SHANGHAI, Mar. 12 (SMM) -- China’s lowered 2012 GDP growth targets to 7.5%, dampening expectations of global metal demand, while the Greek debt issue remains unresolved. Although China’s February CPI fell to 3.2%, markets will quickly absorb the positive news since this number was within market expectations. Technically speaking, LME nickel prices continue to fluctuate with only weak momentum and was the only base metal to close with losses on Thursday when all other base metal prices advanced. In this context, LME nickel prices should continue to hover at low levels. SMM expects LME nickel prices will continue to test support at USD 18,628/mt in the coming week. If LME nickel prices fail to find support at USD 18,628/mt, prices will fall to USD 16,550/mt. However, if LME nickel prices are stable at USD 18,628/mt, prices will move toward USD 19,353-20,549/mt in the coming week.
Since LME nickel prices are expected to move narrowly in the short term, SMM expects spot nickel prices will lack momentum and fluctuate in the RMB 135,000-138,000/mt range. Transactions of refined nickel are expected to remain sluggish, with profits from transactions between traders extremely limited.