SHANGHAI, Mar.1 (SMM) -- LME nickel prices opened at USD 19,925/mt and closed at USD 19,466/mt overnight, down USD 384/mt from a day earlier, with the highest price at USD 20,244/mt and the lowest price at USD 19,150/mt. Daily trading volumes were 4,461 lots, up1,657 lots. Positions were 104,228 lots, down 1,771 lots. LME nickel inventories were 98,466 mt, up 24mt from a day earlier.
During Wednesday's Asian trading hours, LME nickel prices advanced to hit USD 20,244/mt due to optimism towards ECB’s second round LTRO. During the Europe and US trading hours, however, LME nickel prices were weighed down to USD 19,466/mt, down USD 384/mt from a day earlier, as LTRO exceeds budget to reach EUR 530 billion, and as the US announced it will not implement QE3 in the short term.
The large scale of LTRO will definitely weigh on euro in the short term, but will improve market liquidity in the long term. SMM believes that market players may overact towards second round of LTRO, so LME nickel prices may experience correction on Thursday. It is expected that LME nickel prices will move in the RMB 19,150-20,100/mt range after a high opening, and spot nickel prices may be weighed to RMB 136,000-139,000/mt range on Thursday.