SHANGHAI, Mar.13 (SMM) -- LME nickel prices opened at USD 19, 340/mt and closed at USD 19,148/mt, down USD 7/mt from a day earlier, with the highest price at USD 19,340/mt and the lowest price at USD 19,000/mt. Daily trading volumes were 2,069 lots, down 734 lots. Positions were 104,075 lots, up 53 lots. LME nickel inventories were 96,864 mt, down 282 mt.
During Monday’s Asian trading hours, LME nickel prices were dragged down to hit USD 19,000/mt mark by China’s downbeat trade data. During the European trading hours, LME nickel prices continued to fluctuate and finally closed at USD 19,248/mt due to absence of solid news.
Last Friday’s data from China Customs revealed that China’s YTD trade deficit was USD 4.25 billion, the first time recording negative growth since December 2009, indicating severe situation of China's exports and triggering concern over slowdown in China’s economic growth. Related financial market continued to digest last Friday’s upbeat non-farm employment data from the US and China’s trade data. Last Friday’s non-farm employment data continued to affect foreign exchange market, with the US dollar advancing. LME base metal prices closed mixed overnight. It is expected that base metal prices will continue to fluctuate narrowly before outcome of this week’s US Federal Reserve interest rate meeting the eurozone financial ministers meeting.
Market is still haunted by concern over possible slow down in China’s economic growth and the European debt crisis. SMM expects that LME nickel prices will continue to fluctuate at low levels between USD 19,000-19,600/mt, and spot nickel prices will largely remain stable in the RMB 135,000-137,000/mt range on Tuesday.