SHANGHAI, Feb. 23 (SMM) -- LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 20,400/mt and closed at USD 20,204/mt overnight, down USD 196/mt from a day earlier, with the highest price at USD 20,519 mt and the lowest price at USD 20,060/mt. Daily trading volumes were 2,371 lots, down by 626 lots. Positions were 104,415 lots, up by 1,812 lots. LME nickel inventories were 98,016 mt, up 708 mt from a day earlier.
LME nickel prices advanced above 10-day moving average during Wednesday’s Asian trading hours due to positive news from Greece and as China’s stock market broke through 2,400 points. However, during the European and New York trading hours, LME nickel prices fluctuated lower to close at USD 20,204/mt after profit-taking.
It was reported on February 22nd that HSBC’s China initial PMI was 49.7, still below 50 mark, and PMI from Germany and France also lingered around 50, below market expectation. In addition, Fitch’s put Greek issuer default rating of its long-term domestic and foreign currency from CCC to C, and put Greek short-term foreign currency credit rating to C, weighing on financial markets. The European and US equity markets closed with slight losses and LME nickel prices ended mixed overnight.
The euro was boosted by positive news on Greek debt issue on Tuesday. However, euro pared early gains later after the news was absorbed by market players, given that positive impact from short-term progress of Greek debt crisis was offset by long-term concern over the weak condition in the euro zone. SMM expects that LME nickel prices will continue to fluctuate between 5-day and 10-day moving average, and will largely move between USD 20,000-20,600/mt on Thursday, and spot nickel prices will largely move in the RMB 138,000-141,000/mt on Thursday.