SHANGHAI, Apr. 12 (SMM) -- LME nickel market overnight opened at USD 18,050/mt, with the highest and lowest level of USD 18,194/mt and USD 17,831/mt, respectively. Finally, LME nickel market closed at USD 18,109/mt, up USD 108/mt from a day earlier. Transactions for the day were 2,158 lots, down 809 lots. Positions were 107,779 lots, up 304 lots. Inventories were 99,982 mt, down 44 mt.
LME nickel prices moved around USD 18,000/mt after opening during Asian trading hours yesterday. During European and US trading hours, LME nickel prices returned above USD 18,000/mt boosted by a better-than-expected sovereign debt auction by Spain and Italy, with prices finally closing at USD 18,109/mt, up USD 108/mt.
Major financial markets stabilized overnight. The US Federal Reserve (Fed) on Wednesday provided an assuring assessment of the US economy in its latest Beige Book summary of national activity, saying US economic activity kept growing moderately from mid-February through late March. Manufacturing sectors in most regions reported growth, with manufacturers generally optimistic, but the Fed also said rising energy prices were beginning to worry manufacturers and retailers across the country, fuelling expectations that the Fed will raise interest rates. Combined with European debt crisis which still showed signs of deteriorating, the US dollar index strengthened. Weak US nonfarm payrolls in March indicate the US economy recovered slower and US demand will wane in response. As a result, metal prices were weighed down by bearish international economic conditions and a stronger US dollar.
Although no big news dominates the market, pessimism still outweighs optimism. SMM predicts LME nickel prices will remain weak to move between USD 17,500-18,700/mt today, while domestic spot nickel prices will hover between RMB 129,000-135,000/mt.