SHANGHAI, Apr. 24 (SMM)-LME nickel market overnight opened at USD 17,770/mt, with the highest and lowest level of USD 17,780/mt and USD 17,500/mt, respectively. Finally, LME nickel market closed at USD 17,570/mt, down USD 304/mt from a day earlier. Transactions for the day were 2,433 lots, up 476 lots. Positions were 104,812 lots, down 174 lots. Inventories were 99,630 mt, down 450 mt.
During the Asian trading hours, the euro tumbled against the dollar, and the preliminary HSBC China’s manufacturing PMI data for April remained below 50%, both weighing down LME nickel prices. During the European and US trading hours, further negative news were reported, sending LME nickel prices further lower, with prices finally closing at USD 17,579/mt, down USD 304/mt from a day earlier.
On April 23rd, HSBC announced the preliminary China’s manufacturing PMI data for April was 49.1%, up from 48.3% in March, but stayed below 50%. The weak PMI in China, coupled with falling PMI in the euro zone and the France’s presidential election, added to market panic. The European equities tumbled, and LME base metals also saw large declines.
The political uncertainty in France, and the unfavorable euro-zone PMI has further added to turmoil on the European markets, which have already suffered a lot from the lingering European debt issues. SMM expects LME nickel prices to remain weak, with prices between USD 17,300-17,900/mt, and domestic spot nickel prices will drop further to between RMB 127,500-131,000/mt on Tuesday.