SHANGHAI, Jan. 7 (SMM) – LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 17,500/mt and closed at USD 17,451/mt, down USD 59/mt from a day earlier, with intraday high at USD 17,620/mt and the low at USD 17,285/mt.Daily trading volumes were 3,271 lots, down 64 lots. Positions were 117,859 lots, down 638 lots. LME nickel inventories were 141,672 mt, down 36 mt from a day earlier.
Asian stock markets all rallied during the first post-holiday trading day on last Friday. However, the growth in stock market failed to boost LME nickel prices. LME nickel prices fell to hit a low at USD 17,285/mt after a low opening during Asian trading hours. During the European and US trading hours, the US non-farm employment payrolls increased by 155,000, better than market expectation, which boosted LME nickel prices to pare certain losses. Finally, LME nickel prices closed at USD 17,451/mt, down USD 59/mt from a day earlier.
On the macroeconomic front, the US Department of Labor announced the US non-farm employment payrolls for December recorded 155,000, better than 152,000 expected. The unemployment rate was 7.8%, flat from November’s level. In addition, some Fed officials hope to halt plan to purchase bond. In the euro zone, the consumer price index for December annualized at an average of 2.2%, flat from those in November. In China, China’s central bank injected RMB 90 billion liquidity through 5-day reverse repos operation. In addition, China attached importance on urbanization.
As no solid economic data is expected to be released today, It is expected that LME nickel prices may likely fluctuate between USD 17,200-17,700/mt. In the Shanghai nickel spot market, downstream demand will recover and cash flow pressure will ease by the end of the year. However, LME nickel price decline will weigh on spot nickel prices to move between RMB 120,000-122,000/mt on Monday.