SHANGHAI, Feb. 1 (SMM) -- LME nickel LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 17,850/mt and settled at USD 18,327/mt overnight, up USD 498/mt from a day earlier, with the intraday high at USD 18,385 mt and the low at USD 17,800/mt. Daily trading volumes were 6,587 lots, up 2,861 lots. Positions were 111,321 lots, up 118 lots. LME nickel inventories were 150,060 mt, up 252 mt.
LME base metal prices slightly fell due to absence of solid economic news during the early Asian trading hours, but resumed upward momentum later. LME nickel prices advanced all the way till the release of initial jobless claim from the US. The US initial jobless clams in the US were unexpectedly below market expectation, fueling market concern and weighing on base metal prices. In response, LME nickel prices pared certain gains and closed at USD 18,398/mt, only up USD 71/mt from a day earlier.
In the euro zone, the Germany’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment data unexpectedly fell to 16,000 in January, dragging down unemployment rate to 6.8%, below market expectation of an increase by 8,000, showing improvement in Germany’s employment condition. However, Germany’s retail sales for December fell to 4.7%, down 1.7% MoM, the largest decline since May 2011.
In the US, monthly rate of the US personal income for December rose to 2.6%, the highest since December 2004, suggesting that consumer spending will continue to support the US economy recovery. Moreover, the US Chicago PMI for January rose to 55.6, higher than 50.5 expected, and the highest since April 2012.The negative news is the rebound in initial jobless claim to 368,000, high than 350,000 expected.
In China, China’s central bank totally injected RMB 59 billion net liquidity into market through 7-day reverse purchase operation in order to ease cash flow pressure.
The US dollar index closed flat, while the European equity market slightly fell. Base metal prices largely fell overnight.
Market focus has shifted to PMI from major economies and the US nonfarm employment data to be released on Friday night.
SMM expects that LME nickel prices will move between USD 18,200-18,700/mt, and Shanghai nickel spot prices will move between RMB 127,200-129,000/mt on Friday.