SHANGHAI, Jan. 18 (SMM) -- LME nickel LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 17,440/mt and closed at USD 17,600/mt overnight, up by USD 195/mt from a day earlier, with the highest price at USD 17,607mt and the lowest price at USD 17,360/mt. Daily trading volumes were 2,303 lots, down by 379 lots. Positions were 109,719 lots, down by 1,408 lots. LME nickel inventories were 147,228 mt, down 114 mt from a day earlier.
During the Asian trading hours, the Shanghai Composite Index fell below 2300 points, down over 1% from a day earlier. The sluggish Asian stock market weighed down base metal prices, with LME nickel prices fluctuating around USD 17,400/mt.During the European and US trading hours, the US initial jobless claim fell to 5-year low, and the earning reports from major companies were positive, pushing up US equity markets. In response, LME nickel prices advanced to close at USD 17,600/mt, up USD 195/mt from a day earlier.
According to the US Department of Labor, last week’s initial jobless claim fell by 37,000 to seasonably-adjusted 335,000, the lowest since January 2008.However, the long-term jobless claim advanced by 87,000 to 3.21 million. In addition, the US new housing starts for December rose by 12.1% to 954,000 units, the highest since June 2008.Monthly average of new housing start for 2012 was 780,000 units, far higher than 608,000 units in 2011. However, the Philadelphia Fed fell from positive to negative 5.8, faro below economists’ expectation.
China will announce a slow of economic data on Friday, which will greatly affect base metal price movement.
On overseas earnings front, the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.56% to 1480.93 points, highest in 5 years. The New York crude oil futures price rose 1.3% to USD 95.49/bareel. LME base metal prices closed with gains.
SMM expects that LME nickel prices will move between USD 17,400-17,900/mt, and Shanghai nickel spot prices will move between RMB 123,000-125,000/mt on Friday.