SHANGHAI, Jan. 14 (SMM) -- LME nickel LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 17,500/mt and settled at USD 17,561/mt last Friday, up USD 73/mt from a day earlier, with the intraday high at USD 17,575 mt and the low at USD 17,365/mt. Daily trading volumes were 2,510 lots, down 669 lots. Positions were 114,034 lots, up 264 lots. LME nickel inventories were 144,246 mt, down 96 mt.
Last Friday, the China’s consumer confidence index for December rose by 2.5% YoY, better than 2.3% expected, the highest in 7 months. By virtue that China’s central bank may tighten liquidity due to growth in CPI may, domestic stock market fell by 1.5%.This prevented LME nickel prices from rising further. However, the US earnings reports for 4Q were positive, pushing up US equity market higher. In this context, LME nickel prices moved higher during the European trading hours and finally closed at USD 17,561/mt, up USD 73/mt from a day earlier.
The US exports for November totaled USD 182.25 billion, up 1.0% MoM. Imports totaled USD 231.28 billion, up 3.8% MoM. USD trade deficit expanded to USD 48.73 billion, up 15.8% MoM, and its trade deficit to EU and Germany hit a new high since April 2012.In addition, the US Fed financial deficit fell to USD 260 million in December due to tax increase and government expenditure cut, which was USD 172.11 billion lower from a month earlier. The yields of the Italian 10-year bond fell 2 basis points to 4.14%, pushing the higher. In addition, the European official’s concern over Cyprus grew after the Moody’s cut credit rating of Cyprus.
In China, the CPI for December rose 2.5% YoY, higher than 2.3% expected and the highest in seven months. China’s annualized PPI for December was 1.9%. The decline in PPI was deeper than market expectation, a reflection that domestic industrial demand was not brisk.
In Japan, the Japanese bank approved JPY 10.3 trillion stimulus package.
SMM expects that LME nickel prices will move in the USD 17,300-17,800/mt range, and spot nickel will hold between RMB 122,500-124,500/mt on Monday.