SHANGHAI, Dec. 20 (SMM) -- LME nickel LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 17,780/mt and settled at USD 17,800/mt overnight, up USD 42/mt from a day earlier, with the intraday high at USD 17,800 mt and the low at USD 17,460/mt. Daily trading volumes were 4,284 lots, up 1,278 lots. Positions were 123,218 lots, down 2,655 lots. LME nickel inventories were 138,330 mt, up 942 mt.
LME nickel prices initially fell to hit a low at USD 17,660/mt, but later rebounded to move around USD 17,800/mt at 16:30. During the European trading hours, LME nickel prices were weighed down to hit USD 17,460/mt on lower-than-expected housing starts, but later rebounded to close at USD 17,800/mt, up USD 42/mt from a day earlier.
On the macroeconomic front, Germany’s IFO business sentiment index was 10.2.4 for December, the second consecutive month recording increase and the highest in five months, lending support for the EU economy recovery. The US new housing starts for November were lower than expected at 86.1, weighing on market sentiment. In China, the Ministry of Territories will closely watch housing prices at cities after the National Bureau of Statistics announced that housing prices at China’s 70 large and medium cities are rising, a signal of regulation on real estate sector.
Close attention should be paid to Japanese central bank’s interest rate meeting, and the final GDP and retails data for November from the US. SMM expects that LME nickel prices will move between USD 17,500-18,000/mt and Shanghai spot nickel prices will move between RMB 121,000-123,000/mt on Thursday.