SHANGHAI, Jan. 11 (SMM) –LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 17,500/mt and closed at USD 17,488/mt, down USD 5/mt from a day earlier, with intraday high at USD 17,700/mt and the low at USD 17,391/mt.Daily trading volumes were 3,179 lots, up 986 lots. Positions were 113,770 lots, up 2,251 lots. LME nickel inventories were 144,342 mt, up 924 mt from a day earlier.
During the Asian trading hours, LME nickel prices surged to hit a high at USD 17,700/mt due to better-than-expected trading data from China. During the European trading hours, the stock market rally and US dollar decline both lent upward momentum for LME nickel prices. However, the technical resistance and surging LME nickel inventories added uncertainties. Finally, LME nickel prices failed to break through technical resistance and closed at USD 17,488/mt, down USD 5/mt from a day earlier.
European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi's comments on euro zone's economic prospects after a policy-making conference Thursday also added to positive mood. Draghi said that weakness in the currency block is expected to continue into 2013, but economic activity should gradually recover later in the year. ECB also left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.75 percent at the meeting. The Bank of England also kept interest rate unchanged at 0.5%, and remained its assets purchasing plan.
U.S. initial weekly jobless claims rose a modest 4,000 to 371, 000 in the week ending Jan. 5, but continuing claims -- those drawn by workers for more than a week -- dropped to the lowest level since 2008, according to data released by the U.S. Labor Department.In addition, the US President Obama nominated Jack Lew as candidate for the 76th Minister of Finance.
In China, China’s central bank conducted revere repos operation again on Thursday. Meanwhile, China’s new loans for December were RMB 454.3 billion, the lowest since January 2010. China’s imports and exports for December both hit historical high in December 2012. Imports and exports for Q4 continued to rebound, and growth in imports and exports also rebounded from 3Q.
In overseas markets, the S&P 500 index hit 5-year high, and crude prices also grew 0.8% at USD 93.82/barrel. The US dollar index fell.
SMM expects that LME nickel prices will move between USD 17,300-17,800/mt and Shanghai nickel spot prices will move between RMB 122,500-124,500/mt on Friday.