SHANGHAI, Mar.22 (SMM) -- LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 19,025/mt and closed at USD 18,808/mt, down USD 197/mt, with the highest price at USD 19,080/mt and the lowest price at USD 18,780/mt. Daily trading volumes were 1,900 lots, down 252 lots. Positions were 97,180 lots, down 2,520 lots. LME nickel inventories were 97,848 mt, up 798 mt.
LME nickel prices moved above USD 19,000/mt during Wednesday’s Asian trading hours trading hours. During the European trading hours, LME nickel prices fell rapidly below USD 18,900/mt and largely moved narrowly between USD 18,800-18,900/mt. Finally, LME nickel prices closed at USD 18,808/mt, down USD 197/mt from a day earlier.
LME base metal prices closed mixed overnight. On March 22, the USD February second-hand housing sales were down 0.9%, forcing some investors to exit market after profit-taking. According to report from the National Association of Realtor, the US February second-hand housing sales were down 0.9% to 4.59 million units. In addition, Bernanke’s remark hinted that the US monetary policy would not likely to change easily, and he believed that the European debt crisis eased to certain extent, which lent support for the US dollar. In this context, LME base metal prices largely moved in a narrow range without significant fluctuation from the beginning of this week. At present, the base metal market is waiting for any improvement from market consumption.
SMM expects that LME nickel prices will continue to move with weak momentum, with support at USD 18,600/mt. In China's nickel spot market, overnight LME nickel decline will weigh on spot nickel prices to move in the RMB 134,000-135,000/mt range on Thursday.