SHANGHAI, May 17 (SMM) – LME nickel prices overnight opened at USD 17,000/mt, with the high end USD 17,230/mt, finding support at USD 16,770/mt. Finally, LME nickel prices closed at USD 16,960/mt, down USD 87/mt. Trading volumes increased by 978 lots to 3,371 lots, and total position was 102,469 lots, down 2,253 lots. LME nickel inventories were 105,630 mt, down 144 mt.
European central bank affirmed to suspend refinancing operation to some banks of Greece, and the US dollar index touched 81.573, close to the highest hit this year. As a result, LME nickel prices dipped to USD 16,770/mt and finally closed at USD 16,960/mt, down USD 87/mt.
With the exception of aluminum, LME base metals prices closed to hit record lows and fell for the fourth consecutive day. European central bank affirmed to suspend refinancing operation to some banks of Greece but said it will restart monetary policy implementation after capital structure adjustments at those banks are finished. But the market was concerned European central bank will stop bailout package to Greece. The left wing SYRIZA opposing credit tightening won 20.3% support, while support for the New Democratic Party slid to 14.2%, and support for Panhellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok) also fell to 10.9%, indicating Greece will be forced out of the euro zone. In this context, base metals prices fell with stocks markets and crude prices. With concerns over Greece's debt crisis, investors will hold capital, so metal prices will unlikely rebound in the near term.