SHANGHAI,Feb.18 (SMM) --
1. German factory orders for December fell by 9.2% on an annual basis, lower than the previous decline of 1.0% (before seasonal adjustments), but higher than the expected decline of 1.2%. However, German factory orders for December rose 0.8% on a monthly basis, in contrast with a drop of 1.8% during November, and also higher than the 0.7% increase anticipated by markets. These figures would indicate the German economy is bottoming out and should begin to recover.
2. Data recently released by the European Central Bank showed its balance sheet fell to its lowest level in the past one year since European banks said they would begin repaying funds borrowed from the bank for long-term refinancing operations (LTRO). As a result, the euro continued to move higher as confidence in European markets grew.
1. Fitch warned last Wednesday that it may lower the US’s AAA credit rating if debt ceiling negotiations fail. The credit rating agency also said it would assess the UK’s rating following the issue of the nation’s spring budget report.
2. Last Monday, Spain’s Labor Department reported that the number of unemployed rose 2.7% MoM during January, making it the second highest rate in the euro zone after Greece. Reports are also circulating that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and other ruling People’s Party politicians received secret cash payments from former treasurers.
Collectively, nickel prices suffered from downward pressures last week, but technical indicators continued to give LME nickel prices strong support. Markets are generally upbeat about price trends during the Chinese New Year holiday period.
In China’s domestic markets, Shanghai spot nickel market activity is expected to fall to almost zero in the coming week.