SHANGHAI, Oct.12 (SMM) -- LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 17,650/mt and closed at USD 17,665/mt on Thursday, up USD 15/mt from a day earlier, with the intraday high at USD 17,800 mt and the lowest price at USD 17,575/mt. Daily trading volumes were 3,504 lots, down 264 lots. Positions were 114,018 lots, up 1,500 lots. LME nickel inventories were 124,368 mt, up 18 mt.
LME nickel prices were poised to rise after falling for four consecutive days. In addition, the US dollar fell below 80, further support LME nickel prices. Therefore, LME nickel prices posted strong performance during the Asian trading hours and hit a high at USD 17,800/mt. During the US and Europe trading hours, LME nickel prices further gained upward momentum as the US initial jobless claim fell to 339,000. Finally, LME nickel close at USD 17,65/mt, up USD 15/mt from a day earlier.
According to data from Elstat, the Greece unemployment rate rose to 25.1% in August from 24.8% in July. Greek economy has contracted for five consecutive years, and the country is waiting for assessment result on financial aid from the EU, IMF and ECB. Meanwhile, as the Standard & Poor's cut Spanish long-term credit rating, possibility for Spain to ask for financial aid would be high. In this context, investors were relatively optimistic, pushing up the euro and European stock index. According to data from the US Department of Commerce, last week's initial jobless claim fell by 30,000 to 339,000, which is the lowest since February 2008, suggesting that the US employment market greatly improved. Coupled with higher-than-expected import product index for September, any room for commodity prices to fall further will be limited. Close attention should be paid to the US CPI for September and industrial productivity for August from the EU, which will affect base metal movement.
SMM expects that LME nickel prices will move in the USD 17,600-18,100/mt and spot nickel prices will hold between RMB 117,000-119,000/mt on Friday.