SHANGHAI, Jan. 30 (SMM) -- LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 17,580/mt and settled at USD 17,829/mt, up by USD 254/mt from a day earlier, with the intraday high at USD 17,870/mt and the low at USD 17,540/mt. Daily trading volumes were 3,726 lots, up 890 lots. Positions were 111,203 lots, up 1,401 lots. LME nickel inventories were 149,808 mt, up 384 mt.
LME nickel prices remained firm after breaking through moving averages and tried to break through resistance at USD 17,700/mt during the Asian trading hours. LME nickel RSI indicators showed buying opportunities and suggested upward trend. During the European and US trading hours, The US Conference Board announced on Tuesday that the US Consumer Confidence Index was 58.6, far below expectation and previous reading. After the announcement, the US stock market rallied, while the US dollar plunged. LME nickel prices advanced to settle at USD 17,829/mt, up USD 254/mt from a day earlier.
Germany’s Gfk consumer confidence index for February rose to 5.8, higher than 5.7 expected and previous reading. Although economic growth in Germany was slow, optimistic expectation in the euro zone boosted consumer confidence.
US Consumer Confidence Index was 58.6, far below market expectation and previous reading. ICSC Goldman Sachs chain store annualized sales was +2.0%, slightly down from +3.2% recorded earlier, suggesting that consumption slowed down in the short term. In addition, the pending housing sales for December unexpectedly fell to 4.3% in December, but the S&P/CS20 cities housing price index for November was +5.5%, higher than previous reading of 4.3%.
In China, China’s central bank injected RMB 80 billion liquidity through 7-day reverse purchase, with bidding rate at 3.35%. China’s central bank has been conducting reverse purchase for two consecutive weeks, and market liquidity was relatively ample. In addition, Chinese Academy of Sciences predicted that China’s economy will remain stable growth in 2013, and the growth will be around 8.4%, 0.6 percentage points higher than a year earlier.
LME base metal prices advanced, while the US dollar index fell by 0.21%. New York crude oil futures prices rose by 1.2% to USD 97/barrel. The Dow Jones industrial average rose by 0.52% to hit a new high since October 2007.
The US will announce GDP for 4Q, ADP employment data and January interest rate meeting result, which will affect metal prices. SMM expects that LME nickel prices will move between USD 17,600-18,000/mt and Shanghai nickel spot prices will move between RMB 123,800-125,500/mt on Wednesday.