that the negotiation between Greece and its private debtors may reach an agreement before this week, and the Greek officials later expressed that agreement may be reached before this week, boosting optimism towards Greek debt negotiation. In response, the euro advanced and LME base metal prices largely closed with gains, which boosted Shanghai base metal prices as well. Market is focusing the Greek debt negotiation. It is expected that the European debt crisis will be eased to certain extent if agreement is reached on debt swap. Otherwise, Greek will face debt default risk.
It is expected that LME nickel prices will remain fluctuation trend before result of Greek debt negotiation. In China’s spot nickel market, trading sentiment will be extremely quiet as most traders and downstream consumers are closed for holiday. SMM expects that spot nickel prices will fluctuate narrowly between RMB 136,500-138,500/mt on Thursday.