SHANGHAI, Oct.11 (SMM) -- LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 17,910/mt and closed at USD 17,650/mt on Wednesday, down USD 309/mt from a day earlier, with the intraday high at USD 17,930 mt and the lowest price at USD 17,639/mt. Daily trading volumes were 3,765 lots, up 1,075 lots. Positions were 112,518 lots up 1,898 lots. LME nickel inventories were 124,248 mt, down 264 mt.
Market concern renewed and risk aversion sentiment grew as the European debt crisis still did not report significant progress. In response, the US dollar index remained strong after breaking through 80, which dragged down LME nickel prices during the Asian trading hours. During the US and European trading hours, LME nickel prices were further weighed down following S&P's cut in Spanish credit rating. Finally, LME nickel prices closed at USD 17,650/mt, down USD 309/mt from a day earlier.
Base metal prices all closed with losses overnight. Prices of lead and zinc fell most remarkably overnight. The Standard & Poor's cut credit rating of Spain from BBB+ to BBB-, and added that further credit rating cut is possible if no progress is made to stabilize its economy and politic. Although ESM and EFSF president Klaus Regling said that the stronger compositeness and reduced deficit suggested progress in the European debt crisis, this was not enough to boost market confidence. The sluggish consumption amid exacerbated concern over the European debt crisis weighed on base metal prices.
SMM expects that LME nickel prices will find support at USD 17,500/mtand shall move in the USD 17,500-18,000/mt range, and spot nickel will hold between USD 127,500-129,500/mt on Thursday.