SHANGHAI, Mar.15 (SMM) -- LME nickel prices opened at USD 19, 461/mt and closed at USD 19,528/mt, down USD 8/mt from a day earlier, with the highest price at USD 19,590/mt and the lowest price at USD 19,350/mt. Daily trading volumes were1,926 lots, down 97 lots. Positions were 103,907 lots, up 698 lots. LME nickel inventories were 96,726 mt, down 24 mt.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said at the press conference of National People’s Congress that efforts shall continue to be made to regulate home prices. In response, domestic stock market plunged, weighing on LME nickel prices as well. As no solid news was released during the European and US trading hours, LME nickel prices also fluctuated narrowly and finally closed at USD 19,528/mt.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said at press conference at National People’s Congress on Wednesday that domestic home prices are far from reasonable level, so regulation on real estate market shall not be eased. The speech triggered market concern over metal demand from China. In addition, the higher US treasury yields pushed the US dollar higher, weighing on base metal prices. In response, LME base metal prices closed with significant losses overnight.
News front is expected to be quiet on Thursday, but Premier Wen’s remark on real estate market will continue to weigh LME nickel prices. SMM expects that LME nickel prices will move in the RMB 19,200-19,600/mt range, and spot nickel prices will not fluctuate widely and shall continue to move in the RMB 137,000-139,000/mt band on Thursday.