SHANGHAI, Mar.16 (SMM) -- LME nickel prices opened at USD 19, 450/mt and closed at USD 19,360/mt, down USD 168/mt from a day earlier, with the highest price at USD 19,522/mt and the lowest price at USD 19,180/mt. Daily trading volumes were 2,516 lots, up 590 lots. Positions were 104,484 lots, up 577 lots. LME nickel inventories were 97,170 mt, up 444 mt.
LME nickel prices fluctuated narrowly during Thursday’s Asian trading hours, and extended weak momentum to hit a low of USD 19,180/mt during the European trading hours. However, at the tail of the trading, LME nickel prices pared most of early losses and closed at USD 19,360/mt.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved the second round of Greek bailout package worth EUR 28 billion, which offset negative impact from Standard & Poor’s announcement that Greek selective default rating shall remain unchanged and from Fitch's adjustment of Bank of England’s credit rating outlook into negative. Meanwhile, base metal prices also draw support and largely closed with gains from better-than-expected manufacture data from the US.
News front is expected to be quiet on Thursday, and it is expected that LME nickel prices will continue to fluctuate narrowly. Close attention should be paid to performance of China’s stock market, which will affect LME nickel market movement. SMM expects that LME nickel prices will move in the RMB 19,200-19,800/mt range, and spot nickel prices will not fluctuate widely and shall slightly fall to the RMB 135,500-138,000/mt band on Friday.