SHANGHAI, Mar.19 (SMM) -- LME nickel prices opened at USD 19, 350/mt and closed at USD 18,980/mt, down USD 380/mt, or 1.96%t from a day earlier, with the lowest price at USD 18,920/mt. Daily trading volumes were 2,351 lots, down 165 lots. Positions were 103,000 lots, down 1,009 lots. LME nickel inventories were 97,422 mt, up 252 mt.
LME nickel prices fell sharply last Friday on lower-than-economic data from the US. It was reported that the US March consumer confidence index unexpectedly fell, while February CPI growth was lower than market expectation in February and February's industrial output was flat on a monthly basis. Market players paid more attention to metal demand from China.
According to data from SHFE, copper inventories continued to grow, showing no signs that consumption is recovering. This will trigger risk aversion sentiment and will weigh on base metal prices.
The US dollar index is expected to fall in the short term after recent steady rally, but is expected to rebound after opening on Monday. SMM expects that the US dollar will meet resistance after rebounding to 78.9, but will resume downward momentum later.
SMM expects that LME nickel prices will move in the RMB 19,000-19,500/mt range on downbeat economic data from the US and concern over metal demand from China, and spot nickel prices will move in the RMB 136,500-137,500/mt range on Monday.